IGNITE competition fuels Niagara business ideas

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Do you have a business idea that’s been simmering? Perhaps it’s time to ignite it and make it a reality. The prize: A $10,000 business services package to help launch your start-up.

The Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce (GNCC) and Innovate Niagara are calling on aspiring entrepreneurs with a business idea they’ve been keeping on the back burner to enter the IGNITE Niagara business pitch competition that could turn a cool enterprise into the hottest venture.

“We know there are so many wonderful business ideas out there,” said GNCC president and CEO Mishka Balsom.

“Sometimes it’s just a matter of having that initial help and vote of confidence to get it off the ground,” she said. “IGNITE Niagara is the opportunity for Niagara entrepreneurs to not only test market response to their idea but to tap into invaluable resources to make it a reality.”

IGNITE Niagara is open to the region’s residents and business owners who can put together a winning business model and creative two-minute video pitch that will convince judges and voters their idea has legs. The contest is open to both new and existing businesses.

Entries must be received no later than Oct. 16, 2015. Five finalists will be chosen to pitch their plan at the IGNITE Niagara finale on Tuesday, Nov. 10 at the First Ontario Performing Arts Centre in St. Catharines.

Finalists are selected based on their business model canvas, the clarity, creativity and persuasiveness of their video, and the likes their clip receives on the Chamber’s Facebook page.

To learn more about the business model canvas required with each application, visit the MaRS Discovery District business model design workbook online at marsdd.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/Business-Model-Design-WorkbookGuide.pdf.

To learn more about IGNITE Niagara, its rules and regulations, or to submit an application, visit http://www.greaterniagarachamber.com/Events/Upcoming-Events/Event-Details/e/792 -30. For more information, contact Balsom at (905) 684-2362, ext. 227  or email mishka@gncc.ca,

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