News

SPARK NS NEWS: October 16, 2019

If there are power outages due to the storm expected on October 17, 2019, don’t worry, just send your application as soon as you return to a location with power. Stay safe. — The Spark Nova Scotia Team

SPARK NS NEWS: October 10, 2019

Three more reasons for NS startups to spark something:

  1. New definition of startup
  2. Easier to apply with new features
  3. All applicants receive training

With the Spark Nova Scotia application deadline only one week away, there are even more reasons to share this opportunity with startups in your community.

Spark is both a competition and education program tailored for early-stage innovative businesses in Cape Breton, NS North and NS South West. Winners receive up to $50,000 and guidance from top NS business professionals. Total value of prizes available for all of Nova Scotia is $375,000. To enter, businesses are asked to complete the form at sparknovascotia.com by midnight on October 17, 2019. 

  1. New definition of startup: “zero revenue” can be “minimal revenue”

Spark will accept applications from companies with zero or minimal revenue, if that revenue was obtained prior to the company commercially scaling up. In other words, if a company launched, but is showing “pre-scale-up” revenue only — for example, revenue derived from beta clients or similar customer validation efforts — the Spark judging panel will consider those applicants.

  1. We’ve made the application process easier with options, instructions

Online forms can be victims of power outages, so we’ve provided new ways for applicants to save their work. We’ve added a “Save and Continue Later” feature, which enables an applicant to save a draft as a link, so they can save or email to finish later. We also added a downloadable form, which provides the option to email the completed application. Step by step instructions are provided at sparknovascotia.com.

  1. All applicants welcome at entrepreneurial training sessions

All applicants are welcome to participate in the first three Spark Training Program modules: Determining a Need; Building Your Business Model; and Financing. These modules offer business-building skills to help participants accelerate the development of their businesses. 

We can’t think of a reason NOT to apply. 

For details or promotional pieces, contact: Sandra Goodwin; sandra@sparknovascotia.com 

Spark Nova Scotia is an initiative of the Community Business Development Corporations of Nova Scotia.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 2, 2019; 2:00 p.m. AT

Spark Nova Scotia to Focus on Communities, Business Learning Closer to Home

Cash awards of up to $50,000 to help Nova Scotia startups spark something.

Middle Musquodoboit, NS – Spark Nova Scotia, historically known as the Spark Innovation Challenge, has launched with a stronger focus placed on communities and business learning. 

“Spark is searching for those hidden startup gems in our coastal, rural and academic communities,” said Erinn Smith, Executive Director of the NS Association of Community Business Development Corporations (“CBDCs”). “When we find them, we can support them, all while promoting entrepreneurial activity across the province.”

Spark is both a competition and education program tailored for early-stage innovative businesses in Cape Breton, NS North and NS South West. Winners receive up to $50,000 and guidance from top NS business professionals. Total value of prizes available for all of Nova Scotia is $375,000.

“We’re offering learning for all who apply, and in business centres that are geographically closer to the startups themselves,” said Permjot Valia, Startup Mentor with Nava Marketing, a company providing Spark organizing and training support. “We’re bringing the training to them.”

Spark 2019 will be held in three geographic regions, providing learning sessions for all companies that apply. Entrants must be based in one of the following regions:

  • Spark Cape Breton – Inverness, Richmond, Victoria & Cape Breton counties.
  • Spark North – Guysborough, Antigonish, Pictou, Colchester & Cumberland counties plus East Hants and Rural HRM (excludes Halifax, Dartmouth & Bedford).
  • Spark South West – Lunenburg, Queens, Shelburne, Yarmouth, Digby, Annapolis, Kings & West Hants counties.

While Spark is interested in startups from the ICT, life sciences, clean tech and ocean sectors, submissions are welcome for any innovation with market potential. Entrants must have a new knowledge-based product or service with zero sales revenue since inception. Funds awarded will be used to support the completion of prototypes or preparation for taking the product or service to market.

To enter, businesses are asked to complete the form at sparknovascotia.com by midnight on October 17, 2019. Business, government, academic and community leaders in these communities are asked to share this opportunity within their networks.

Contact: Sandra Goodwin, media representative; sandra@sparknovascotia.com 

Spark Nova Scotia is an initiative of the Community Business Development Corporations of Nova Scotia.