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

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 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;

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