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Startup contest Sparks innovation in Cape Breton

SYDNEY, NS: Spark Nova Scotia’s Cape Breton startup competition—picking up from last fall—is concluding with a spring contest offering winners up to $50,000 in funding plus business mentoring and support.

Spark Cape Breton is open to all Cape Breton-based founders who have innovative startups, even if they are still at the idea stage.

A jam-packed training session, “How to Present Your Business Model”, will be held at 5:00 p.m. on April 4, 2023, at Navigate Start-up House in Sydney. A Zoom option will be available to ensure access across the island.

“We want to ensure Spark funding makes a meaningful difference to Cape Breton entrepreneurs,” said Erinn Smith, Executive Director of the Nova Scotia Association of Community Business Development Corporations (CBDC). “This is about writing the next chapter of your great business idea, thinking about how you would ensure success.”

Spark Nova Scotia focuses on rural, coastal, and academic communities among three regions—Cape Breton, Northern NS, and Southwestern NS—each with distinct pitch competitions, local judges, and equal funding pools. Last fall, while the Northern and Southwestern competitions concluded, the Cape Breton portion was paused until 2023.

Last fall’s applicants are still in the running, and Spark organizers have already reached out to them with an option to update their applications. All founders are encouraged to attend the April 4 training refresher before finalizing their applications, which are due by April 17, 2023, at 11:59 p.m.

“Previous Spark winners have told us how much the training helps with the application process,” said Smith. “It’s really worth attending.”

Registration and application links, along with a full schedule, are available at

Spark Nova Scotia is an initiative of Nova Scotia’s CBDCs, funded by the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency  (ACOA), emphasizing community-based business learning. The competition focuses on rural Nova Scotia communities to ensure  support and programming for start-ups outside the metropolitan Halifax area. Sponsors are Cox & Palmer, Grant Thornton, Invest  Nova Scotia and OKR Financial. 

CONTACT: Holly Chisholm: 902 565 9782