A popular business start-up contest is about to fly solo.
Like past years, the Francophone Ignition Contest will offer a $25,000 cash price for the best entrepreneurial project presented during a competition similar to Dragons' Den or Shark Tank, but without third party involvement to help draw in participants and supporters.
"This will be the sixth time that RDÉE Prince Edward Island has presented a competition for entrepreneurial projects of this type," said Julie Gallant, contest co-ordinator.
"We consider that the contest is now known and respected enough to attract its own crowd, without having to rely on a joint activity to attract an audience."
With that, the official call for 2020 competition participants was issued.
This is the first time the Ignition Contest will not be held jointly with the Entrepreneurs' Gala.
The contest is open to Francophone or bilingual entrepreneurs wishing to set up a new business, launch a new product or service or expand into a new production line.
The service offered must be offered in both of the country’s official languages and the company must set up shop in Prince Edward Island. At least one of the company's owners must be able to do business in French and make his or her contest presentation in that language. The product or service developed must have the potential for exportation outside the Island.
Companies that have already won an Ignition award (from the RDÉE or the province) are not eligible; however, the winners of the former RDÉE Dragons’ Contest are. Contests must also attend two days of "pitch training" in Nova Scotia to learn how to present their project. Three finalists will compete in the grand finale on March 5, at 7 p.m. in the Salle Entre-deux-mers at the Centre Belle-Alliance in Summerside.
In addition to the $25,000 grand prize (which will be reimbursed upon presentation of receipts), the winner will also receive several gifts, such as free memberships in the Charlottetown and Summerside Chambers of Commerce and the Acadian and Francophone Chamber of Commerce of the P.E.I. as well as free business courses at the Collège de l’Île. The cash prize is provided by Innovation P.E.I.’s Ignition Start-Up Fund.
Those interested in participating need only download the application form from www.rdeeipe.org/ignition/ by Jan. 18, 2020.