Innovacorp's Global Blue Innovation Challenge helps ocean technology start-ups immigrate to Nova Scotia, Canada, accelerate their commercialization path and become investment ready.

Important Dates: 
April 22, 2021
Program launch
June 11, 2021
Submission deadline
June 18, 2021
Submission review and shortlist. All applicants will be contacted with their status.
June 25, 2021
Shortlist interviews
June 25 to September 21, 2021
Innovacorp will undertake due diligence on the shortlisted companies.
September 21, 2021
Winners announced
September 21, 2021
Letters of Award issued to companies and Commitment Certificate issued to Immigration, Refugees and Citizens Canada (IRCC); companies may also be issued a work permit, usually within a month but timelines depend on the IRCC process
Arrival in Nova Scotia with work permit or permanent residence status
$25,000 in funding issued under the business name registered in Nova Scotia Registry of Joint Stock Companies, and six months of shared office space and access to expert advice and other acceleration support at no charge

About Global Blue Innovation Challenge
How to Apply

Innovacorp's Global Blue Innovation Challenge is now closed for submissions. The deadline for applications was Friday, June 11, 2021, at 11:59 pm ADT.

About Global Blue Innovation Challenge

Innovacorp is proud to be one of the designated Canadian business incubators/accelerators under the federal Start-Up Visa Program. The Start-Up Visa Program is intended to attract foreign entrepreneurs who wish to establish new, high-growth businesses in Canada that will support innovation and job creation. Innovacorp can recommend entrepreneurs to receive a start-up visa from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada under the business incubation stream.

Global Blue Innovation Challenge participants will each receive a letter of support for a Canadian start-up visa and $25,000 in non-dilutive, non-repayable funding to address key technical and business milestones. Up to four companies will be selected and funding will be provided as an award upon arrival in Nova Scotia. An additional $25,000 per company may be available based on milestone progress, to be determined upon arrival in the province. The funding will be issued under the business name registered in the Nova Scotia Registry of Joint Stock Companies.

In addition to funding, companies will get access to a series of acceleration activities and resources. Resources will be tailored to the cohort to provide support where participants need it most. Each company will be assigned an advisor. Participants should make every effort to take advantage of the workshops, activities and other resources offered, including:

Shared office space in one of our incubation facilities: Start-Up Yard at COVE, The Bays at Innovacorp or The Labs at Innovacorp. Innovacorp’s incubation facilities offer emerging technology companies the environment they need to grow stronger, faster.

Expert advice and workshops for companies upon arrival in Nova Scotia for a minimum of six months. This support will include one-on-one advice in core business areas such as venture finance, start-up strategy and governance, and human resources and culture.

Market intelligence through the MaRS Market Intelligence Services program. Innovacorp is one of four Atlantic Canadian organizations that have been granted access to the MaRS Market Intelligence Services (MIS) offering. The MaRS team of analysts and information specialists have industry knowledge of the ocean technology sector, as well as access to thousands of top proprietary databases, reports and statistics, which are beyond the reach of most start-ups. More information and a full list of available databases can be found here.

Get all the details about this remarkable offering in the GLOBAL BLUE INNOVATION CHALLENGE INFO KIT.


Innovacorp’s 2021-2022 Global Blue Innovation Challenge is open to immigrant entrepreneurs only. Innovacorp is a designated business incubation organization under the Government of Canada’s Start-Up Visa Program. To be eligible to receive a start-up visa, you must prove your business venture is supported by a designated organization; meet the language requirements; meet the ownership requirements; and have a sufficient settlement fund. You can find more eligibility details on the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada website.

The business must be registered in Nova Scotia once the company is accepted into the program and issued a letter of support. It must have a new knowledge-based product (i.e., a unique technology solution that cannot be easily duplicated). The intellectual property must move to the new Canadian entity.

Entrants must have identified a large market pain and established a company around a customer-validated problem. Competitive applicants should have a strong technical or business founder. Funds awarded are used to support product development or preparation for taking the product to market.

Entrants must be the majority owner(s) (51 per cent or more) of the start-up and plan to work full-time with the business.

Entrants must have less than $1 million in cumulative sales in the most recent three years.

How to Apply

The Global Blue Innovation Challenge is now closed for submissions. Applicants were asked to complete the Microsoft Word business summary template, answering the questions in the boxes provided.

Note: Innovacorp is unable to accommodate updates once summaries have been submitted.

Shortlisted companies will be notified by Friday, June 18, 2021, and will pitch to the judging panel on Friday, June 25, 2021. Winners will be notified by Tuesday, September 21, 2021.

* Due to ongoing developments with COVID-19, the date and format for any events related to the challenge are subject to change.

* Becoming an Innovacorp client through the Start-Up Visa Program does not guarantee that you will obtain financing through Innovacorp’s venture capital fund.


All submissions will be treated confidentially and will not be made available to the public. Only those directly involved in managing or judging the competition will view submitted documents. While business details will not be disclosed, the competition organizers reserve the right to announce those who advance to subsequent competition rounds.

Questions can be directed to Ding Fan, Start-Up Visa Program Coordinator, Innovacorp, at 902.424.8670 ext. 1603, 1.800.565.7051 ext. 1603, or


Ding Fan
  1. 902.424.8670 ext. 1603
  2. 1.800.565.7051 ext. 1603 (Toll Free in Atlantic Canada)