We're not surprised, but we're definitely delighted by the number of submissions that came in for this year's I-3 Technology Start-Up Competition. We received 188 submissions from across the province by the October 15 deadline! Whoot!

The submission breakdown by zone is as follows:

Zone Submissions
in 2007
Submissions
in 2009
Submissions
in 2011
Submissions
in 2013
Submissions
in 2015
Zone 1: Cumberland, Colchester, Pictou, Antigonish, and Guysborough counties 15 20 16 23 14
Zone 2: Lunenburg, Queens, Shelburne, and Yarmouth counties 17 17 6 22 23
Zone 3: Digby, Annapolis, Kings, and Hants counties 18 21 24 45 22
Zone 4: Halifax Regional Municipality 55 54 69 110 103
Zone 5: Victoria, Cape Breton, Inverness and Richmond counties 17 21 27 28 26
Total 121 133 142 228 188

*A pilot I-3 competition ran in 2006 and attracted 18 submissions.

We were originally targeting 150 submissions, but we figure we'll review and evaluate all 188 of the business summaries that arrived. Lol!

A few folks have already asked us, “Why did you set your goal to be 150 submissions this year when you received 228 the last time you ran the competition?” and “Why are you so elated about 188 when it’s fewer than last round?”

The answer - in a word - comes down to "quality." We wanted to focus our efforts on finding high quality submissions. In fact, we were so set on upping the quality this year, for the first time we invited I-3 entrants to have their draft submissions reviewed if they were submitted the week before the competition deadline. Ninety (yes, 90!) start-ups took us up on our offer, submitting their drafts and getting feedback from Innovacorp within a few days. What’s that tell you about the type of companies that made submissions and the quality of their end product?

So, yes, we’re happy.

Thank you to everybody who made a submission, tweeted about the opportunity, told some pals, or agreed to be a competition PARTNER or judge. The passion we see from entrants and the people who love them blows our hair back!

What’s next? We put the judges to work! Each zone will have a seven-person judging panel that consists of a seasoned entrepreneur, a seasoned business person, a lawyer, a chartered accountant, and two senior representatives from Innovacorp. The judging panel for each sector will have up to eight individuals from the private and public sector and include sector expertise. The judging panel to select the provincial I-3 winner will include representatives from zone and sector judging panels.

Round two and sector short lists will be announced on November 2, 2015.

GET MORE DETAILS ABOUT THE COMPETITION.

Nova Scotia - Updated: October 16, 2015