Nova Scotia start-ups have a chance to compete for up to $200,000 in investment through Innovacorp's provincial I-3 Technology Start-Up Competition, launched today, Sept. 13.

The I-3 competition finds and supports high-potential, early stage knowledge-based companies, and encourages entrepreneurial activity across the province.

"Innovation and entrepreneurship are key to sustaining a thriving economy in Nova Scotia," said John MacDonell, acting Minister of Economic and Rural Development and Tourism. "Innovacorp's I-3 competition supports the goals of jobsHere, our plan to grow the economy."

The competition will take place in five geographic zones across the province. Each zone winner will receive $100,000 in cash and in-kind business building services with the second-place zone winners getting $40,000 in cash and services.

An overall provincial winner, selected from the five zone winners, will be awarded an additional $100,000 seed investment from Innovacorp.

Innovacorp ran a pilot I-3 competition in Cape Breton in 2006, and provincial competitions in 2007-08 and 2009-10. Over the years, the competition has received 270 start-up company submissions.

"I'm encouraged by the vibrant level of entrepreneurship across Nova Scotia, and we look forward to seeing the new ventures the I-3 competition uncovers," said Clifford Gross, president and CEO of Innovacorp.

Zone 1 includes Cumberland, Colchester, Pictou, Antigonish and Guysborough counties; Zone 2 includes Lunenburg, Queens, Shelburne and Yarmouth counties; Zone 3 includes Digby, Annapolis, Kings and Hants counties; Zone 4 includes Halifax Regional Municipality; and Zone 5 includes Victoria, Cape Breton, Inverness and Richmond counties.

A six-person judging committee in each zone will consider the quality of the idea, the strength of the management team and the clarity and persuasiveness of the written and oral presentation.

Entrepreneurs have until 5 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 20, to submit entries. The five zone winners will be announced Jan. 26, 2012, and the provincial winner will be announced Feb. 8. Submissions can be completed online atWWW.INNOVACORP.CA.

Innovacorp is Nova Scotia's agency committed to helping high-potential, early stage companies succeed in the global marketplace. The organization is internationally recognized as a leader in technology commercialization, combining venture capital investment with business mentoring and incubation facilities.

For more information, contact:

Shelley Hessian
T 902.424.8670 ext. 1123
M 902.220.2031

Halifax, Nova Scotia, September 13, 2011