Nova Scotia start-ups have a chance to compete for up to $225,000 through Innovacorp's provincial I-3 Technology Start-Up Competition.

The I-3 competition, launched today, Sept. 4, finds and supports high potential, early stage knowledge-based companies, and encourages entrepreneurial activity across the province.

"Knowledge-based companies like the ones this competition discovers are key to sustaining a thriving economy in Nova Scotia," said Economic and Rural Development and Tourism Minister Graham Steele. "Innovacorp's I-3 competition supports the jobsHere priorities of innovation and competitiveness."

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

New this year are cash awards of $25,000 for the best overall submission in information and communications technology, life sciences, clean technology, and oceans technology.

An overall provincial winner, selected from the five zone winners, will receive an additional award of $100,000 in seed investment from Innovacorp.

Innovacorp ran a pilot I-3 competition in Cape Breton in 2006, then held three provincial competitions. Over the years, the competition has received 414 start-up company submissions.

"There's an increasingly high level of entrepreneurship happening across Nova Scotia," said Stephen Duff, president and CEO of Innovacorp. "We look forward to cherry picking the best new ventures the I-3 competition discovers and being a part of their future success."

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 Friday, Oct. 18, to submit entries. The zone winners will be announced Jan. 27, and the provincial winner and sector winners will be announced Feb. 12. Submissions can be completed online at WWW.INNOVACORP.CA.

Innovacorp is Nova Scotia's early-stage venture capital organization. It helps knowledge-based companies commercialize their technologies and succeed in the global marketplace through investment, incubation and expert advice.

Innovacorp’s 2013-2014 I-3 Technology Start-Up Competition is possible thanks to support from the following partners: COX & PALMERGRANT THORNTONSANDLER TRAININGENTREPRENEURS’ FORUMSOBEY SCHOOL BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT CENTRECANADIAN DIGITAL MEDIA NETWORK (CDMN)LE CONSEIL DE DÉVELOPPEMENT ÉCONOMIQUE DE LA NOUVELLE-ÉCOSSE (CDÉNÉ)RED BALLOON RELATIONSNOVA SCOTIA COMMUNITY COLLEGEFAMOUS FOLKS CREATIVE COMMUNICATIONSWESTCLIFFE MARKETING,  NATIONAL PUBLIC RELATIONSICON COMMUNICATIONS AND RESEARCH,ARAMAX IP, and the CAPE BRETON SMALL BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT CENTRE.

For more information, contact:

Stephanie Shaw
Innovacorp
T 902.424.8670 ext. 1197
M 902.220.3686
SSHAW@INNOVACORP.CA
WWW.INNOVACORP.CA

Halifax, Nova Scotia, September 4, 2013