Sprint | Info Kit - Web viewTo provide ongoing support for entrepreneurs, Innovacorp intends to run...
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Sprint | Info Kit
Info Kit 2019-2020
Sprint is a competition for early stage technology companies in Nova Scotia. Winners receive up to $25,000 and guidance from seasoned business professionals to put their ideas into action. The goal of Sprint is to find and support high potential, early stage knowledge-based companies, and encourage entrepreneurial activity in the province.
To provide ongoing support for entrepreneurs, Innovacorp intends to run multiple Sprints throughout the year, with three intake periods planned for the 2019-2020 fiscal year.
Sprint is designed to be an iterative program, rewarding start-ups based on milestone achievement. The program provides start-ups with up to $25,000 in non-dilutive, non-repayable funding to undertake short-term technical and/or business milestones in a two- to three-month “sprint.” In addition to funding, companies will receive business guidance from seasoned professionals. The support will be more sophisticated as start-ups progress, with a first-time Sprint participant perhaps accessing a boot camp on business fundamentals, while a returning Sprint participant may get tailored one-on-one coaching from an Innovacorp team member.
Sprint builds on concepts used in agile product development, whereby technology development teams break their work into actions that can be completed in timeboxed iterations called “sprints.” The key stages of a product development sprint include planning and forecasting at the beginning of the sprint period, and a review and retrospective at the end of the period to identify lessons and improvements for the next sprints. These concepts will be integrated into the Sprint competition as well, where applicants are challenged to identify a plan, forecast a milestone achievement, and measure progress at the end of the time-constrained Sprint intake. Companies that show positive outcomes and milestone achievement are then eligible to apply for a new Sprint intake with new milestones.
Three Sprint rounds will run throughout the fiscal year (i.e., spring, fall and winter launches). In each round, the target will be to award four or five start-ups with up to $25,000 per company ($100,000 total deployed each round). The final amount awarded to each applicant will be based on company need at the selection committee’s discretion.
Winners may re-apply for funding in subsequent rounds of Sprint. Applicants will be accepted under two streams:
· Phase 1 Sprint: Company has not previously received Sprint funding.
· Phase 2 Sprint: Company has previously won Sprint funding and has achieved milestone progress. Company is now seeking Sprint funding to undertake new milestones.
Companies shortlisted under Phase 1 will be required to identify one or two critical milestones in their business plan to address with the Sprint funding. Applicants will be assessed on appropriateness of the milestones, likelihood of achieving the milestones in the time and budget allowed, and the impact of the milestones on business success.
Companies shortlisted under Phase 2 will be required to report progress on past milestone achievement (i.e. what they accomplished with the previous Sprint award) and identify one or two new critical milestones to address. Applicants will be assessed on the outcomes achieved (i.e., execution) during the previous milestone sprint, appropriateness of the next set of milestones, likelihood of achieving the milestones in the time and budget allowed, and the impact of the milestones on the business’ success.
Companies are eligible to win a maximum of $75,000 from Sprint. The maximum can be reached in one fiscal year (2019-2020) or be spread over multiple fiscal years.
Entrants must be a start-up based in Nova Scotia. They have identified a large market pain and have established a company around a customer-validated solution. Funds awarded will be used to support the completion of prototypes or preparation for taking the product or service 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 be an early stage technology company in any sector. We’re especially interested in start-ups from the information technology, life sciences, clean technology and ocean technology sectors. However, we welcome submissions for any innovation with big market potential.
Winners of Innovacorp’s Accelerate Program (excluding global stream participants) are ineligible to apply to Sprint with the same product or service, but may apply with a different product or service and a different company. Companies that have raised more than $25,000 in equity investment from Innovacorp are also ineligible.
Based in Nova Scotia – The head office is in Nova Scotia and the business is registered in Nova Scotia.
Start-up – To qualify as a start-up for Sprint, the applicant has identified a large market pain and market opportunity and has established a company around a proposed technology solution. The applicant has less than $1 million in cumulative sales.
New knowledge-based product or service – The business proposition must be a unique technology product or service that cannot be easily duplicated.
Entries will be evaluated based on the following Innovacorp criteria:
Pain & Solution: Description and quantification of the market problem/pain, uniqueness and significance of product/service, current stage of development, proprietary position
People: Background and entrepreneurial track record of key individuals, ability to execute, commitment to venture
Market: Size of the total addressable market opportunity, export-oriented
Competition: High barrier to competitive entry
Traction & Milestones: Description of key milestones previously accomplished and identification of one to two critical milestones to address during the sprint; applicants will be assessed on past execution, appropriateness of the forward-looking milestones, likelihood of achieving the milestones in the time and budget allowed, and the impact of the milestones on the business’ success
Investment Potential: Company has a clear idea of future financing needs and is an attractive target for potential venture capital investment (i.e., high growth potential, large market opportunity, attractive return prospects)
The judging committee includes representatives from Innovacorp. 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.
Sprint participants will have regular meetings with Innovacorp to work on their milestone plan. Participants will also attend three workshops on key subject areas to fast-track their progress: customer discovery, identifying and sizing billion-dollar opportunities, and pitching to investors. Participation in the coaching sessions and workshops is mandatory.
Art of the Pitch
Presented by Robert Burns, Innovacorp
A quality investor pitch deck is an absolute necessity for any start-up seeking equity financing. This interactive workshop will provide an overview of tips for how to structure and deliver an investment pitch. Following a presentation, each company will pitch to the group for 10 minutes. Our investment experts will then provide live feedback, so your pitch can be further refined and honed.
Robert Burns is an investment manager at Innovacorp, where his focus is on identifying attractive seed and early stage investment opportunities in a variety of technology sectors. He manages all aspects of the investment review, approval and closing cycle, and works hands-on with Innovacorp’s portfolio companies to assist them in accelerating their growth, achieving milestones and securing additional financing. Prior to joining Innovacorp, Rob managed a team of technical business development professionals delivering novel technologies to the fisheries research market worldwide while at Amirix Systems, which you may know as Vemco.
Date: Wednesday, May 29, 2019
Time: 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Presented by Ajay Shroff, Innovacorp
Product-market fit is critical to every start-up's success and the first step towards finding product-market fit is customer discovery. Customer discovery is the process of getting to know your customers and how your product solves a problem they are willing to pay for. This presentation will focus on where to find customers to interview, how to interview them, and the tools you can use to get the information your start-up needs to build the right product for the right market.
Ajay Shroff is a senior product leader with over 20 years of experience in all facets of product management and development. His experience as a product manager, software engineer and designer have provided him with exceptional knowledge of the complete product development lifecycle, with a focus on software. He has led several teams involved in small- and large-scale implementations, including developing work plans, requirement gathering processes, proposal preparation, evaluation and establishing post-implementation supports. Before joining the Innovacorp team, Ajay worked with Sify, Radian6 and Salesforce. He is also a certified Agile Product Owner.
Date: Thursday, May 30, 2019
Time: 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
Billion Dollar Opportunity
Presented by Andrew Ray, Innovacorp
If you’ve tried raising venture capital, you may have been subjected to potential invest