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The Sci Innovation Competition (Sci Innovation & Entrepreneurship International Competition), Canada’s largest innovation competition returns. This year the competition has expanded to include preliminary regional competitions in some of Canada’s most vibrant tech hubs, in a runup to the final to be held at Toronto’s City Hall.
Entering to the third year, the competition is travelling to the key cities that comprise Canada’s Innovation corridor in order to pre-screen high calibre projects and to attract larger pool of contestants to join the final in March. The journey starts in Toronto and ends Montreal. On January 19, 2019, the search began with the inaugural Toronto regional competition at the Sci Innovation Centre in North York, then it moved to Ottawa on January 25. On February 2nd the competition progresses to Waterloo, and the last regional event will wrap up in Montreal on February 9th.
All regional contestants are vying for an opportunity to secure a berth to the final in March. However, candidates who miss the regionals can still submit their applications online for a chance to compete at the Toronto final. The Toronto final will feature multiple contenders who will pitch ideas to a panel of high-profile judges. The top 10 Canadian teams will be awarded a cash prize of up to $20K each and will receive sponsored travel to Shenzhen, China in April 2019 and compete in the Shenzhen Innovation & Entrepreneurship International Competition (International Olympics of Entrepreneurship’).
Initiated by the Toronto-based Sci Innovation Centre, Sci Innovation Competition 2019 is supported domestically by the City of Toronto. Globally, the Sci Innovation Competition is supported by a host of municipal governments that serve as global leaders in technology including, Silicon Valley, Sydney, Tokyo, Boston, Tel Aviv, London, Stockholm and Berlin. At the event, participants will compete for a monetary prize of up to $200K and access to a venture capital pool of $4 billion.
This year, a focus will be placed on projects in the categories of Information Technology (Internet and Mobile), Electronics, Biology and Life Science, Advanced Manufacturing, and Material and Energy (including energy conservation and environmental protection). There will also be three professional categories - competitions added, including Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence and Fintech. Applications are accepted by February 28 at scicomp2019.sciinnovationcentre.com.
Last year, Canadian companies fared exceptionally well in the global competition. In April 2018, Toronto’s Conavi Medical - a pre-revenue medical device company won 2nd place globally (silver prize) in the Biology & Life Sciences sector. Not only was it awarded $140K as a prize but it also attracted over $2M in investment within three months. Conavi was awarded based on a breakthrough guidance technology for minimally invasive cardiovascular procedures.
There are several highlights for the 2019 Sci Innovation Competition. The competition involves more partners that include prominent Canadian universities, such as University of Toronto, University of Waterloo, and University of Western Ontario. Other Partners and supporters include a long list of noted organizations devoted to nurturing innovation: OCE (Ontario Centre for Excellence), Invest Ottawa, Mars Discovery District, MaRS, Invest Ottawa, GTAN, the Montreal-based Research and Development Frontiers Institute (RDFI), Gowling WLG, Gravitas Financial Inc, District 3 Innovation Centre, Communitech, Rotman Asian Business Association, Schulich East Asian Business Association (SEABA), Triangle Angel Investors, Pacific Innovation & Executive Club, Keiretsu Forum and Cowin Capital.