The SPARK ZONE

New Product Competition

COMPETITION OVERVIEW

 Over the course of two months, you and your team will create a new product that serves as a customer experience solution for retailers. You are tasked with developing a minimum viable product (MVP) and bringing it to market. Your team consists of yourself and up to three other ambitious students; collectively, you will brainstorm, validate your idea, and talk to potential customers. Once you develop a clearer understanding of your concept through customer discovery, you will create your MVP. Once the MVP is created, you will pitch your new creation for funding and prizes!

TEAMS

  • Students from any post-secondary institution in Nova Scotia are eligible to participate
  • Teams consist of 1 to 4 students
  • Students who join as a pre-formed team must all be from post-secondary institutions (unless otherwise approved)
  • Students from all faculties and disciplines are eligible
  • Students should form diverse teams (personality, age, culture, nationality, experience, etc.)

BENEFITS FOR STUDENTS

  • The opportunity to win seed funding to grow their venture
  • Networking and mentorship opportunities from leaders in the retail sector
  • Free promotional services to help market their venture
  • Free prototyping services to help create a product MVP

WHO CAN PARTICIPATE?

This event is open to all post-secondary students in Nova Scotia.

REGISTRATION

The registration period for the New Product Competition will be open until Feb 28th, 2019. To register, please click the “Register” tab, or click here

PROTOHACK OVERVIEW

The first stage of the New Product Competition (NPC) is the opening ProtoHack. From March 1 – 3, teams will develop ideas, identify opportunities and deliver a semi-formal pitch to a panel of judges to receive initial feedback and the chance to win initial seed funding.

ProtoHack Pitch Competition:

Location:  960 Tower Road, Second Floor TESL Building Room 203

The winning team will receive $500, second $300, third $200

 

CONTACT

Mitch Harrison

Phone: 902-440-3424

Email: [email protected]

Michael Sanderson

Phone: 902-491-6506

Email: [email protected]

 

COMPETITION DATES

March 1 – 3:

  • Students will participate in the ProtoHack to open the competition.
  • Teams will pitch their initial product idea with the chance of winning initial seed funds.

March 4  – March 28:

  • Teams will receive additional pitch training material and are expected to begin validating their idea with potential customers.
  • Teams will receive training on various prototyping skills including CAD Design (for physical products), wireframing tools and mock-ups.
  • Teams will conduct a thorough market research and validation which will be included in their pitch.
  • Teams will film product profile videos to promote their product on social media.
  • Teams will receive social media training to leverage and grow their campaigns.

March 28:

  • Teams will participate in a final event where they have the opportunity to pitch their new product idea to students and judges.

    REGISTRATION

     

     

    PRIZE PACKAGES

    1st Place in the New Product Competition

    (up to $10,000 value):

    • $5,000 in accessible seed funding
    • The opportunity to meet with investors and buyers from retail companies
    • 3D printed prototype of your new product
    • 60 second promo video for your new business
    • Logo for your new business
    • Business cards (design and printing of 50 cards per team member)
    • Professional headshot for each team member
    • Consultations focussing on operations, growth, marketing and branding

    2nd Place in the New Product Competition

    (up to $8,000 value):

    • $3,000 in accessible seed funding
    • 3D printed prototype of your new product
    • 60 second promo video for your new business
    • Logo for your new business
    • Business cards (design and printing of 50 cards per team member)
    • Professional headshot for each team member
    • Consultations focussing on operations, growth, marketing and branding

    3rd Place in the New Product Competition

    (up to $5,000 value):

    • $1,000 in accessible seed funding
    • 3D printed prototype of your new product
    • 60 second promo video for your new business
    • Logo for your new business
    • Business cards (design and printing of 50 cards per team member)
    • Professional headshot for each team member

    Consultations focussing on operations, growth, marketing and branding

    SEED FUNDING STIPULATIONS

    The total pooled prize fund for the 2019 New Product Competition is $10,000 which will be divided into a maximum of three (3) prize packages. $5,000 will be given to the first placed team, $3,000 for second and $1,000 for third.  Teams should make an ask of how they intend to spend the funds if they win.

    Cash prizes of $500, $300 and $200 dollars will be awarded to the top three teams that place in the Feb 22-24th ProtoHack event.

    All participating teams are required to deliver a final presentation (and demo of a working prototype) to a judging panel who will be tasked with judging the presentation and/or demo based on a predetermined rubric. Teams who receive the highest scores as described in this rubric are awarded one of the prize packages indicated above. All prize amounts will be held in-trust in an “operations account” at the Saint Mary’s University Entrepreneurship Centre (SMU EC).

    The funding amounts for each team can be used for the following purposes:

    • Advertising
    • Business related travel
    • Business tax, fees, licences, dues, memberships, and subscriptions
    • Capital Expenditure
    • Delivery, freight, and express
    • Equipment leasing costs
    • Insurance
    • Legal, accounting, and other professional fees
    • Maintenance and repairs
    • Management and administration fees
    • Meals and entertainment
    • Motor vehicle mileage (reimbursed at an institutional rate)
    • Office expenses
    • Raw materials
    • Salaries, wages, and benefits
    • Supplies
    • Telephone and utilities

    Other expense reimbursement requests not indicated on this list will be reviewed by the Saint Mary’s University Entrepreneurship Centre on a case-by-case basis.

    There are several ways to access funds in the operations account:

    • The winning team pays for any expenses up-front and submits a request following the processes and procedures outlined at the team’s home sandbox primary institution for reimbursement.
    • If the expense is greater than $750, the winning team can request a cash advance from the account. Receipts must be submitted to the New Product Competition team at the SMU EC to indicate how the funds were spent before any additional funds will be released.
    • Each team who is awarded prize money in this competition will be expected to sign a legal document indicating their understanding of all terms and conditions before any awarded prize monies are released.

    All prize amounts must be used by August 31st, 2019. Unused funds as August 31st, 2019 will expire. Alternative funding schedules can be arranged upon conversation with the New Product Competition team at the SMU EC.

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