Guelph ON, 25 July 2022 – Seven entrepreneurs have been selected for Phase 2 of the Northern Ontario Innovation Challenge run by Bioenterprise Canada, Canada’s Food & Agri-Tech Engine. They were chosen from entries received from across northern Ontario during an open call for submissions earlier this year.
As part of Phase 2, the successful applicants receive a complimentary one-year Access membership to the Engine, and are invited to present their business to the Bioenterprise team and access its national network of mentors and partners.
“Our goal in running the Challenge is to identify and give profile to innovative businesses and start-ups in Northern Ontario who are active in the food and agri-tech sector,” says Bioenterprise Canada CEO Dave Smardon. “We know that the North is rife with opportunity and we’re really looking forward to getting to know these seven businesses better and helping them kick-start their growth.”
Phase 2 will culminate in a public demo day in September where each participant will give a short pitch presentation about their business in front of a panel of judges representing a cross-section of the agriculture industry, private sector leaders, academic researchers, and internal subject matter experts.
The Grand Prize winner will receive $5,000 in cash, and the top three finalists will receive an upgraded Access Plus membership to the Engine.
The seven successful applicants are:
- TECC Agriculture Ltd. of New Liskeard, a precision agriculture company
- Dalew Farms Inc./Click Fork of Lavigne, an online farmers’ market for local food
- Cramer Dairy Farms Inc. of Slate River, an innovative farm diversifying into beef production
- Agri-Tech North of Dryden, an indoor vertical farm growing fresh produce
- My-Pride Farm of Thunder Bay, a producer of locally raised meat
- BioNorth Solutions of Thunder Bay, developer of plant growth promoting bacteria
- Northern Vinter Inc. of Thunder Bay, a boutique fruit winery
“Our team is looking forward to working with this cohort as part of our ongoing commitment to identify, encourage and advance innovation and economic development in Northern Ontario,” adds Smardon.
The Challenge is the latest expansion of Bioenterprise’s Northern Ontario Project. Last year, Bioenterprise Canada launched a pan-Northern Ontario pilot hub to serve as a single source of agri-food sector networking and business acceleration services. The hub is focused on connecting Northern Ontario start-ups and early-stage businesses with services and targeted resources across Ontario and Canada.
Funding for the Northern Ontario pilot project is provided through FedNor’s Regional Economic Growth through Innovation (REGI) Fund, which supports the growth of Northern Ontario businesses.
As Canada’s Food & Agri-Tech Engine, Bioenterprise Canada brings more than 15 years of industry experience and a national and international network of research institutions, academia, mentors and experts, funders and investors, government, and industry partners to help small and medium-sized businesses in the agri-food sector nationwide connect, innovate, and grow.
For more information: Dave Smardon, Bioenterprise, firstname.lastname@example.org or 519-821-2960