This Challenge seeks to identify and showcase businesses in northern Ontario that demonstrate innovative products or services with potential for strengthening the agri-technology ecosystem.

The Challenge is intended to accelerate the scale-up and expansion of innovative agri-businesses across northern Ontario by positioning participants for new commercial or even global opportunities.


  • For-profit SMEs with innovative products or services in development.
  • Businesses that operate in the food & agri-tech sector and provide a benefit to, or solve a problem (directly or indirectly) for, the broader agriculture and/or the food producer/processor sectors in Canada.
  • Businesses that have fewer than 500 employees.
  • Incorporated in Canada and headquartered in northern Ontario.


Phase 1 – INTAKE: Open Call for Submissions

  • SMEs invited to submit online application outlining their company profile, level of innovation, catchment area(s) served, and potential impact on Canada’s food & agri-tech sector.
  • Entries will be assessed for eligibility and strengths by Bioenterprise. Ten (10) applicants will be shortlisted to proceed with Phase 2 and will receive a complimentary one-year Access Membership to the Engine. 

Phase 2 – MEMBERSHIP AWARDS:  Cohort Internal Presentations to Bioenterprise

  • Successful applicants from Phase 1 will form the 2022 Northern Ontario cohort and will be invited to present their business as an introduction to Bioenterprise. 
  • Internal presentations will allow the cohort to kick-start participation and interactions to take advantage of the membership and access the Engine network. 

Phase 3 – DEMO DAY & GRAND PRIZE: Public Pitch Event

  • Northern Ontario cohort members will be expected to participate in a public pitch event (‘Demo Day’) on September 16th, 2022 where they will each give a short presentation/pitch on their business. 
  • Panel of judges assembled from a cross-section of agricultural industry, private sector leaders, academic researchers, and internal subject matter experts will evaluate/judge the pitch presentations and determine the final prize awards.
  • One ‘grand-prize’ winner will receive the $5,000 (unrestricted) cash prize. 
  • Top-three finalists will receive an upgrade “Access Plus” membership with the Engine for the balance of the free one-year membership.


Phase 1:

  • Intake Opens – May 3rd, 2022 to June 7th, 2022 (EOD).
  • Shortlisted Applicants Announced: June 10th, 2022.

Phase 2:

  • Internal Presentations/ Welcome: June 24th, 2022.

Phase 3:

  • ‘Demo Day’ & Grand Prize: Public Pitch Event: Sept. 16th, 2022.

Application/ Intake

While we are no longer accepting applications for the Northern Ontario Innovation Challenge, we are always looking to connect with food and agri-tech companies in the North.

Contact us at:

Questions? Get in touch with us

If you are an innovative food-tech or agri-tech company based in Northern-Ontario, we want to hear from you! Connect with us to learn more about our national network and business development resources to accelerate your business with Bioenterprise through Canada’s Food & Agri-Tech Engine: