Innovate BC-New Ventures Competition Rules 2019
These competition rules (the “Competition Rules”) have been established for the Innovate BC-New Ventures Competition 2019 (“Competition”) organized by the New Ventures BC Society (“NVBC”).
- Participant Eligibility
- Entry Requirements: Round 1
- Entry Requirements: Round 2
- Entry Requirements: Round 3
- Entry Requirements for Supplemental Prizes
- Entry Requirements: Round 4
- Awards and Final Ceremonies
- Additional Terms
Intellectual Property: NVBC uses the WIPO definition of Intellectual Property, which refers to creations of the mind: inventions, literary and artistic works, and symbols, names, images, and designs used in commerce. Intellectual Property is divided into two categories: Industrial property, which includes inventions (patents), trademarks, industrial designs, and geographic indications of source; and Copyright, which includes literary and artistic works such as novels, poems and plays, films, musical works, artistic works such as drawings, paintings, photographs and sculptures, and architectural designs. Rights related to copyright include those of performing artists in their performances, producers of phonograms in their recordings, and those of broadcasters in their radio and television programs.
Participant: The Participant may be either one or more persons, or a business. The Participant must include at least one person with a permanent residence in the province of British Columbia. If the Participant is a business, the business must have the majority of its activities in British Columbia. Eligibility requirements must be met.
Service: must not be a service-based consulting business, with the exception of those service businesses that are entering the competition specifically to commercialize new intellectual property utilizing a product-based business model.
Technology: Technology means the application of a practical system of knowledge concerning the physical world and its phenomena and can refer to material objects such as machines, hardware or utensils, but can also encompass systems, methods of organization, and techniques.
Participant Eligibility Requirements
For a Participant to be eligible:
– The Participant must have at least one person who is a permanent resident of B.C.
– If the Participant is a business, it must be:
- A B.C.-based business with the majority of its activity in B.C.
- Privately held and not incorporated for more than five years, with the possible exception of businesses that are entering the Competition for the purpose of substantially changing their business model or business direction.
- For clarity, Participants are not required to be incorporated to enter the Competition.
– All Team members must be the legal age of majority in B.C. or if not are represented or accompanied as appropriate by someone of the legal age of majority in B.C.
– While a Team member can participate on one or more Teams or entries, such person may not be the lead for more than one Team or entry.
– The Participant must have raised less than $1,000,000 from any source as of April 16, 2019, unless otherwise approved by NVBC.
The Participant agrees to:
- Reasonably co-operate in providing NVBC with statistical and tracking data for up to five years following the end of the Competition;
- Co-operate in the promotion of the Competition and future competitions organized by Innovate BC-New Ventures, by allowing NVBC to use the Participant’s business and personal names;
- Provide, upon request by NVBC, a brief (250-word) overview of their venture for NVBC’s promotional and publicity use; and
- Make itself reasonably available to NVBC and the media for promotional and publicity purposes.
Participants must not have previously:
- Entered the Competition more than three times;
- Won any cash prize in any past BCIC-New Ventures Competition; or
- Placed in the top ten of a competition organized by BCIC-New Ventures more than twice.
Participants cannot be:
- Directly involved in the judging process for the Competition; or
- A service-based consulting business, with the exception of those service businesses that are entering the competition specifically to commercialize new intellectual property utilizing a product-based business model.
– The clear intent of the entry is to build an economically viable, for-profit, new business in B.C.
– The Participant bears solely the responsibility for the preparation of its entry.
– The entry meets all of the entry requirements, as listed below.
– The Participant must be commercializing Intellectual Property that meets at least one of the following criteria:
- It is an innovative product or Service involving new Technology;
- It combines existing Technologies in a way that results in new Intellectual Property.
- It utilizes Technologies to develop new or improve existing products or services.
- It utilizes Technologies to develop new or improve existing production processes.
- It is the early-stage development of a new Technology.
All entries are made by stated deadlines in all eligible rounds.
The Participant has paid the registration fee of $200 in Canadian funds and has registered for the Competition either online at www.newventuresbc.com by the stated entry deadline or by mail or courier in an envelope post-marked by such deadline. Cheques should be made payable to the New Ventures BC Society, and sent to:
Entry Requirements for the Competition
The following are the entry requirements for each round of the Competition:
Round 1: The Idea
In this round Participants will have access to seminars, networking opportunities and online resources.
Completed registration and an outline of the business idea using the online form must be submitted electronically by April 16, 2018, 11:00pm.
- Show how the Participant meets the eligibility requirements;
- Include a description of the product or service offering (maximum 100 words);
- Include a description of the innovation behind the idea without disclosing proprietary Technology (maximum 100 words);
- Include a description of the business model – how will the company make money? (maximum 100 words)
Entries will be evaluated for eligibility on the basis of the points noted above. The finalists moving on to Round 2 will be announced by April 18, 2018.
Round 2: Feasibility Test
The purpose of the Round 2 entry is to test the “fitness” of your business idea against a jury of experienced peers.
The Round 2 entry may be no more than six pages, and must answer the questions in the order listed below. Your entry will be read by as many as six jury members and judged primarily according to the criteria detailed below. Your entry must be uploaded to the NVBC online system by May 7, 2018, 5:00pm.
Round 2 Requirements:
Optional: Record a 60-second (max) video elevator pitch for your venture. NVBC will provide guidelines on what to include to all Round 2 ventures. Video pitch will not be formally scored and is optional, but recommended.
Page 1: Create a Business Model Canvas for your company. If needed, a template can be provided by NVBC. If you are already using the “Lean” Business Model Canvas, this is also acceptable.
Page 2: Baseline information. Your answers to the following points will assist the jury members in understanding what your venture is all about, but will not form a part of the basis for the evaluation of your venture.
- Product/Service: Describe your product or service and the nature of the Technology.
- Technology Development: Describe the development stage of your product/Service and the various forms of Intellectual Property you currently own or plan to develop.
- Team: Describe your Team’s strengths and weaknesses. List the credentials of your technical and management teams, and if applicable, advisors and board of directors. If you don’t have a Team, describe the key positions and critical skill sets that you need to add.
- Business Plan Status: What research has been conducted, what remains to be done, and how and when do you anticipate doing so. What key sources are included to document and support your plan?
Pages 3-6: Evaluation information. Your entry will be judged primarily according to the following four criteria. Each of the four criteria will be judged on a scale of 1 to 5. Points are awarded on the basis of the clarity and credibility of your submission.
- Question #1: Market. Who is your customer? Describe the value proposition: the quantifiable value your customers will derive from purchasing your products or services. Why will they buy it and what is the buying process? Describe the target market in terms of size, segmentation, large vendors, growth, trends, and regulatory (if applicable). What are the barriers to market entry?
- Question #2: Distribution. Describe how you will take your product to market and reach your customers from a sales and marketing perspective. What alliances do you intend? How will you overcome barriers to market entry? Describe your industry value chain for your target market.
- Question #3: Competition. Who are your existing or potential competitors? Describe your company and product’s primary competitive differentiators. If applicable, what is your IP strategy and how will it create a sustainable, competitive advantage? What makes you unique, better? What makes your competition threatening? How might competitors react to the introduction of your product or service? Include a competitive matrix. How will you overcome non-adoption?
- Question #4: Financial. Describe your revenue model— how you plan to make money. Use a bottom-up financial model to predict sales. What have you spent to date? What funds have been raised? How much money do you need? When do you need it? What will you do to raise any additional funds required for your product/service? When will your venture be cash-flow positive? What significant assumptions have you made? What risks have you identified?
Each of the jurists will review between 10-25 entries, and each entry will be reviewed by up to five jurists. Based on the jury’s feedback, an ordinal listing of Participants based on judging results will be generated from which the top 25 Participants will be selected to advance to Round 3 of the Competition as follows:
- The Participants ranked in the top 15 of the ordinal list will automatically be promoted to Round 3.
- Round 2.5: The balance of the top 25 Participants (10 Participants) will be selected from among the next group of 25 Participants (ranked 16 through 40 on the ordinal list). Each of such Participants will be invited to present an in-person pitch to a jury, using the same judging criteria as used for the written submission. Based on the outcome of the in-person pitches, the Round 2 jury will complete its determination of the list of 25 companies that will advance to Round 3 of the competition. During this interim phase, each qualifying Participant will be provided with coaching and/or mentorship to assist the Participant in the preparation of its oral pitch.
The first 15 Participants advancing to Round 3 will be announced by May 29, 2018. The final Round 3 announcement will be made by June 22, 2018.
Round 3: Venture Plan
In this round, Participants will have the opportunity to be assigned two to three Team mentors, to access a number of experts through a panel mentoring session, and to participate in additional workshops. NVBC strongly recommends participation at all offered mentoring and seminar sessions.
Round 3 deadline is July 31, 2018, 6:00pm.
Round 3 Questions:
Round 3 entries must answer the 12 questions listed below. The entries may be no longer than eight pages, plus specified appendixes, which will form the foundation of a business plan. Entries must be uploaded to the NVBC online system by July 31, 2018, 6:00pm.
- Question #1: The Product/Service: Describe the product/Service with respect to the nature of the technological advancement, cost-saving advantages or revenue-generating possibilities within, or in relationship to, the target market segment. In your description please address the following points:
- Describe the Product/Service.
- Describe the Product/Service business.
- How will revenue be generated?
- Question #2: Intellectual Property: Describe any Intellectual Property or other innovation associated with your product/Service. Outline any patentable Intellectual Property and provide patent status. Explain how your Intellectual Property strategy will help your company create a sustainable competitive advantage over competitors in the marketplace.
- Question #3: Technological Development:
Describe the current development status of the product/Service. In your explanation please address:
- What are the unknown factors with respect to further development or any enhancements?
- Does this Technology rely upon emerging or commercially available Technology?
- Define clear milestones for the next 18 months.
- Question #4:
The Technical Team: Describe the company’s Team and address the following points (remember you may attach resumes as appendices):
- Highlight professional or academic qualifications of the Team members.
- Describe past activities of the Team with respect to past ventures
Indicate if and how Team members have worked together prior to this project.
- If the Team is not fully assembled, what critical skills sets are missing?
- Question #5: Market Scope:
Describe the market scope for the Product/Service
- Describe the key attributes of the target market (size with segmentation, buying criteria, behaviour, etc.).
- What are the market trends and why?
- How will you build your market?
- Question #6:
Describe the product/Service’s appeal and relative fit to the target market. Please address the following points:
- Is the product/Service introducing a need or filling an existing need?
- Why will customers purchase your product/Service?
- Based on internal or industry feedback, are further improvements or enhancements necessary? What are these?
- Characterize the “early adopters” of the product/Service within the target market and describe your ideal customer profile.
- What indication of interest has been received from potential customers to use or test the product/Service?
- Describe clear milestones for the next 18 months
- Question #7: Distribution Channels:
Describe the intended sales channels for the product/Service in the target market. Please address the following points:
- How or who will sell the product/Service?
- Does your product/Service provide a solution for the sales channel?
- Question #8: Competitive Situation: Describe the competition in the market place for the product/Service. Please address the following points:
- Describe the competition in the market place for the product/Service. Please address the following points:
- Which current market stakeholders may feel threatened by your product/Service?
- Why will your product/Service “beat” the competition?
- Describe the competition in the market place for the product/Service. Please address the following points:
- Question #9: Barriers to competition:
Describe any barriers to others competing with your product or service. Examples might be:
- Patent or copyright protection.
- Time to engineer a new product.
- Market presence as first to market.
- Question #10: Business Plan Status: Describe the current status of your business plan. In your response please address the following points:
- Who wrote the business plan?
- What advisors were consulted or what additional research was conducted?
- What key sources are included to document and support your plan?
- Question #11: Management Capacity: Describe the business skills (leadership, directorships, finance, marketing, operations, HR, etc.) of your Team. Please address the following points:
- Highlight the key credentials of the management team.
- What key skill sets remain to be recruited?
- Does management regularly consult with market-based advisors or experts? How?
- Question: #12: Financial: Describe the financial position of your venture. Your answer should address the following points and be supported by attached statements.
- How will your revenue model enhance market acceptance in the target market?
- How are you going to price your service/product?
- Include reference to your cash flow statement.
- Include reference to one- and two-year pro-formas, plus three- to five- year summaries.
- How much money has been spent?
- How much money has been raised?
- How much money is required?
Appendices may only include the following:
- Pro-forma financial statements
- Supporting research NOT authored by the Team
Participant and Entry Requirements for Supplemental Prizes
1. Vancity Social Venture Prize
Participants wishing to be considered for the Vancity Social Venture Prize must be a for-profit venture that has as part of its purpose a strong social or environmental mission and creates shared value to the local community and society at large in addition to economic profits. Your venture uses its business structure to create shared value by creating economic value in a way that also creates value for society by addressing its needs and challenges.
In addition to the 8-pg submission, participants must answer these questions in the order listed below. This document may be no more than three pages in length, and must be received as part of the Round 3 entry by the stated deadline.
- Vision and Strategy: A statement and discussion of your organization’s social or environmental purpose and the shared value that your business creates.
- Profile: An overview of your organization, operations and stakeholders. Governance Structure and Management Systems: A description of your organizational structure, policies, management systems and stakeholder engagement efforts.
- Performance Indicators: Measures of your organization’s performance divided into economic, environmental, and social performance indicators.
Please provide specific information about how you are going to measure your social or environmental purpose and how you can demonstrate your shared value.
Additional questions to consider in the Vancity Social Venture Prize entry (addressing each question is not required):
- How does the Technology help address a social or environmental issue? What is the challenge being addressed? And how does this Technology contribute to a positive outcome for the local community or society at large?
- What is the shared value that you are creating? In addition to economic impact, how are you creating value for society by addressing its needs and challenges?
- What is the potential impact or reach of the Technology in BC?
- Does the Participant or its product/Service have the opportunity to scale or to replicate to achieve broader impact?
- Will your company be adding new jobs in your community?
- Are you using sustainable business practices – balancing growth against the environmental and social impacts on their community?
The winner of the Vancity Social Venture Prize will have placed in the top 10 of all Participants (i.e placement in Round 4 of the Competition) and demonstrated a plan to make a significant social or environmental impact on their local community or society at large.
2. BCIC Resource Industry Prize
No additional documentation required, but must apply for the prize by completing the provided NVBC Prize Checklist. The jury will choose the top Resource Industry Venture for this prize based on the following guidelines:
- The recipient will be working to commercialize a Technology for primary application in the following resource industries: Mining, Forestry, Agrifoods, Oceans, Energy, and Clean-Tech; and
- The recipient will be one of the top 10 or top 25 finalists in the Competition
3. BC Tech Association Growth Programs in-kind Prize Package
No additional documentation required, but must apply for the prize by completing the provided NVBC Prize Checklist. The jury will choose the winner for this prize based on the following guidelines:
- Company will place in the top 10 and be a fit for the services provided by the BC Tech Association.
4. Wavefront Wireless in-kind Prize Package
No additional documentation required, but must apply for the prize by completing the provided NVBC Prize Checklist. The jury will choose the top wireless Participant for this prize based on the following guidelines:
- The recipient will be active in the wireless / mobile sector;
- The recipient will be one of the 10 finalists of the BCIC-New Ventures Competition; and
- The recipient will have a strong Team, (b) have high growth potential in global markets.
5. BCIC Top Regional Start-up Prize
- No additional documentation required, but must apply for the prize by completing the provided NVBC Prize Checklist. The jury will award the prize to the top placing venture located outside of Metro Vancouver.
- The venture must be headquartered outside the city of Vancouver, a minimum two hour drive and/or 150Km from the NVBC office located at 1188 W. Georgia St, Vancouver.
- The recipient will be one of the top 10 or top 25 finalists in the Competition
6. CDRD Life Sciences Prize Package
- No additional documentation required, but must apply for the prize by completing the provided NVBC Prize Checklist. The jury will choose the top Life Sciences venture for this prize based on the following criteria:
- The recipient will be active in the life sciences sector, with a focus on one of the following: drug development, diagnostics, medtech, or therapeutics
- The recipient will be one of the top 10 or top 25 finalists in the Competition
Round 4 – The Finale
Up to 10 finalists will present their business idea to the Competition jury in-person on September 6 or 7, 2018.
Participants may use PowerPoint or other graphic displays to support their oral presentation. Each Participant will be given 15-minutes to present their venture plan, followed by a 25-minute question-and-answer session between the Participant and the jury. There will be approximately 15 minutes between presentations.
The jury, who may also have called upon outside expertise to complete their “Due Diligence”, will evaluate presentations. The jury will be directed to rank the entries in the order they deem to be most likely to succeed as a business venture in the current market.
All Round 4 finalists will receive a certificate acknowledging their achievement at the awards ceremony. The winners will be announced at the Competition awards ceremony on September 24, 2018.
Awards and Ceremonies
The Participants will be informed of the results for Rounds 1, 2, and 3 by e-mail. The results will also be posted on the Website. The names of the winners in Round 4 will be made public on the day of the awards ceremony, September 24, 2018.
A jury appointed by the NVBC board will determine the recipients of NVBC Awards. The final results are subject to approval by the NVBC board.
The prize award structure is as follows:
- One (1) Participant will win the $110,000 BCIC first-prize package ($80,000 cash);
- One (1) Participant will win the $60,000 BCIC second-prize package ($45,000 cash);
- One (1) Participant will win the $35,000 BCIC third-prize package ($30,000 cash);
- One (1) Participant will win the $20,000 BCIC Resource Industry Cash Prize. A Participant may win the BC Resource Industry Prize in addition to another prize. If none of the top 10 or top 25 finalists meet the requirements for the BC Resource prize, the prize will not be awarded.
- One (1) Participant will win the $18,000 Vancity Social Venture Prize Package ($15,000 cash). A Participant may win the Vancity Social Venture Prize in addition to another prize. If none of the top 10 finalists meet the requirements for the Vancity Social Venture Prize, the prize will not be awarded, unless approved by the prize sponsor.
- One (1) Participant will win the $10,000 BCIC Top Regional Start-up Cash Prize. A Participant may win the BCIC Top Regional Start-up Prize in addition to another prize. If none of the top 25 participants meet the requirements for the Top Regional Start-up Prize, the prize will not be awarded.
- One (1) Participant will win the $15,000 CDRD Life Sciences Prize Package ($5,000 cash). A Participant may win the CDRD Life Sciences Prize in addition to another prize. If none of the top 10 or top 25 finalists meet the requirements for the BC Resource prize, the prize will not be awarded;
- One (1) Participant will win the Wavefront Wireless in-kind Prize Package, valued at $8,000. A Participant may win the Wavefront Wireless prize in addition to another prize. A top 10 finalist Wireless industry company will be awarded this prize;
- One (1) Participant will win the BC Tech Association Growth Programs in-kind Prize Package, valued at $6,000. A Participant may win the BC Tech Association prize in addition to another prize. A top 10 finalist company will be awarded this prize;
All prizes are in Canadian dollars. All Round 4 finalists will receive a certificate acknowledging their achievement at the awards ceremony. The winners will be announced at the Competition awards ceremony on September 24, 2018.
Prize amounts may change without notice. NVBC administration will communicate any changes to all participants.
Participants nominated for an award shall be represented at the final ceremony; they will, therefore, be informed of their nomination sufficiently in advance.
All prizes that are to be awarded will be awarded at the final ceremonies.
Warranties and Disclaimers
Your participation in the Competition is at your sole risk. NVBC makes no representations or warranties, either expressed or implied, of any kind with respect to the Competition, its operation, or contents.
In no event shall NVBC or its sponsors, jury, or mentors be liable to you or any third party for any special, punitive, incidental, indirect or consequential damages of any kind, or any damages, loss or expense whatsoever, including, without limitation, those resulting from the loss of use, data or profits, whether or not NVBC has been advised of the possibility of such damages, loss or expense, and on any theory of liability, arising out of or in connection with your participation in the Competition. Some jurisdictions prohibit the exclusion or limitation of liability for consequential or incidental damages, so the above limitations may not apply to you.
NVBC reserves the rights to terminate, withdraw or amend the Competition, to disqualify any Team or Team member, and to accept or decline any entry for the Competition, all for any reason and without notice.
NVBC reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to disqualify any Participant, Team, Team member or entry if NVBC determines that such party or entry violates the spirit of the Competition. In addition, NVBC reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to disqualify any Participant, Team, Team member or entry, for any reason without notice. NVBC’s decisions are final and binding.
Representation of Rights in the Work
You represent and warrant that you are the sole author of all documents and information submitted in connection with the Competition (the “Work”), that the Work is original and that the Work has not previously and does not presently infringe on any patents, industrial designs, trade-marks, trade names, brand names, service marks, logos or copyrights, whether or not registered and whether domestic or foreign, or the trade secrets, know-how or confidential or proprietary information of any other person or entity (the “Intellectual Property Rights”).
You agree to indemnify, defend and hold harmless NVBC and any sponsor, jury member, or mentor and their respective officers, directors, employees, consultants, representatives and agents from and against any loss, liability, claim, cause of action, demand, damages, costs or expenses including without limitation reasonable legal, accounting and other professional fees made by any third party arising from or in connection with your participation in the Competition including but not limited to any violation by you or any other Participant of the Additional Terms or of the Competition Rules, your infringement of any Intellectual Property Rights or your misuse of any confidential information by any person. NVBC reserves the right to assume the exclusive defence and control of any matter, subject to indemnification by you, which shall not excuse your indemnity obligations.
You further agree not to make any claim or initiate any proceedings in relation to any loss, damage or expense that you may incur in connection with your participation in the Competition, including but not limited to your entry or otherwise might claim contribution and indemnity from NVBC and any sponsor, jury member or mentor and their respective officers, directors, employees, consultants, representatives and agents of the Work, against any person, partnership, corporation or other entity who might claim pursuant to the provision of any applicable statute.
No Confidentiality Obligation
Governing Law and Jurisdiction
The NVBC trademarks, logos and service marks (the “NVBC Marks”) displayed during the course of the Competition are the property of NVBC or other third parties. You are not permitted to use any of the NVBC Marks without the prior written consent of NVBC or such third party that may have right, title and interest to a NVBC Mark.
Participant grants to NVBC all necessary licenses in and to any Participant trademarks, logos, trade-names or service marks (the “Participant Marks”) solely as necessary for NVBC to advertise or promote the Competition and any future competition NVBC sponsors or is involved with, in any way.
Right to Amend the Rules