Competition being adapted to pandemic restrictions
WELLINGTON – Oct. 22, 2020 – RDÉE Prince Edward Island has just launched a call to all those with good business ideas to participate in the 2021 edition of its Francophone Ignition Contest, which is being held in the style of the TV shows « Shark Tank » and « Dragons’ Den ».
During a Facebook Live session held Oct. 22, coordinator Julie Gallant revealed that at the end of the contest, next March, $25,000 will be invested in the project with the greatest potential for entrepreneurial success. This amount will come from Innovation PEI’s Ignition Startup Fund.
“The key to entrepreneurial success is the drive of the individual and the strength of their idea. I encourage all Francophone and bilingual Islanders with a business idea to participate in this contest,” said Minister of Economic Growth, Tourism and Culture Matthew MacKay, in a message addressed to potential competitors that was delivered during the launch. “As a former entrepreneur myself, I know how much a little help can go a long way, so we’re very proud to support the Francophone Ignition Contest and help turn an idea into reality.”
This contest represents the seventh entrepreneurial development competition of its kind organized by RDÉE PEI. It is in fact the third edition organized under the « Ignition » banner; previously, it was called the Dragons’ Contest.
The 2021 edition will be held in the usual manner, except that the restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic will have to be respected, especially with the number of people who can attend the grand finale. Currently, the maximum number of participants allowed would be 50; if this number does not change, those wishing to come and watch the finals will have to sign up in advance.
The Francophone Ignition Contest is intended for Francophone or bilingual entrepreneurs (current or potential) who want to set up a new business, launch a new product or service, or expand an existing business into a new production line.
The coordinator points out that the proposed product or service must be offered in both official languages and the business must be established in Prince Edward Island. At least one of the owners of the company must be able to do business in French and make their pre-selection and final presentations in French. The product or service developed must have the potential to be exported outside the Island.
It should be noted that companies that have already received an amount from RDÉE PEI’s Ignition Contest and Dragons’ Contest or from the province’s Ignition Startup Fund or Food Excel – Food Island Partnership are not eligible for the competition.
Gallant added that in January, all competitors will be required to participate in two days of training. Trainers Ron and Connie Robichaud will help them prepare to pitch their entrepreneurial project in a concise and convincing manner, while focusing on finances. The Collège de l’Île will also provide them with Insights Discovery training on self-knowledge and communication styles. At the beginning of February, contestants will have the chance to pitch their project to a provincial pre-selection panel of judges; they will choose the three best projects.
These three finalists will then participate in the grand finale on the evening of Wednesday, March 3, in front of the public at the Centre Belle-Alliance in Summerside. Each will have seven minutes to pitch their project idea to a national panel of judges (using product samples, on-screen images and verbal explanations). After asking several questions, the judges will deliberate and decide to invest the $25,000 in the project they feel has the greatest potential for success.
In addition to the cash investment, the entrepreneur with the best project will also receive several gifts, such as free memberships to the Charlottetown and Summerside Chambers of Commerce and the Acadian and Francophone Chamber of Commerce of PEI, as well as free business courses at the Collège de l’Île. The project will receive great media publicity.
One can learn more about the contest by watching a new 2 minute and 19 second video, which was also launched during Facebook Live. The video, produced by DigiFilm médiaPresse, is posted on RDÉE PEI’s Facebook page as well as on the contest web page at www.rdeeipe.net/ignition/.
Those interested in participating must download the application form from www.rdeeipe.net/ignition/, complete it in full and submit it no later than Jan. 3, 2021.
« We very much appreciate the fact that, again this year, Innovation PEI is providing us with a contribution from its Ignition Startup Fund to present at the finals of our contest, » added the coordinator. « We also thank the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency for its assistance with the costs of coordinating the competition.”
Requests for additional information can be directed to Gallant at firstname.lastname@example.org or 902-854-3439, ext. 227.
CUTLINE: Coordinator Julie Gallant has launched the contestant recruiting period for the 2021 Francophone Ignition Contest. All applications must be submitted by Jan. 3.
For more information:
Coordinator of the 2021 Francophone Ignition Contest
902-854-3439 ext. 227