ABRAM-VILLAGE – Oct. 20, 2023 – RDÉE Prince Edward Island has just launched a call to all those with good business ideas to participate in the 2024 edition of its Francophone Ignition Contest, which is similar in style to the TV shows « Shark Tank » and « Dragons’ Den ».
During the Entrepreneurs’ and Co-operators’ Morning Conference in Abram-Village Oct. 17, contest coordinator Alecia Arsenault revealed that at the end of the contest, in early 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.
« Island residents are creative, innovative, and they certainly know when they have a good idea on their hands, » said Gilles Arsenault, Minister of Economic Development and Innovation, and Minister Responsible for Acadian and Francophone Affairs. « The Francophone Ignition Contest offers an important investment that can help transform these ideas into reality. I encourage all Acadians and French-speaking residents to show off their entrepreneurial spirit through this exciting opportunity. »
This contest represents the 10th entrepreneurial development competition of its kind organized by RDÉE PEI, the sixth under the Ignition banner.
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 by introducing a new production line.
Applying businesses must offer services in both official languages and 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 of being exported outside the Island.
Companies that have already received an amount from RDÉE PEI’s Ignition Contest and former Dragons’ Contest or from the province’s Ignition Startup Fund or Food Excel – Food Island Partnership are not eligible for the competition.
All competitors will be required to participate in two days of training Jan. 27 and 28. A trainer will help them prepare to pitch their entrepreneurial project in a concise and convincing manner, while focusing on finances. On Feb. 10, 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 March 2, in front of the public at the Village musical acadien in Abram-Village. Each will have seven minutes to pitch their project idea to a panel of professional 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 useful gifts:
• A free half-page advertisement in the Connections magazine published by the Greater Charlottetown Area Chamber of Commerce;
• A free membership to the Greater Summerside Chamber of Commerce (including radio ad and promotion in social media and newsletter);
• A free membership to the Acadian and Francophone Chamber of Commerce of PEI and a free pair of tickets to the 2024 Acadian Entrepreneurs’ Gala.
The winning project will also receive great media publicity.
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. 2, 2024.
« 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 coordinator Alecia Arsenault at firstname.lastname@example.org or 902-432-2026.
PHOTO: Bonnie Gallant, left, executive director of RDÉE PEI, and Alecia Arsenault, coordinator of the Francophone Ignition Contest, officially launched the 2023-2024 edition of the contest during the Entrepreneurs’ and Co-operators’ Morning Conference Oct. 17.
For more information:
Coordinator of the 2024 Francophone Ignition Contest