The Ignite Blog

The Ignite Top 30

From our huge pool of 102 applicants to Ignite 2013, a fabulous 30 have been selected to move forward to the next phase: Pitch Night on Monday, February 4th. On this exciting night they will pitch live before our Power Panel, with around 200 members of the public, local mayors, and other dignitaries cheering them on. At the end of the night the Power Panel will select five finalists to move on to the next phase: board room presentations. Here are the ... Read more

Pitch School Recap

It feels a little bit like summer camp is over around Spark Centre. Over five cold, dark January nights, 110 local entrepreneurs lit up the multipurpose room at Whitby's Abilities Centre. The Ignite Durham Pitch School took dozens of budding business-owners through a crash-course in proposal writing and pitching, made room for networking and connections, and gave lots of one-on-one mentorship and advice. The sessions were organized by Spark Centre with support from Region of Durham, Metroland, BACD, Spark Angels, and Abilities Centre. This was ... Read more

BACD: Local Support for Small Business

If you are an entrepreneur in Durham Region, the Business Advisory Centre Durham (BACD) should be one of the first stops on your journey. BACD is proud and excited to be involved in Ignite 2013. We recently sat down for three questions with the BACD's executive director Teresa Shaver. How does a local business know its time to contact BACD? Any time! Maybe you have an idea for a business, need to register your business or need to know where to start.  Maybe you'd ... Read more

Pitch Night 2013

Join us for an evening of fun and entrepreneurial spirit at Pitch Night. Monday, February 4, 2013 Abilities Centre, Whitby Free! Everyone welcome. 5:30pm Registration opens. 6:00pm Cocktail reception. 6:30pm Program begins. Thirty of the top Ignite applicants will deliver their pitch to the Power Panel, which includes Bruce Croxon from CBC's Dragon's Den, to explain why they deserve to be one of the two Ignite Start-ups.  The evening will round up with the announcement of five Ignite finalists who will go on to the next phase: boardroom ... Read more

Pitch School in Session at Abilities Centre

Pitch School kicks off tonight! For five evenings over the next two weeks, all Ignite applicants will gather together to hone their verbal pitching skills and learn to write a business summary that will impress our Power Panel–this is the only way to stay in the running to be one of our two Ignite Start-ups and enter our Boot Camp. We're delighted to be holding our classes at Abilities Centre in Whitby.  (Abilities Centre was also host to Spark's Big Bang celebration ... Read more

102 Durham Startups will take part in Ignite

We put out the call, and you answered. A whopping 102 entrepreneurs applied for Ignite by our 5pm deadline on January 11, 2013. The volume exceeded our wildest dreams!  We are thrilled that we could offer a competition that so excited the local business community. The Ignite applicants come from all over Durham: from Beaverton to Ajax, Uxbridge to Orono, with a heavy representation from Whitby and Oshawa. Business ideas are diverse: software ideas, food service companies, technological inventions, even a retail ... Read more

Spark Centre knows there is talent right here in Durham Region!

Seeing the applications rolling is very exciting for everyone at Spark Centre. We know there is talent out there and the fact we have 102 applicants is proving that. Everyone at Spark Centre is an entrepreneur and has run their own business, so we understand what it means to be a start-up and early stage company and the struggles that come with that. Spark Centre is a not-for-profit regional innovation centre. Our vision is to create an entrepreneurial community in Durham Region and ... Read more

Ilse Treurnicht joins Ignite Power Panel

We are pleased to announce a new member has joined our Power Panel. Ilse Treurnicht is the CEO of MaRS Discovery District, a leading innovation centre located in Toronto. She oversees both the development and operations of the MaRS Centre and its broad suite of entrepreneurship and innovation programs. Ilse has worked closely with the leadership of Toronto’s academic institutions and teaching hospitals to create MaRS Innovation, an integrated commercialization platform for 14 Toronto Institutions and served as the interim Managing Director ... Read more

Meet the Power Panel

Who better to help guide your business than a panel of successful entrepreneurs who have been there, done that? Yes, even before the intensive boot camp starts for our two Ignite Start-ups, all eligible applicants will have the chance to get unique advice and attention from some of the best business minds around–the Power Panel will be in attendance on our Pitch Night on February 4th, 2013. Read on for more about our expert Power Panel, and start brainstorming what you'd ask, if ... Read more

Meet Jeff Quipp

When you Google "Search Engine Optimization" what's the highest ranking result you see? It's Search Engine People, of course, Canada’s largest digital marketing agency that just happens to be located right here in Pickering. Local entrepreneur Jeff Quipp founded the company in 2001 and as CEO, has led Search Engine People to the the PROFIT 200 list of fastest growing companies in Canada for the last four consecutive years. He says he is a big believer in the "The best way ... Read more
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