Ontario Brain Institute – 2017 ONtrepreneurs Program Call for Applications

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Ontario Brain Institute – 2017 ONtrepreneurs program provides an opportunity for Ontario’s next generation of entrepreneurs to access much-needed funding and support for the launch or growth of their neurotechnology startup company. The 12-month program awards $50,000 cash and includes mentorship, training, and a number of value-add opportunities.
Program Details

  • The program will provide $50,000 (per individual) in financial support in addition to training opportunities and mentorship to help early-stage entrepreneurs to build and grow neurotech companies
  • The program will award up to 10 early-stage entrepreneurs
  • Preference given towards an applicant who recently graduated (Less than 5 years from the last post-graduate fellowship)
  • The $50,000 cash award can be used for stipend and/or other project-related costs. Total budget is subject to approval by OBI and should reflect the project plans.
  • The fund will be released to each entrepreneur via an Ontario-based academic/research institute affiliated with the entrepreneur and/or the company
  • The successful applicants will develop milestones for the commercialization of the neurotechnology and sign a milestone-based agreement with OBI and the affiliated academic/research institute.
  • The funding to the OBI ONtrepreneur during the one-year program will be released in 3 tranches and the release of the fund is contingent on achieving milestones outlined in the milestone-based agreement between the entrepreneur, the affiliated academic/research institute, and OBI
  • Each OBI Entrepreneur will be assigned an industry-based mentor(s) and liaise with OBI through a dedicated point of contact
  • It is mandatory for all entrepreneurs to attend training and support programs hosted by OBI while enrolled in the program.
  • Entrepreneurs will also be invited to some of  the programs and events run by OBI’s  partners

Program Eligibility

  • The ONtrepreneurs Program is aimed at supporting early-stage entrepreneurs based in Ontario
  • The applicant must be able to commit to being a full-time  entrepreneur during the course of the program
  • The applicant must have an incorporated company or have a plan to incorporate a neurotech company based in Ontario
  • The company is focused on developing/commercializing a technology based on scientific research and has a fundamental impact on how people understand, diagnose, improve or treat brain and brain-related disorders (neurological, neuropsychiatric, and/or sensory diseases).  Note: Programs or services are not eligible.
  • Funding must be used to commercialize a neurotechnology (e.g. devices, therapeutics, software/ICT). The use of the fund will be reviewed and approved by OBI.

Program Competition Guidelines

There are two rounds to the ONtrepreneurs competition: 1) Application Package; 2) The Pitch Session.

1) The first Round: Application Package

In the first round of the competition, applicants will be required to submit an application package consisting of 3 parts:

Part I: Applicant Information

Part II: The Questions

Part III: 2-Minute Video

To fill out the application, you are required to create an account. You will be able to save a draft and modify it at a later time. . Please remember to submit the application and ensure you receive a confirmation.

DISCLAIMER: Your application, including the uploaded video, will become the property of the Ontario Brain Institute. OBI reserves the right to disclose the name of the applicant and project details and/or use the video in publications and other types of media for program and/or communication purposes (e.g. including without limitation in media releases, annual reporting and advertisement). Also, your application may be reviewed by external judges. Therefore, do NOT disclose any proprietary information in this application.
Part I: Applicant Information

This section requires basic information about the applicant.

Part II: The Questions

This section consists of the questions about your background, company, and technology.  Please be clear and concise and adhere to the word limits. Keep in mind that not all reviewers will be expert in the area of your technology. Do not disclose any proprietary information.

Part III: 2-Minute Video

Record and post your 2-minute video on YouTube and provide the link to your video in the application as instructed.

The video must not exceed two minutes. The video must be uploaded onto YouTube, and a link to the video must be provided when completing the online application form.  The video must be set to “Unlisted”. Before uploading your video, please read the step-by-step instructions outlined here.

In the video, you should communicate:

  • Why your idea is important?
  • Why you want to be an OBI entrepreneur?
  • What you would like to achieve through this program if selected?

The video is to help us assess how well you communicate your idea and how passionate you are about commercializing this technology and building your company. Please note the video should not be longer than 2 minutes.

2) The Second Round: The Pitch Session

The selected applicants will move forward to the second round of the competition, the Pitch Session. The applicant will give a 5-minute pitch to a panel of expert judges. The pitch session will be in Toronto and the applicant must be able to attend in person for the pitch session.

During the Pitch Session, the applicant will be evaluated based on both technology and commercial opportunity as well as on the ability to communicate his/her ideas and business.

See highlights from the 2016 Pitch Session here.

Following the completion of the Pitch Session, up to 10 applicants will be selected for the ONtrepreneurs program. The program starts in June of 2017.

Friday, March 17, 2017 Application deadline (11:59 PM EST)
Wednesday, April 05, 2017 Notifications sent for Pitch Session
Wednesday, May 03, 2017 Pitch Session (Toronto)
Friday, May 12, 2017 Letter of Acceptance for the 2017 ONtrepreneurs Programm will be sent out
Thursday, May 18, 2017 Confirmation of Acceptance Due
Wednesday June 07, 2017 Welcome/Orientation Day (Toronto)

*The dates are subject to change


Contact Information

Hema Prabhu
Contracts Assistant
innovations.partnerships@utoronto.ca | (416) 978-5557

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