IT'S A START Semi-Finalists Announcement


Digifest is proud to announce a unique opportunity for individuals to participate in the IT’S A START pitch competition.

 
DateMonday, January 27, 2014 - 5:00am

Cost

Free

Email

mbrookman@georgebrown.ca

Website

http://www.torontodigifest.ca/2014/itsastart

A pitch competition for digital entrepreneurs

IT’S A START
Digifest is proud to announce a unique opportunity for individuals to participate in the IT’S A START pitch competition.

What is IT’S A START?
Supported by the Digital Media Research and Innovation Institute and the undergraduate and graduate Digital Futures Program of OCAD University.

IT’S A START is a pitch competition for digital entrepreneurs.

This competition is open to creative professionals, budding entrepreneurs, start-ups, students and recent graduates looking to pitch their ideas in a competitive format. Finalists will have an opportunity on stage during the festival to show the jury why their project deserves to win one of the prizes, which includes financing and incubation space in the George Brown College Digital Media & Gaming Incubator and OCAD University’s Imagination Catalyst Incubator. We are looking for the most innovative ideas from individuals, start-ups or digital companies who have special projects that they want to take to the next level. There is no fee to apply for this competition.

How does the contest work?
The contest will be developed in the following phases.

Phase 1 – The competition officially launches in October 2013. Contestants have two months to submit their application.

Phase 2 – Applications will be accepted until Friday January 17, 2014 at 5 p.m. All entries will be reviewed by the IT’S A START Committee and the first round of finalists will be announced on Monday January 27, 2014.

Phase 3 - First round finalists will have an opportunity to attend a Creative CampSaturday February 8 & Sunday February 9, 2014) where
entrepreneurs in residence will provide mentorship support and help the finalists evolve their projects.

Phase 4 – In order to be considered for the pitch contest finale, finalists must re-submit their updated project proposals by Friday March 14, 2014 at 5 p.m. All entries will be reviewed by the IT’S A START Committee and the second round of finalists will be announced on Monday March 24, 2014.

Phase 5 – All of the second round finalists will have an opportunity to present to their mentors from the Creative Camp on Saturday April 5 or Sunday April 6, 2014 and receive coaching and feedback for the pitch contest finale.

Phase 6 – The Pitch Contest Finale Part 1 will take place during Digifest on Friday May 9, 10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. at the Corus Quay building located at Toronto’s Waterfront. Twenty semi-finalists will have 60 seconds on stage before a live audience to convince the jury why their project deserves to win. The jury will then select 10 finalists to present in the Pitch Contest Finale Part 2 the next day.

Phase 7 – The Pitch Contest Finale Part 2 will take place during Digifest on Saturday May 10, 10:00 – 11:30 a.m. Ten contestants will have 3 minutes on stage to present to the jury and a public audience (please note that this is not a Digifest ticketed event).

Final Presentation Pitch Contest Rules for Part 1, Friday May 9th
• Only one individual from the team can deliver the 60 second pitch at Digifest on
Friday May 9, 2014.
• Each contestant will have two minutes to respond to judges’ Q & A, directly
following their pitch.
• Audio-visual equipment, PowerPoint presentation slides, prototypes etc. are NOT
permitted during the pitch competition. However, finalists have an opportunity to
showcase presentations/prototypes for their projects in the festival exhibit area.

Final Presentation Pitch Contest Rules for Part 2, Saturday May 10th
• Only one individual from the team can deliver the final 3-minute pitch at Digifest
on Saturday May 10, 2014.
• Each contestant will have two minutes to respond to judges’ Q & A, directly
following their pitch.
• PowerPoint presentations are mandatory for this part of the presentation
• May 10, 2014 at Corus Quay building Main Stage area where the winners will be
announced.
• NB: For technical purposes, all finalists are required to attend a dry run
of their pitch presentation before Digifest on Tuesday May 6, 2014 at The
Corus Quay building located at Toronto’s Waterfront.

What are the prizes?
We will be announcing the It’s A Start 2014 prizes soon.

It’s a Start prizes for 2012 included more than $8,000 in cash prizes, mentorship and
incubation space at George Brown College Digital Media & Gaming Incubator and OCAD
University’s Imagination Catalyst Incubator.

What Projects are eligible?
Project Criteria

The focus for Digifest 2014 is “future cities” and digital urbanism. For the IT’S A START competition, we are looking for creative, cutting-edge projects driven by conscientious and dedicated individuals that will help us solve some of today’s pressing urban challenges. Do you have an original idea that can improve the way we live, work and play? Have you developed an application or technology that will allow us to manage
complexities and build more resilient cities? Does your project connect people and
networks, ultimately enabling us to live better lives? If your project or idea fits the above-mentioned criteria then please keep reading.

Project Eligibility
• Project entries or ideas must be the original work of the applicant(s).
• Applicant(s) who have submitted to IT’S A START competition in the past and
have not qualified as a finalist can re-submit a proposal, however, you must be able to demonstrate how the project or idea has changed.

What projects are NOT eligible?
• Submissions that have won in previous IT’S A START competitions.
Who can enter?
• Start-up companies
• Entrepreneurs
• Students or recent graduates
• NB: George Brown College and OCAD University students/graduates/faculty are eligible to participate in the competition,
however, you must disclose this information in your application.

Who is on the IT’S A START committee?
The committee is made up of experts from industry, academia and finance.

What are the selection criteria?
The committee will use the following criteria to determine the finalists for the
competition:
• Originality (Has this idea been presented this way before? How does your idea
compare to existing projects/ideas that address similar issues)
• Marketability (Is there a demand for your idea? Why would someone buy it?)
• Market Readiness (How much more development is needed?)
• User friendly (How easy is it to use?)
• Creativity & Design (How is the project executed? Is the overall design clear and
effective?)
• Feasibility (How realistic is your plan to execute this project? Does your budget
take into consideration the logistics, production, technical requirements and
other expenditures?)
• Probability of Success (With the right investment and support, could this idea
become a successful business?)

History
The first IT’S A START competition was held in Monza, Italy organized by Regione Lombardia, Provincia Monza Brianza and Camera di Commercio di Monza in June 2012. The next competition “IT’S A START Canada” premiered at Digifest Saturday, October 20, 2012.

Contact Us
For more information and general inquiries about the competition, contact Miriam
Brookman at mbrookman@georgebrown.ca or at (416) 415-5000 ext. 3556.

For sponsorship inquiries about the competition, contact Lucia Piccinni at
LPiccinni2@georgebrown.ca or at (416) 415-5000 ext. 3152.

DateMonday, January 27, 2014 - 5:00am

Cost

Free

Email

mbrookman@georgebrown.ca

Website

http://www.torontodigifest.ca/2014/itsastart

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Event Poster
Monday, January 27, 2014 - 5:00am

A pitch competition for digital entrepreneurs

IT’S A START
Digifest is proud to announce a unique opportunity for individuals to participate in the IT’S A START pitch competition.

What is IT’S A START?
Supported by the Digital Media Research and Innovation Institute and the undergraduate and graduate Digital Futures Program of OCAD University.

IT’S A START is a pitch competition for digital entrepreneurs.

This competition is open to creative professionals, budding entrepreneurs, start-ups, students and recent graduates looking to pitch their ideas in a competitive format. Finalists will have an opportunity on stage during the festival to show the jury why their project deserves to win one of the prizes, which includes financing and incubation space in the George Brown College Digital Media & Gaming Incubator and OCAD University’s Imagination Catalyst Incubator. We are looking for the most innovative ideas from individuals, start-ups or digital companies who have special projects that they want to take to the next level. There is no fee to apply for this competition.

How does the contest work?
The contest will be developed in the following phases.

Phase 1 – The competition officially launches in October 2013. Contestants have two months to submit their application.

Phase 2 – Applications will be accepted until Friday January 17, 2014 at 5 p.m. All entries will be reviewed by the IT’S A START Committee and the first round of finalists will be announced on Monday January 27, 2014.

Phase 3 - First round finalists will have an opportunity to attend a Creative CampSaturday February 8 & Sunday February 9, 2014) where
entrepreneurs in residence will provide mentorship support and help the finalists evolve their projects.

Phase 4 – In order to be considered for the pitch contest finale, finalists must re-submit their updated project proposals by Friday March 14, 2014 at 5 p.m. All entries will be reviewed by the IT’S A START Committee and the second round of finalists will be announced on Monday March 24, 2014.

Phase 5 – All of the second round finalists will have an opportunity to present to their mentors from the Creative Camp on Saturday April 5 or Sunday April 6, 2014 and receive coaching and feedback for the pitch contest finale.

Phase 6 – The Pitch Contest Finale Part 1 will take place during Digifest on Friday May 9, 10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. at the Corus Quay building located at Toronto’s Waterfront. Twenty semi-finalists will have 60 seconds on stage before a live audience to convince the jury why their project deserves to win. The jury will then select 10 finalists to present in the Pitch Contest Finale Part 2 the next day.

Phase 7 – The Pitch Contest Finale Part 2 will take place during Digifest on Saturday May 10, 10:00 – 11:30 a.m. Ten contestants will have 3 minutes on stage to present to the jury and a public audience (please note that this is not a Digifest ticketed event).

Final Presentation Pitch Contest Rules for Part 1, Friday May 9th
• Only one individual from the team can deliver the 60 second pitch at Digifest on
Friday May 9, 2014.
• Each contestant will have two minutes to respond to judges’ Q & A, directly
following their pitch.
• Audio-visual equipment, PowerPoint presentation slides, prototypes etc. are NOT
permitted during the pitch competition. However, finalists have an opportunity to
showcase presentations/prototypes for their projects in the festival exhibit area.

Final Presentation Pitch Contest Rules for Part 2, Saturday May 10th
• Only one individual from the team can deliver the final 3-minute pitch at Digifest
on Saturday May 10, 2014.
• Each contestant will have two minutes to respond to judges’ Q & A, directly
following their pitch.
• PowerPoint presentations are mandatory for this part of the presentation
• May 10, 2014 at Corus Quay building Main Stage area where the winners will be
announced.
• NB: For technical purposes, all finalists are required to attend a dry run
of their pitch presentation before Digifest on Tuesday May 6, 2014 at The
Corus Quay building located at Toronto’s Waterfront.

What are the prizes?
We will be announcing the It’s A Start 2014 prizes soon.

It’s a Start prizes for 2012 included more than $8,000 in cash prizes, mentorship and
incubation space at George Brown College Digital Media & Gaming Incubator and OCAD
University’s Imagination Catalyst Incubator.

What Projects are eligible?
Project Criteria

The focus for Digifest 2014 is “future cities” and digital urbanism. For the IT’S A START competition, we are looking for creative, cutting-edge projects driven by conscientious and dedicated individuals that will help us solve some of today’s pressing urban challenges. Do you have an original idea that can improve the way we live, work and play? Have you developed an application or technology that will allow us to manage
complexities and build more resilient cities? Does your project connect people and
networks, ultimately enabling us to live better lives? If your project or idea fits the above-mentioned criteria then please keep reading.

Project Eligibility
• Project entries or ideas must be the original work of the applicant(s).
• Applicant(s) who have submitted to IT’S A START competition in the past and
have not qualified as a finalist can re-submit a proposal, however, you must be able to demonstrate how the project or idea has changed.

What projects are NOT eligible?
• Submissions that have won in previous IT’S A START competitions.
Who can enter?
• Start-up companies
• Entrepreneurs
• Students or recent graduates
• NB: George Brown College and OCAD University students/graduates/faculty are eligible to participate in the competition,
however, you must disclose this information in your application.

Who is on the IT’S A START committee?
The committee is made up of experts from industry, academia and finance.

What are the selection criteria?
The committee will use the following criteria to determine the finalists for the
competition:
• Originality (Has this idea been presented this way before? How does your idea
compare to existing projects/ideas that address similar issues)
• Marketability (Is there a demand for your idea? Why would someone buy it?)
• Market Readiness (How much more development is needed?)
• User friendly (How easy is it to use?)
• Creativity & Design (How is the project executed? Is the overall design clear and
effective?)
• Feasibility (How realistic is your plan to execute this project? Does your budget
take into consideration the logistics, production, technical requirements and
other expenditures?)
• Probability of Success (With the right investment and support, could this idea
become a successful business?)

History
The first IT’S A START competition was held in Monza, Italy organized by Regione Lombardia, Provincia Monza Brianza and Camera di Commercio di Monza in June 2012. The next competition “IT’S A START Canada” premiered at Digifest Saturday, October 20, 2012.

Contact Us
For more information and general inquiries about the competition, contact Miriam
Brookman at mbrookman@georgebrown.ca or at (416) 415-5000 ext. 3556.

For sponsorship inquiries about the competition, contact Lucia Piccinni at
LPiccinni2@georgebrown.ca or at (416) 415-5000 ext. 3152.

Website: 
http://www.torontodigifest.ca/2014/itsastart
Email: 
mbrookman@georgebrown.ca
Cost: 
Free
Keywords: 
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