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Adam MacInnis
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I-3 Technology Start-Up competition gives contestants chance to win cash

The desire to learn more about the potential of winning prize money in a contest for innovative ideas drew a sizeable crowd to the TechSocial event at the Crow’s Nest in downtown New Glasgow Tuesday evening.

The guest speaker of the night was Stephen Duff, President and CEO of Innovacorp, the organizers of the I-3 Technology Start-Up Competition.

Duff explained that the three I’s are: idea, innovation and implementation. Where Innovacorp specializes is in helping people with the implementation of their innovative ideas.

“If you don’t get the third I not much happens. It sits on the shelf,” Duff said. “What we’re trying to do is get a little bit of Oxygen and a little bit of gasoline into these start ups to get some good ideas pulled out of the woodwork.”

The I-3 competition takes place every two years in five geographic zones across the province. In the 2011-2012 competition, Pictou County took home both first and second place prizes for Zone 1, which includes Cumberland, Colchester, Pictou, Antigonish and Guysborough counties.

Each zone winner is awarded $100,000 in cash and in-kind business building services, with the second-place zone winners taking home $40,000 in cash and services. New this year are cash awards for the best overall submission in each of the following sectors: information and communications technology, life sciences, clean technology and oceans technology.

An overall provincial winner, selected from the five zone winners, will receive an additional award of $100,000 in seed investment from Innovacorp.

Jim Proudfoot was a participant in the last contest and entered the Water Drill with the products creator Lynn Christie. Together they own Water Drills International Inc. Together they were the Zone 1 winners.

“It was great to win something like that because it’s a good boost,” Proudfoot said.

But even with the prize money aside, he said it was great to be involved in the process with Innovacorp.

“When you come in contact with them you’ll find they’re very helpful and very encouraging and they have good ideas on how you want to bring your product to market for development,” he said.

With the prize money and consultation they received, the water drill company has been successful and is now preparing to launch a second product.

“This is a great thing to be involved in,” he said.

Pictou County Chamber of Commerce president Burton Langille spoke at the event as well and talked of the local success that can happen in Pictou County. He pointed to Jim Fitt, the founder of Velsoft as an example.

“He’s proven to us just like the Sobeys did and other families in this county, that we don’t have to move away. We can do just about everything here in Pictou County,” Langille said. “It’s an amazing world out there.”

On Twitter: NGNewsAdam


Organizations: Zone 1, Water Drills International, Pictou County Chamber of Commerce Sobeys

Geographic location: Pictou County, Colchester, Guysborough Lynn Christie

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Recent comments

  • Meredith Williams
    October 02, 2013 - 13:25

    If you would like to help support a new start-up clean technologies manufacturing company in Pictou County, then please make a pledge on our crowd funding campaign. Go to and sign in with your Facebook account. Search for the project: Okapi Solar Please make a pledge of at least $1. We are a brand new business in Pictou County. We would like to expand and offer local job opportunities as soon as possible. Thanks for your support!