Breakthru Breaks Record with 60 Entries
FREDERICTON – Despite constant reports about business troubles, the spirit of entrepreneurship is alive and growing in New Brunswick with 60 entries to the New Brunswick Innovation Foundation's 2009 Breakthru Business Plan Competition. Representing 130 New Brunswickers, the 60 teams double the number of entries over the 2007 competition.
“We are very excited both about the number and the caliber of entries to Breakthru this year,” says Calvin Milbury, vice president of business development of the Innovation Foundation, “more than half of the team leaders are under the age of 35, which tells us that New Brunswick's young entrepreneurs are keen to get their businesses started here.”
Competing for $250 thousand in venture capital and professional services, the competition officially got started January 31 at the Breakthru Bootcamp at the Wu Conference Center in Fredericton. Sponsored by the New Brunswick Securities Commission and moderated by Shad Valley International president Barry Bisson, the mandatory session took the teams through what's needed to take their business plans to the critical edge.
“Even though most boot camp participants won't make it to the final round, participant surveys tell us the experience is worthwhile, especially when it comes to figuring out the financial part,” says Milbury. “There are lots of great ideas this year, and I expect to see some of them apply to the foundation outside of the competition as they make their business cases stronger.”
Teams now have until February 23 to tweak and submit their formal business plan. After an intensive review, the foundation will determine the finalists, to be announced March 4.
The final round will take place March 25 when each of the finalists makes their final presentation before Breakthru's selection committee of entrepreneurs and investors. Prize recipients will be announced at the Breakthru Awards Dinner & Gala to be held that evening.
For more information about Breakthru and the New Brunswick Innovation Foundation, visit www.nbif.ca or contact:
Chet Wesley, Director of Communication