Zone Startups, Government of Ontario, announce 2ndAnnual “Next Big Idea” Contest


Zone Startups / India, a joint venture between Toronto-based Ryerson Futures Inc. and the Bombay Stock Exchange Institute, in collaboration with the Government of Ontario, Canada and IBM Global Entrepreneurship Program are proud to announce the second edition of the annual “Next Big Idea Contest”.  The competition seeks to discover India's five most innovative technology companies who are looking to leverage a presence in Ontario, Canada, as a vehicle to expand to North America.

The winners will incubate for two weeks, growing their North American presence from Canada’s largest university incubator, the Digital Media Zone (DMZ) at Ryerson University, in Toronto. Using the DMZ as a launching pad, the entrepreneurs will receive mentorship, business development advice and valuable international experience. The DMZ is ranked first in Canada and fifth in the world by University Business Incubator Index. The competition opens online July 30, 2014, and closes September 15, 2014.

“The DMZ and Zone Startups / India’s commitment towards enabling the next generation of entrepreneurs is remarkable. Rarely have I seen this level of enthusiasm, friendly approachability, and these resources in my 19 years as an entrepreneur,” said Satyen Kothari, Mumbai-based Chairman and Founder of CitrusPay, and winner of the inaugural Next Big Idea contest. “Combine these attributes, and you have a potent mixture for success. Startups within the DMZ family are a blessed lot – their probability of making it big increases significantly when they join the incubator."

“We have seen tremendous ideas come to life through Zone Startups / India, and we look forward to enabling Indian entrepreneurs to bring their innovations to North America,” said Matt Saunders, President of Ryerson Futures and Zone Startups. “We strongly believe in the global sharing of experience and are eager to foster cross-cultural opportunities by offering strong industry connections, mentorship and support from our world-class incubator.”

"This contest is an opportunity for best-in-class Indian start-ups to gain an introduction to the North American market, and valuable new business connections,” says Jens-Michael Schaal, Senior Economic OfficerOntario International Marketing Centre. “Ontario is a leader in innovation on the global stage, and we welcome pioneering companies and ideas to add to our innovation ecosystem.”

“IBM has a deep commitment to the entrepreneurial community, and that prompted us to partner with Zone Startups on the Next Big Idea contest. Since launching the IBM Global Entrepreneur Program in 2010, IBM has helped launch more than 500 new businesses in key areas such as green energy, health care and transportation. We strongly believe that innovation from the startup community is critical to building a smarter planet”, says Karthik Padmanabhan, Business Unit Executive (Ecosystem Development), IBM India and South Asia.

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