The Government of Canada this week announced the launch of the Canada Economic Development (CED) for Québec Regions Fast Forward Challenge, a new initiative aimed at helping young entrepreneurs fund their business projects.
This opportunity will allow 10 innovative businesses from across Québec to obtain a $50,000 grant to carry out their business projects. Eligible companies can apply between February 8 and April 1, 2019.
The 20 finalists who will be selected based on the quality of their proposals will be given a chance to present those proposals in front of a jury at the end of May. The CED will then announce the winners in June.
Business will have to meet the following requirements to be considered:
1. Must be incorporated in Canada
2. Must be in existence for less than three years
3. Must be registered with the Registraire des entreprises du Québec.
4. Must have at least two shareholders
5. Must belong to people aged 18 to 39
6. Must include significant participation by engineering graduates or students enrolled in engineering programs
7. Must be based in Québec and;
8. Must be proposing, as part of the Challenge, an innovation that has reached a technology readiness level (TRL) of at least level 6
According to its site applications to the Fast Forward Challenge will be assessed on their degree of innovation, commercial potential, time to market, job creation opportunities for the province, funding need, quality of the team, and relevance of the intellectual property protection strategy.
Bonuses may be awarded for businesses that have significant participation by women, aim to create jobs in one of the 71 municipalities that are experiencing slow economic growth, or operate in advanced manufacturing, agri-food, life and health sciences, clean technologies, the digital industry or resources of the future.