The Spark Innovation Centre, now in its second year, recently announced the Ignite Competition winners. National ProStaff, a social commerce platform that connects consumers with brand experts, took home the Ignite Young Entrepreneur award and $25,000 in prize money. Tiko 3D, which aims to make 3D printers more accessible, also won secured an investment of $25,000, winning the General Entrepreneur award.
Spark received over 65 applications, which was almost double the number in that category last year, and both companies will now enter Spark Centre’s upcoming Thrive Incubator Program. Each of the finalists performed a 60 second pitch, a three minute pitch, and a 30 minute boardroom presentation before the two winners were chosen.
“Winning the ignite competition is an amazing honour when you consider how great our competition was this year,” said Dan Miguel, CEO of National Prostaff. “This award now offers our company a great opportunity to grow and scale that much faster. Not only will we use the money to expand our business into the US market and other industries, but this prestigious title alone will certainly give us the credibility we need to attract future investment. We’re so excited to begin working with the great people at Spark Centre, as their knowledge and resources are sure to help National ProStaff succeed.”
“Winning Ignite is a huge door opener,” said Matt Gajkowski, CEO of Tiko3D. “There are so many amazing things we wanted to do before releasing the product, and the $25,000 will allow us to keep pushing the limits of what’s possible while refining what we’ve already made. Even more valuable is the support from the Spark Centre and their team of startup experts. With their guidance and eagerness to help, we know we’re on a path to success!”
Dennis Croft, Executive Director of Spark Centre told us that he was impressed with the level of competition at Ignite this year. “Congratulations to National ProStaff and Tiko3D, two innovative companies who truly personify the entrepreneurial spirit in Durham Region,” he said. “Spark Centre is looking forward to working closely with both of these hardworking companies and we can’t wait to see what the future holds for them.”