About Ignite Capital

we are an organization created to give Canadian Entrepreneurs an opportunity to turn their ideas into reality.


Would you like the opportunity to compete for up to $20,000 to start up your business? Are you willing to share your story, business plan and present to a panel of business experts?

Ignite Capital was founded to help aspiring Ontario entrepreneurs, who have limited access to startup capital, the opportunity to compete for start-up funding and support program. The program is funded by Pat McNamara, CEO of APEX Public Relations as well as our generous sponsors.  Pat has been running her business for over 15 years and has a passion for helping other entrepreneurs succeed.  One of the most difficult hurdles for a business is obtaining start-up funding, particularly for those who have limited access to capital.  That is the vision behind Ignite Capital.

The program is managed by Business In The Streets which helps enterprising youth and other populations facing barriers to employment through an innovative approach to education, financial support and peer-mentorship. By removing these barriers and providing access to multiple opportunities, BITS contributes to the overall economic prosperity and quality of life.

This year winners will take home up to $20,000 in funding from a total of $140,000 in grants and loans plus a prize package. 

A business idea is just an idea.  To make it work, you need extraordinary commitment, a well thought out business plan, mentors and the initial financing to get you on your feet.

Pat McNamara, CEO APEX PR, Founder, Ignite Capital

How It Works

we are an organization created to give Entrepreneurs an opportunity to turn their ideas into reality.

Applicants have a chance to compete for a $20,000 award ($10,000 grant/$10,000 loan) in each category.  The second runner-up will receive a $10,000 loan and third a $5,000 loan. Judges will be looking for candidates to showcase their great idea, as well as business expertise, passion to succeed and ability to grow.  

Eligibility Requirements:

  • Candidates must qualify for one or more categories: Woman EntrepreneurYouth Entrepreneur (18 to 29 years old)  Immigrant Entrepreneur (in Canada 10 years or less) and Aboriginal
  • Start-up, for-profit businesses only (businesses in startup or growth phase)
  • Business must be registered 5 years or less
  • No freelance or self contracted businesses
  • Open to Ontario residents
  • Income and credit history: Credit score above 650 and personal income of less than $50,000 (If your score is LOWER than 650, you will have the opportunity to explain why and how you are in the process of repairing it) 


Step One: Online Application
Complete the initial on-line application to ensure you are eligible. It only takes about 10 minutes. (Be sure to obtain any supporting materials you will need if chosen for the second round). The sooner you submit the online application to ensure your eligibility, the sooner we can send you the full package to submit before the deadline.

Step Two: Business plan/Financials**
Qualified applicants will be notified that they are eligible and asked to submit a full proposal (Your business plan, financials and any supporting materials).

Step Three: Short List
Ignite Capital committee shortlists applicants. Three finalists per category: Aboriginal, Immigrant, Women and Youth. A total of 12 finalists.

Step Four: Live Pitch
Pitch your business to a panel of judges at the Ignite Capital pitch-off, taking place November 2016

BRAND NEW: Each winner, from each category, will now have the chance to compete for an additional $5,000 grant! 

Rules and Regulations:

Grant/Loan Process

$140,000 in available funding for the 12 finalists.  All finalists are required to accept the loan if they are shortlisted for the final competition.

  • First place:  $10,000 loan/$10,000 grant
  • Second place:  $10,000 loan
  • Third place:  $5,000 loan

The grant and loan are subject to a final approval process which includes a formal review by our loan administrator. Funds will be released to your business account only, not a personal.

Funds released and spent are to be matched against invoices and receipts that are submitted to Ignite Capital, to ensure  that  the  money  is  invested  directly against identified business goals



Apply Now

This is your chance to Ignite your business

Thank you for your interest in Ignite Capital.

The application deadline has passed and we are no longer accepting submissions for 2016.
If you're wondering where you're application might be in the process check out our FAQ for more information.

Winning the Ignite Capital Award has opened doors that I wouldn't have had access to doing it all alone. Ignite's values are genuine and helpful; they truly want to see you succeed."

Jeffrey Ribeiro - 2013 Ignite Capital Winner

2015 Ignite Capital Winners

Women's Category Winner

H&P Properties: Lisa Marion and Monica Reichel

H&P Properties is a full-service property management company that specializes in short-term, home-style accommodations rental management. The first company of its kind in Toronto. Whether you want to try short-term rentals, or opt for the more traditional lease-based rentals, they’ve got you covered.


Immigrant Category Winner

Auto Key Pro: Yaser Jafar

Auto Key Pro is an Advanced Locksmith company specializing in automotive/car chip keys, Smart FOBs, Lock Cylinders and ECUs, servicing the Burlington, Ancaster, Stoney Creek and surrounding area. If you require a spare chip key or smart FOB, they have the experts on site to service you. They offer 24 hours mobile service for lost car keys situations and vehicle unlocks. They also offer repairs/refurbish of key fobs, cracked shells, broken remote keys and Smart Prox keys.



Youth Category Winner

Oneiric: Emily Rudow and Kayla Nezon

Oneiric Hockey develops innovative base layers for youth. It’s flagship product, the Oneiric Protective Base Layer Pant is a patent pending, all-in-one piece of hockey equipment that encompasses current safety features of already existing equipment, but with added protective and convenient features. At Oneiric, they create products that improve the safety aspect of the game while making dressing for it simple. Oneiric is based out of Toronto, Ontario and was started by a group of female-led, passionate hockey players.



2014 Ignite Capital Winners

Women's Category Winner

STUDEO: Rebecca Rose

STUDEO has forever altered the home listing experience.  Using a very simple online user interface, realtors can now quickly and easily create the best print and digital real estate showcase material available in the market.  Whether it's a first purchase condo or a multi-million dollar estate, STUDEO fuses storytelling with interactivity to create a seamless online to offline experience that brings out the dreamer in all of us.


Immigrant Category Winner

Parker & Pine: Irfan Hajee and Leo Park

Irfan Hajee and Leo Park are the co-Founders of Parker & Pine, a menswear brand that specifically designs clothing for big men. It is the brand’s belief that all men, regardless of  their weight, should have the option to dress better. Therefore, Parker & Pine focuses on designing modern and stylish clothing that is functional and offers a great fit. Current and potential customers are consulted throughout the design process, to ensure that these core tenants are met.



Youth Category Winner

T by Daniel: Daniel and Renata Lewis

T By Daniel is the fresh, exciting, stylish tea company, specializing in selling tea and lattes to go, bulk tea and tea accessories. Many people see their business as a venture but T By Daniel has become an AD-Venture as opposed to just a business. The spontaneity of T By Daniel has harnessed a fan base ad culture that keeps people excited and wanting more. They are not just a company that sells tea. They are a tea company that creates memorable experiences, one cup at a time.



2013 Ignite Capital Winners


Reptile Edge: Jeffrey Ribeiro

STUDEO has forever altered the home listing experience.  Using a very simple online user interface, realtors can now quickly and easily create the best print and digital real estate showcase material available in the market.  Whether it's a first purchase condo or a multi-million dollar estate, STUDEO fuses storytelling with interactivity to create a seamless online to offline experience that brings out the dreamer in all of us.



Detailing Knights: Ryan Knight

Detailing Knights is a best in class auto detailing and car cleaning company based in Toronto, serving the GTA and surrounding regions. Their service is mobile and use waterless and environmentally friendly vehicle cleaning products, which in turn, make your ride look absolutely stunning in comparison to water based products and traditional methods.



“Parker & Pine wouldn’t be where it is today without Ignite Capital. This program truly gave us the opportunity to fulfill our dreams as a young entrepreneur”

Leo Park - 2014 Ignite Capital Winner

Contact Us

We'd really love to hear from you so why not drop us an email and we'll get back to you as soon as we can.

phone: 416-934-1545 
fax: 416-924-2778

365 Bloor Street East, Suite 1700
Toronto, Ontario, M4W 3L4

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