This year, Ignite Capital has changed a few elements of our annual pitch competition. First, let’s take a look at what’s staying the same.

Compete Against Your Category

Entrepreneurs who are selected as finalists will compete against entrepreneurs in their own category. The winner will receive a $5,000 grant and a $5,000 loan. The first and second runners-up will each receive a $5,000 loan.

The Grand Prize

The winner of each category will pitch their business again, this time against the winners of the other categories. The entrepreneur with the best pitch will be selected to win an additional $5,000 loan.

So, what’s changed?

Fewer, and Different Categories

This year’s pitch competition only has three categories, instead of four. In past competitions, entrepreneurs were groups into categories based on their own traits, such as being a woman, being Indigenous or being a youth.

In 2018, entrepreneurs will be grouped based on the stage of their business development. The Starting Up category will feature businesses less than two years old, with few or no sales. The Scaling Up category is for businesses less than five years old, that aren’t being worked on full time. The Growing Up category is for businesses less than five years old that are a full-time venture.

Prize Amounts

The prize amounts have changed compared to past years. This year’s winner will take home $15,000 in funding. Every finalist selected to pitch will receive at least a $5,000 loan.