2017 Dates & Prizes
The i3 Idea Competition is a business idea competition for early stage startups. Held annually since 2007, the competition has seen successes such as 3Twenty Modular, Skip The Dishes and MagnoPlug.
How It Works
April 13: Registration Deadline- Open to aspiring entrepreneurs and new businesses in operation 5 years or less. All teams must include at least 1 student currently enrolled at the University of Saskatchewan (Registration Form)
May 1: Final Submissions Due- Deadline to submit your three-minute video pitch and three-page business summary. The online submission form will be made available here after registration closes.
May 9: Finalists Announced- All applicants will be notified by email & receive feedback from the judges
May 25: i3 Finale- Tradeshow booths featuring the finalists and announcement of the winners.
Registration for the 2017 i3 Idea Challenge Now Open. Deadline to apply: April 13, 2017.
A very special thank you to our sponsors PwC and Innovation Place, who make i3 Idea Challenge possible!
Submission Rules & Guidelines
- All teams must have at least 1 member enrolled at the University of Saskatchewan at the time of registration (either as an undergraduate, graduate or postgraduate student). Proof of enrollment required.
- Teams may have a maximum of 4 members
- Individual students may enter
- Must be a new business in operation 5 years or less
- The business can not have already have received funding or financing in excess of $100,000
- The business must be based in Saskatchewan
- If you have participated in any of the past years of the i3 Idea Challenge, you are still eligible to enter, as long as you have not placed in the top 3
You must register your team by April 13, 2017. All final submissions will be due by May 1, 2017, at 11:59PM. Submissions must include both a three-page business plan summary and a three-minute video pitch. Late submissions will not be accepted.
Business Summary Component:
- Must be 11pt font, single space, standard margins
- Must not exceed 3 pages (excluding cover page, references & appendices)
- Appendices are limited to 10 pages
- Must not exceed 3 minutes in length
Business Summary Component:
Think of your 3 page Business Idea Summary like the Executive Summary of a Business Plan. It should clearly and concisely explain what your business idea is and why it's a feasible and profitable idea.
Depending on your specific business and stage of development, things to consider including are:
- Summary of the Business Idea: Provide a clear & concise explanation of what your business idea is, including products and services as well as any proprietary technology or other unique features. If applicable, include information on the company's history so far, or how you came up with the idea.
- Industry Analysis: What is the demand for your product/service? How do you know? Discuss the size of your market and who your competitors are.
- Organizational Structure & Management: Explain your organizational structure, including the roles and skills/expertise of each individual on your team. What makes you uniquely suited to make this business a success?
- Marketing Plan: Prove that you know how to generate revenue for your business. Discuss the 4 P’s: Product, Place, Price, and Promotion.
- Financing: Provide a realistic overview of initial start-up costs and how you plan to cover them. How much will you be personally investing in yourself (financially- not sweat equity). It would be helpful to also offer a realistic estimate of when you will break even and start generating profits.
- Risk Analysis: Show that you are aware of the potential risks and have thought about how to deal with or eliminate them.
- Next Steps: What are the next steps that your business will be taking? Do certain projects need to be completed before you can generate revenue? List them here along with a plan for getting them done.
- Appendices (optional) - Appendices are limited to a maximum of 10 pages.
The video pitch is a great way to stand out and showcase your knowledge, and your product/service. There are no strict rules as to what should/should not be included. Keep in mind that the content of the video pitch carries much more weight than any special effects. However, it is important to ensure good sound volume and clarity.
Some video examples from past i3 Idea Challenge entries can be found here.
Confidentiality & Disclosure
The i3 Idea Challenge honors the confidentiality of all participants' business concepts and plans. Written submissions will not be copied for any purposes other than use in i3 Idea Challenge. The judges also recognize the sensitivity of the materials being presented.
No University Claims on Student-developed Technology
Students at the University of Saskatchewan who develop new technologies and/or new ventures while enrolled at the University should be aware that the University does not have a claim on the intellectual property of the student's technology or venture unless one of the following applies:
- The student has worked with compensation under the direct supervision of a faculty member or researcher whose costs are being borne at least in part by the University
- The student has worked under a research grant or other research sponsorship
- The student is commercializing a technology or discovery that was made by a faculty member or other University researcher
- The student has engaged services of a University department and has agreed otherwise as a condition of receiving such services
- Any advice from faculty members and other resources at the University does not result in an intellectual property claim.
Information for U of S Graduate Students
If you're a Graduate student at the University of Saskatchewan entering the i3 Idea Challenge, you are eligible to compete for a $10,000 low interest loan from the Graduate Students' Association (GSA) to support your business. Specific repayment terms are negotiable, depending on the needs of the startup. To apply for this loan, check the corresponding box on the i3 Idea Challenge application form. The recipient will be chosen by the i3 Idea Challenge judges.
Most Promising Social and Environmental Startup ($5,000): Guiding Native Parents (Lisa Durocher-Bouvier)
- A program offering support and parenting classes incorporating traditional values into teachings.
Most Promising Tech Startup ($5,000): Spreza Technologies (Michael Konieczny & Heather Evans)
- A cloud-based service that leverages intuitive voice commands to facilitate effective communication.
Most Promising Overall Startup ($5,000): SohTech LiPo Vault (Tedric Soh)
- A storage system for lithium polymer batteries (LiPos) (website)
People's Choice Award ($1,000): Printology (Devin Bradburn, Erik Tetland, Jordan Dutchak & Lance Pitka)
- Printology creating 3D printed patient-specific organ models that can be used as practice organs pre-surgery.
First Place ($10,000): TrueVation Technologies, Inc. (Dr. Ryan Sander, Nick Rutherford, Dan Merino & Jeff Wandzura)
- A mobile application (PatientPrep) that optimizes the doctor patient visit by gathering pertinent clinical information prior to an appointment to assist a physician with their diagnosis and treatment decisions. Website
Runner-up ($5,000): Tailor Magic (Sheila Maithel & Tony Arkles)
- Technology to generate custom-fit sewing patterns of anyone, anywhere and let you order custom-fit clothes from tailors around the world. Website
Runner-up ($5,000): Aerial Twenty Two (Dean Dangas & Andrew Carson)
- Aerial Imagery service provider through the use of unmanned Aerial Vehicles. Website
First Place: SkiptheDishes (Josh Simair, Chris Simair, Paul Thomson, Max Gooding)
- A rapidly growing technology company that helps restaurants offer their customers online ordering and streamlined delivery. Website
Second Place: MagnoPlug (Arash Janfada, William Topping, Mitchell Langan, Mallory McGrath)
- A new type of power-connector that eliminates the difficulties and safety issues found with the traditional 3-pronged plug. Website
Third Place: THRIVE Juice Co. (Danica Slattery, Maile Crowe, Nathan Thoen, Sean Barclay)
- Saskatoon's first raw & nutrient dense cold-pressed juice company. Website
First Place: Onatha Studios (Thomas Bazin, Dalton Mainil, & Tyler Spink)
- A device to be used by cystic fibrosis patients (children) in their therapy for airway clearance. This system integrates video gaming into the therapy. Website
Second Place: Farm at Hand (Kim Keller & Himanshu Singh)
- A farm management app and software that allows you to manage everything from seed to sale. Website
Third Place: Frozen Gear Design Inc. (Bradley Weiers, Chris Weiers, & Lindsay Sweet)
- A technology company that develops and licenses software to be used in the agriculture industry. FGD has developed the mobile app, CropScouter, to be used by agriculture professionals to identify weeds at the seedling stage.
First Place: Renterra (Lyndon Lisitza)
- Renterra is a web based platform that makes it easier for farmland owners to connect with farmland renters. Website
Second Place: Pulse+ (Caitlyn Olauson and Erin Bershied)
- Pulse+ (now known as TerraBar) is a nutritional snack bar that comes from simple ingredients produced by Canadian farmers. It is nut-free, gluten free, and contains no preservatives.
Third Place: Glovely Cleaning Solutions (Benjamin Leis)
- Glovely is committed to being a supplier of high quality hand-dishwashing products and making dishwashing a more enjoyable activity. The Glovely is a unique 5-fingered cloth that is more ergonomic and more efficient than competing products.
First Place: NitroWave (Chris Ryan, Navdeep Toor, & John Code)
- The NitroWave is a newly invented appliance that combines the traditional microwave technology that heats items, with new innovative technology to cool items as well. NitroWave uses controlled liquid nitrogen to safely cool items in a self-sifficient manner that requires no maintenance or refilling.
Second Place: Carley Olivia Photography (Carley Winter)
- Carley Olivia Photography offers custom, professional and creative images that capture the essence of life in order to best reflect their clients or their business. By developing relationships, they work with clients to cover family portraits, wedding photos and even small business promotions. Website
Third Place: Neechie Gear (Kendal Netmaker)
- Neechie Gear sells men's and ladies 100% cotton t-shirts, hoodies, sweatpants, lanyards, wrist bands and stickers. It is the first clothing company in Canada to create, support and develop Aboriginal youth based sports teams and have sales year-round. Website
1st Place: Envirowood (Matt Ralph, Dawn Gibbons, Carolina Martinez & Mark Lobraico)
- A profitable venture that will charge to recycle scrap wood destined for the landfill and turn the scrap into profit generating products. Team members combined engineering, sciences and business to come out on top.
2nd Place: Designs by Kendra (Kendra James)
- An elite equestrian apparel custom design company targeted to the influencers of women competing in the horse show industry. Horse show industry is a multi-billion dollar industry and show gears can retail up to $8,000 a piece. Website
3rd Place: Rejuvenate Health & Wellness Centre (Leah Edmonds)
- Rejuvenate will provide services from a Registered Dietitian, a Chiropractor, a Registered Massage Therapist, an Acupuncturist, Yoga and Meditation Instructors and a Clinical Psychologist, under one common company and in one location. Complementary medicine is experiencing double digit growth as individuals begin to look at the mind and body connection for better health.
First Place: 3twenty Solutions (Bryan MCCrea, Evan Willoughby, Channing McCorriston, & Matt Harker)
- 3twenty Solutions is creatively reusing old shipping containers to provide mine site accommodations and affordable homes. Through a well-designed manufacturing process, the containers will be efficiently converted into living spaces that will be shipped to their location using existing infrastructure. Website
Second Place: Eneray Sustainable Structures (John Coode, Delaney Bonish & Andrew Chau)
- Eneray Sustainable Structures is a precast infrastructure manufacturing business that uses innovative technologies focusing on short span bridges, architectural and thermally efficient commercial building wall panels, and residential energy efficient structures. Eneray is positioned for cost efficiency, operational quality, and operational life span. Website
Third Place: uProduce Music Technologies (Kurt Dahl)
- Remember Choose-Your-Own Adventure books from your childhood? Well imagine that, in music form. uProduce technology will allow music fans to choose - in real time - from alternate versions of various parts of songs, pre-recorded by their favourite artists. The end result: personalized (and paid-for) music, for the Me Generation