The i3 Idea Challenge is an annual business idea competition hosted by the Wilson Catalyst Centre. Teams compete for cash and in-kind support to get their ideas up and running.
$15,000 cash will be awarded amongst the top 3 teams:Most Promising Small Business Idea: $5,000Most Promising Tech Startup: $5,000Most Promising Social Venture: $5,000
Find out more:
All teams must have at least 50% of founders currently 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
Entries must be early-stage ideas, and not developed businesses. As such, an idea that already has a functioning business associated with it will not be accepted. Specifically, the idea:
Must be a new startup in operation 1 year or less
Cannot already have received funding or financing in excess of $50,000
- 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 again, as long as you have not placed in the top 3.
- All submissions must include your Idea Bootcamp piece, Business Model Canvas, and a 3 minute video pitch. Late submissions will not be accepted.
Idea Bootcamp Component:
Details to be announced at the mandatory March 5th Bootcamp
Busness Model Canvas Component:
Final version submitted as a high res image/PDF of your completed Business Model Canvas Poster or completed digitally using a tool such as Canvanizer
- Must not exceed 3 minutes in length
Part One: Idea Bootcamp Completion Piece
- Details to be announced at the mandatory March 5th Bootcamp
Part Two: Business Model Canvas
- A 2 minute explanation of the Business Model Canvas can be viewed here
The Wilson Catalyst Centre is able to provide you with large print-out of the Business Model Canvas, space for your group to work, & feedback as you refine your submission. Please consider attending one of the Centre’s Focus Lab sessions, or dropping in to work during regular business hours to begin this process (details).
Part Three: Video Pitch
The video pitch is a great way to stand out and showcase your product/service. There are no strict rules as to what should or should not be included. Use your video to complement the information shown on your Business Model Canvas. 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. The video's from last year's finalists are available here.
Creating your video:
There are several ways to go about creating your video pitch. These include a video camera, phone, webcam, or text & pictures with voice-over. Other options include programs such as Animoto, Powtoon, and GoAnimate.
Potential Editing Software:
- Windows Movie Maker
- Apple iMovie
- Other free video editing software can be found online
Submitting your video:
- Please submit your video in one of the following formats: mpg, mp4, or Quicktime movie
- If your video was created in a format other than the ones listed, there are several free format converters available, such as Any Video Converter.
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.
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.