2020 OBI ONtrepreneurs Program Application

Program Details

Review the program offerings,terms, and conditions

  • The program awards up to 10 Ontario-based early-stage entrepreneurs
  • Preference given towards an applicant who recently graduated (Less than 5 years from the last post-graduate fellowship)
  • The program will award $50,000 (per individual) in addition to training opportunities and mentorship to help early-stage entrepreneurs to build and grow neurotech companies
  • The $50,000 cash award can be used for stipend and/or other project-related costs. Total budget is subject to approval by OBI and should reflect the project plans.
  • The fund will be released to each entrepreneur via an Ontario-based academic/research institute affiliated with the entrepreneur and/or the company
  • The successful applicants will develop milestones for the commercialization of the neurotechnology and sign a milestone-based agreement with OBI and the affiliated academic/research institute.
  • The funding to the OBI ONtrepreneur during the one-year program will be released in 3 tranches and the release of the fund is contingent on achieving milestones outlined in the milestone-based agreement between the entrepreneur, the affiliated academic/research institute, and OBI
  • Each OBI Entrepreneur will be assigned an industry-based mentor(s) and liaise with OBI through a dedicated point of contact
  • It is mandatory for all entrepreneurs to attend training and support programs hosted by OBI while enrolled in the program.
  • Entrepreneurs will also be invited to selective programs and events run by OBI’s partners

Program Eligibility

Review the eligibility before submitting an application

  • The ONtrepreneurs Program is aimed at supporting early-stage entrepreneurs based in Ontario
  • The applicant must commit to being a full-time entrepreneur during the course of the program
  • The applicant must have an incorporated company or have a plan to incorporate a neurotech company based in Ontario
  • The company is focused on developing/commercializing a technology based on scientific research and has a fundamental impact on how people understand, diagnose, improve or treat brain and brain-related disorders (neurological, neuropsychiatric, and/or sensory diseases). Note: Programs or services are NOT eligible.
  • Funding must be used to commercialize a neurotechnology (e.g. devices, therapeutics, software/ICT). The use of the fund will be reviewed and approved by OBI.

Program Competition Guidelines

Two rounds: 1) Application Packages 2) The Pitch Session

Round 1: The Application Package

In the first round of the competition, applicants will be required to submit an application package consisting of 3 parts:

To fill out the application, you are required to create an account. You will be able to save a draft and modify it at a later time. Please remember to submit the application and ensure you receive a confirmation.

DISCLAIMER: Your application, including the uploaded video, will become the property of the Ontario Brain Institute. OBI reserves the right to disclose the name of the applicant and project details and/or use the video in publications and other types of media for program and/or communication purposes (e.g. including without limitation in media releases, annual reporting and advertisement). Also, your application may be reviewed by external judges. Therefore, do NOT disclose any proprietary information in this application.

Part I: Applicant Information

This section requires basic information about the applicant.

Part II: The Questions

This section consists of the questions about your background, company, and technology. Please be clear and concise and adhere to the word limits. Keep in mind that not all reviewers will be expert in the area of your technology. Do not disclose any proprietary information.

Part III: 2-Minute Video

Record and post your 2-minute video on YouTube and provide the link to your video in the application as instructed.

The video must not exceed two minutes. The video must be uploaded onto YouTube, and a link to the video must be provided when completing the online application form. The video must be set to “Unlisted”. Before uploading your video, please read the step-by-step instructions outlined here.

In the video, you should communicate:

  • Why your idea is important?
  • Why you want to be an OBI entrepreneur?
  • What you would like to achieve through this program if selected?

The video is to help us assess how well you communicate your idea and how passionate you are about commercializing this technology and building your company. Please note the video should not be longer than 2 minutes.

Round 2: The Pitch Session

In the second round of the competition, applicants will be required to present to a panel of expert judges.

The selected applicants will move forward to the second round of the competition, the Pitch Session. The applicant will give a 5-minute pitch to a panel of expert judges. The pitch session will be in Toronto and the applicant must be able to attend in person for the pitch session.

During the Pitch Session, the applicant will be evaluated based on both technology and commercial opportunity as well as on the ability to communicate his/her ideas and business.

Following the completion of the Pitch Session, up to 10 applicants will be selected for the ONtrepreneurs program. The program starts in June of 2019.

Important Dates

Below are the important dates for 2020 competition

  • May 01, 2020 - Application deadline (11:59 PM EST) - EXTENDED from Apr 01, 2020
  • May 21, 2020 - Notifications sent for Pitch Session
  • June 10, 2020 - Pitch Session (Virtual)
  • July 03, 2020 - Letter of Acceptance for the 2020 ONtrepreneurs Program will be sent out
  • July 10, 2020 - Confirmation of Acceptance Due
  • July 21, 2020 - Welcome/Orientation Day

Dates are tentative and subject to change.

Please note that as things are very fluid at the moment with the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic, the timeline for this year's competition is subject to change. We will be updating the timeline as we closely monitor the situation.

2020 ONtrepreneurs Competition is now closed. Please stay tuned for 2021 competition.