2021 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 their 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 must only be used for costs related to growing your venture including but not limited to, product development, salary, market research, web development, and any other project-related expense. The final budget is subject to approval by OBI and should reflect the project plan.
  • The successful applicants will develop milestones for the commercialization of the neurotechnology and sign a milestone-based agreement with OBI.
  • 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 and OBI
  • Each OBI ONtrepreneur 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
  • ONtrepreneurs will also be invited to selective programs and events ran 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 the 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 funds will be reviewed and approved by OBI.

Program Competition Guidelines

Two rounds: 1) Application Package 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: 1-Minute Video

Record and post your 1-minute video on YouTube and provide the link to your video in the application as instructed.

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.

The video must not exceed one minute. 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, please include the following content:

  • Start with your full name, company name, and a one-line pitch on what your company is working on
  • A demo of your product if you have a prototype
  • In what way the ONtrepreneurs Program and its funding will be used to grow the company over the next year
  • What you would like to achieve through this program if selected?
  • Why your idea is important

Format of the video:

  • Record the video in landscape mode
  • You are physically present in the video, while pitching your company, demoing your product and communicating the contents listed above
  • No captions are to be used in the video
  • Record the video in a quiet space where there is good lighting

If your application moves forward to the next stage and you are invited to the recorded virtual Pitch Session on March 15th, your submitted video along with the recordings from your pitch during the Pitch Session will be showcased at the CABHI Summit 2021 on March 25th, 2021.

It is important that you meet the video content and format guidelines as it may be showcased at the CABHI Summit 2021.

This video showcase will be followed by the announcement of 2021 ONtrepreneurs winners during the Awards Ceremony at the end of the event.

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 followed by a 5-minute Q&A session. The pitch session will be held virtually and will be recorded. The recorded session may be used in whole or in part for publications and other types of media for program and/or communication purposes (e.g. including without limitation in media releases, annual reporting and advertisement). The Pitch Session for 2021 ONtrepreneurs program is scheduled for March 15th, 2021.

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 will officially commence in April 2021.

Important Dates

Below are the important dates for 2021 competition

  • March 01, 2021 - Application deadline (11:59 PM EST)
  • March 10, 2021 - Notifications sent for Pitch Session
  • March 12, 2021 - Selected candidates for the Pitch Session will be required to attend a 5-minute test run on this day, to minimize technical issues on the pitch date (Virtual)
  • March 15, 2021 - Pitch Session (Virtual)
  • March 25, 2021 – Winners of the 2021 ONtrepreneurs will be announced at the CABHI Summit 2021
  • March 26, 2021 - Letter of Acceptance for the 2020 ONtrepreneurs Program will be sent out
  • March 31, 2021 - Confirmation of Letter of Acceptance Due
  • April, 2021 - Welcome/Orientation Day

Dates are tentative and subject to change.

Applications for the 2021 ONtrepreneurs Competition is now closed.