Innovators get set to brainstorm

THUNDER BAY, ONT. — The Northwestern Ontario Innovation Centre wants to disrupt innovators during the Feb. 10-12 weekend.

The centre is inviting anyone with a business or entrepreneurial idea to register for their seventh annual Disrupt It Weekend event where people can brainstorm their ideas for up to 54 hours and have a chance to win a portion of $6,000. The Disrupt It Weekend event returns after a hiatus due to the COVID -19 pandemic.

“That Friday night, people come to the Innovation Centre and they pitch their idea. There’s no theme this year so you can pitch any idea that you want,” said Bridget Postuma, the centre’s business development advisor. “From there, people get the chance to vote on which idea they’d like to see move forward. We have about six ideas that get moved forward throughout the weekend.”

Teams are formed among the participants who will work on those business ideas throughout the event. Mentors will be available to assist the teams.

“We’ll have workshops on how to do a business pitch, business financials, the business model canvas, and then on Sunday, they pitch their idea to a panel of judges,” she said.

By Sunday at 2 p.m., a first and second-place winner, along with a people’s choice will be declared, each to be awarded a portion of the $6,000. Postuma says the funding is made possible by the centre’s Entrepreneurs Centre, Northern Ontario Angels, Confederation College and the Federal Economic Development Agency for Northern Ontario (FedNor).

Go online to disruptit.ca to register for the event.

Sandi Krasowski, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Chronicle-Journal