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$1 Million Breakthru Startup Competition Launches National Prize

The New Brunswick Innovation Foundation (NBIF) is an independent, not-for-profit corporation that makes venture capital investments in startups, funds R&D inside SMEs, and applied research at publicly-funded colleges and universities.

This fall, the corporation’s biennial startup competition, Breakthru, is going nationwide for the first time with one national prize of up to $250,000 (including both cash and entrepreneurial services) aimed at bringing new entrepreneurs to the Province of New Brunswick. Those national entrepreneurs can come from anywhere in Canada, but must ultimately set up shop in New Brunswick to receive their prize. The total prize pot for this year’s competition is $1 million, making it the largest startup competition of its kind in Canada.

As always, all prizes will include venture capital investments in addition to professional services from NBIF’s various corporate partners.

Calling All Startups

Breakthru begins with a call for proposals in the form of:

  • an application;
  • a 60-second video pitch, and;
  • an executive summary

The deadline for applications is 11:59 pm, November 15, 2016. 


Opportunities NB (ONB) is a proud supporter of the NBIF and this exciting competition. New Brunswick’s startup ecosystem is already one of the most vibrant in Canada. ONB looks forward to seeing both local and national entrepreneurs bring even more exciting new businesses to fruition in New Brunswick.

(Note: Winners will be announced at the Breakthru 2017 awards dinner on March 23, 2017.)

Past Breakthru Participants

The entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well in New Brunswick. On top of being home to the most entrepreneurial university in Canada, the province also hosts a number of exciting young companies that have come from the Breakthru competition. ONB has spoken with several of these young entrepreneurs over the past year, including:

  • Wear Your Label – a fashion brand with a focus on creating conversations around mental health.
  • Smart Skin – a technology company that has commercialized a pressure-sensitive skin technology
  • SimpTek – a new startup bringing innovation to the Smart Grid
  • TotalPave – a mobile tech startup helping to make municipal infrastructure data collection simple
  • Sussex Beard Oil Merchants – offers a variety of men’s grooming products including their signature beard oil

Learn why our skilled and motivated workforce, world-class communications infrastructure, unsurpassed quality of life, and low corporate income tax make New Brunswick the ideal place to locate your business. Connect with an ONB Business Development Executive at the button below.

Connect With Opportunities NB

Cover image via NBIF