Northwestern Ontario Innovation Centre (NWOIC) – ProtoZone Program

Description:

The ProtoZone Program supports innovative product development and commercialization by providing the right technical and business support, ensuring product-market fit throughout the product development process, and assisting innovative entrepreneurs and small businesses with the costs associated with successful product development.

There are 3 stages of the program:

  1. Stage 1: Interactive Product Development Workshops,

  2. Stage 2: New Product Assessment Service (NPAS),

  3. Stage 3: Prototype Funding Assistance.

Comments on Funding:

Funding is up to a maximum of $5,000 in support at 80% of eligible costs to develop an initial prototype.

Eligibility:

Applicants for Stage 1: Interactive Product Development Workshops must:

  • have an innovative idea for a physical product and the willingness to sell it beyond the Northwestern Ontario market;
  • use metal, plastics, electronics, composites or woods for their products;
  • pay the $25 participation fee. 

Applicants for Stage 2: New Product Assessment Service must:

  • have a completed business model canvas;
  • have a validated business idea with completed customer interviews;
  • use metal, plastics, electronics, composites or woods for their products;
  • pay the $75 participation fee.

Applicants for Stage 3: Prototype Funding Assistance must:

  • complete Stage 1: Interactive Product Development Workshops and Stage 2: New Product Assessment Service;
  • have a completed market assessment that appears viable and ready to test the market.

Other Things to Note:

  1. Not all program participants qualify for each stage of the ProtoZone program. Please review the eligibility for each stage.
  2. Their current workshop series (step 1) begun on November 25th, 2021. Their next workshop series begins Thursday, February 17th, 2022 at noon until 1 pm EST.
  3. For further details contact James by emailing james@nwoinnovation.ca .

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