$100,000 Loan Competition For Local Biz Startup

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It’s been said that small businesses drive the Ottawa Valley’s economy, and another big competition is underway to find the next rising star. 

The Renfrew County Community Futures Development Corporation, a non-profit agency that provides support to small businesses, has kicked off its second “RC 100” competition to award a 100-thousand dollar loan to a startup. 

Board Chair Paul Curtis says they know there are a lot of young entrepreneurs out there with great ideas.

“It brings in some new ideas”, Curtis told Star 96.7.

“A lot of the millennials are in there, putting ideas forward, and they may not have had an opportunity before to find a venue to do that”, Curtis added.

The competition involves an application process, which is open from now until the end of April.  A shortlist of 8 finalists will attend a “pitch school”, and then have an opportunity to pitch their business in front of a live audience.

A ‘power panel’ of independent judges then selects a winner for the loan.

This is only the second time in the organization's 32 year history that they've offered a $100,000 loan competition.

RCCFDC Business Development Offier Mike Thompson says it’s all about taking a chance that could pay off in a big way for the local economy.

“We see this continuing to be a way of attracting innovative, pre-commercial companies”, Thompson said.

“These companies are really at a stage of ‘I have an idea’, a stage where most investors or lenders would not be interested.  That’s where we see this program helping them get their start”, he said.

Companies from anywhere can apply, but they have to show that they will be established in Renfrew County. 

Applications are being accepted until April 30th, and the big pitch night is set for June 6th at Festival Hall, with the goal of announcing a winner by August.

Details on the competition, and information about last year’s winner, can be found at http://rc100.ca