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By July 28, 2022 No Comments
August 22, 2022 @ 5:00 pm – October 25, 2022 @ 5:00 pm
Don Anderson

Announcing Lambton Innovation Challenge

Sarnia, ON

The Sarnia-Lambton Business Development Corporation (“SLBDC”) is pleased to advise that, in the interest of economic diversification and the encouragement of local innovation in the form of new processes, new products and creation and growth of new businesses, as well assisting with facilitating the sustainability of existing Lambton County based businesses, we will be holding the Lambton Innovation Challenge.

The Lambton Innovation Challenge will offer an opportunity for financial support for existing local businesses in Lambton County, but also those looking to establish operations in Lambton County creating employment opportunities for local residents, returning ‘former residents’ and newcomers.

Rather than being awarded a “cash prize”, the top three entrants are competing for 3-year interest-free loans, with no scheduled payments for year one through three.

  •    $150,000 (One Hundred and Fifty Thousand dollars) in a repayable loan with no interest for 3 years as a first prize**
  •    No payments for first three years, repayment term and amortization to be negotiated.
  •    Interest rate which will be applied effective 3 years from disbursement is the then prevailing Libro Prime Rate plus 2%*
  •    Interest for initial 36-month period will be paid by SLBDC.
  •    Access to additional financing can be obtained through our partnerships. (Terms of such support to be determined by the partner organization(s))

*Note: Sarnia-Lambton Business Development Corporation is required to charge a minimum of Prime Rate + 2.0% and will therefore buy down the interest to 0% for the first 36 months.

**Recipient business will be required to operate within Lambton County for a minimum of 60 months after disbursement of loan prize proceeds, while creating a minimum of 5 (five) Full Time Equivalent positions. Amount will be based on requirements identified in business plan, with up to $150,000 being made available.

The Process

    A) Initial Submissions – Business Concept outline (maximum 1,000 words)

Entrants must apply by 5:00p.m. E.S.T., on August 22nd, 2022.

The application document must be emailed to SLBDC @ [email protected]

Selection of the top 7 semi-finalists will be made by the SLBDC selection committee using the following criteria:

  1. Must have 2 or more years entrepreneurial experience.
  2. Must be located or willing to relocate to within Lambton County.
  3. Looking for innovative business concepts, new products or services that will create sustainable business growth.
  4. Potential impact for growth on other businesses within Lambton County.

Entrants will be notified by September 2nd, 2022, as to whether they have been selected as a semi-finalist or not.

     B) Semi- Finals

 Entrepreneurial Development and Support

 Semi-finalists will receive business development and support throughout the competition, whether they are ultimately selected to be finalists or not. This will include a Presentation Workshop, one on one mentoring from members of the partner organizations as well presenters at business planning workshops.

Semi-finalists will be expected to participate in a presentation workshop, as well as business planning educational sessions.  This is a requirement to advance to the Semi-Final Pitch.

      C) Semi-Final Pitch

Up to Seven (7) semi-finalists will be invited to pitch to the Judging Panel at a Live Pitch Competition on October 17, 2022.

Semi-finalists will be expected to make a presentation in front of a live audience. Entrants will have 10 minutes to present their idea, with a 5-10 minute Question and Answer period to follow.

The selection of the 3 finalists will be done by the Judging Panel using the following criteria:

  1. Potential economic impact to Lambton County
  2. Pitch content, delivery, and style

D) Finale

The top 3 finalists will make a private and formal presentation on their projects to the Board of Directors, at SLBDC, on October 21, 2022. The allotted time for each finalist will be 15 minutes for presentation and 15 minutes for Questions and Answers.

After final due diligence, a winner will be selected.

All three finalists may be eligible for some financial support at the discretion of the SLBDC Board of Directors.

Announcement of Winner

The winner will be announced, by SLBDC, on October 25th, 2022.

Detailed Rules and Requirements are available by contacting SLBDC @ [email protected].

Thanks to supporting partners:


Southern Ontario Fund for Investment in Innovation
Sarnia Lambton Economic Partnership
Libro Credit Union
Tech Alliance
RH Accelerator
519 Growth Fund


For More Information Contact:
Don Anderson, General Manager
109 Durand Street
Sarnia, ON N7T 5A1
Email: [email protected]