Join us for the Rural Innovation Challenge December 2 – December 11, 2020. The Challenge is hosted by ventureLAB, the County of Simcoe, and Digital Main Street to explore, source, and pilot novel solutions that support Main Street business continuity in Simcoe County amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Our partners are a community of organizations that include the Centre For Business and Economic Development, North Simcoe Community Futures Development Corporation, Nottawasaga Futures, and Orillia Area Community Development Corp. Solutions must address one or a combination of the following challenge areas:

  • Enhance streamlined delivery and order fulfillment services for online purchases made from Main Street businesses
  • Expand and optimize schedule and ticket management services for Main Street businesses
  • Enable Main Street businesses to better manage and care for the physical and mental well-being of their staff and employees 

Applicants will work with advisors to develop a strong implementation plan for their solution between late December 2020 and mid-February 2021. Select shortlisted applicants will then be invited to pitch their solutions to a panel of community stakeholders and other relevant stakeholders who will determine the top three finalists.

The winning finalist will receive $10,000; the runner-up will receive $7,000; and the third-place finalist will receive $4,000 in funding to pilot or scale their solutions. Of this funding, a portion of the funding will be awarded in the form of advisory services during the course of the program.

First prize: $10,000 ($7k + $3k in advisory services)

Second prize: $7,000 ($5k + $2k in advisory services)

Third prize: $4,000 ($3k + $1k in advisory services)

Source: ventureLAB