Start Me Up! A competition for a year of mentoring and media coverage February 8, 2012 RICCentre The Alpha Exchange Innovation Campaign is about boosting inspired Canadian technology entrepreneurs to the next level. We are looking for early-stage companies, with revenue of no more than $2 million annually. Successful entrants will have a ready-to-sell product or service and a complete business plan and market analysis. Any business or technology sector is relevant. The deadline for entries is 11:59 PM Eastern on March 31, 2012. A live judging event will be held in Toronto on May 16, 2012. The top 200 applicants (C200) will receive invitations and will be profiled at the World Congress on Information Technology (WCIT), Oct. 22 to 24 in Montreal. The winner will receive: $20,000 in cash $60,000 in related products and/or service one year of mentoring and business assistance from a team of Canadian business and technology experts one year of on-going coverage in Backbone magazine and online The runner-up will receive: $5,000 in cash $10,000 in related products and/or services In addition to coverage in the publication, Backbone will create an online Innovation Campaign Portal where readers can monitor the winner’s advancements, successes, resources and challenges in weekly blog posts, tweets and other Web content. Alpha Group, the founding sponsor, is an organization established in 2007 to reinvigorate trading in Canada. With its Alternative Trading System, Alpha Group brought the change the financial industry was waiting for in the trading space. Now, with the formation of its Exchange, Alpha Group is looking at bringing similar change to the Canadian listing space driven by what issuers and investors need. The campaign is consistent with Backbone’s mandate of inspiring innovation and helping companies learn from other businesses. The process and the content becomes a live case study, which not only creates a valuable profile for the winner but will also provide great stories for readers. It is also an opportunity for Backbone and our sponsors to further Canada’s overall competitiveness on the world stage. Backbone has developed communication/distribution alliances with a growing list of organizations who provide valuable resources for Canadian start-ups. We would like to thank these organizations/supporters for announcing our campaign to their network. The list includes government agencies, industry associations, incubators, consulting companies, the angel investment community, VCs, law firms and the financial investment community.