TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Sep 18, 2013) - Today the Spin Master Innovation Fund announced the 2013 recipients of the Spin Master Innovation Program. In partnership with Spin Master Ltd. and co-financing partner the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC), the Canadian Youth Business Foundation (CYBF) is pleased to introduce the next group of highly innovative entrepreneurs to the rest of the country.
These young entrepreneurs will each receive a start-up package of $50,000 in financing from CYBF and BDC, and a hand-matched mentor from CYBF's industry-leading mentoring program. They will also come together once again in Toronto, from September 30 - October 1, to attend a two-day Innovation Launch Pad Workshop, with mentoring from top-tier Spin Master executives and specially designed educational workshops and networking opportunities.
The 2013 Recipients of the Spin Master Innovation Fund are:
• George Phu & Harjas Dogra, GrandezVous, Mississauga, ON -
• Sarah Fong, Suite City, Toronto, ON
• Frédéric Leduc, Jean François Larrivee & Simon Gaudreau, Immune Biosolutions Inc., Sherbrooke, QC
• Miriam Groom, icanzoom.com, Montreal, QC
• Jeremy O'Krafka, MENTORnetwork, Toronto, ON
• Lily Tse, Think Dirty App, Toronto, ON
These six companies were chosen from a short-list of finalists who pitched their innovative business plans to an elite Spin Master Innovation Fund Selection Panel. Participating in the selection panel were: Ronnen Harary, Chairman and Co-CEO of Spin Master Ltd.; Adam Beder, Senior Vice President, Global Licensing, Spin Master Ltd.; Cheri Anthony, Director of Merchandising, Toys, Walmart Canada; Steven Oliver, Regional Director, Corporate Financing, BDC; Colin Bohm, Head of Corus Kids, Corus Entertainment; and Mitchel Krakower, VP, Regional Operations, CYBF.
The recipients impressed the Selection Panel with their professional presentations, polished business plans and, above all, their strength of character-qualities that will serve them well in the fast paced world of innovative start-ups.
"The value of unlocking human capital within Canadian companies such as Spin Master Ltd. is immeasurable to these young people. Through mentoring relationships with both their CYBF mentor and the executives at Spin Master, we can create the support network needed to build a successful innovative business," says Spin Master's Chairman and co-CEO, Ronnen Harary. "This is the third year of the Fund, and we are consistently supporting the best of the best - these are the companies to watch for in the future."
"The six business we have selected this year really set themselves apart, not only with their innovative business ideas but also with their drive to succeed and business acumen," says Julia Deans, CEO, the Canadian Youth Business Foundation. "We are pleased to be able to join with the partners of the Spin Master Innovation Fund to offer these young people the funding and mentorship that will guide them on a path of continued success."
"BDC is pleased to once again be a partner of the Spin Master Innovation Fund team with CYBF and Spin Master Ltd.," says Steven Oliver, Regional Director, Corporate Financing at BDC. "Working together, we can offer a greater number of resources to these deserving young entrepreneurs and equip them with the tools to make a difference to their growth and success."
About Spin Master Ltd.
A multi-category children's entertainment company, Spin Master has been designing, developing, manufacturing and marketing consumer products for children around the world since 1994 and is recognized as a global growth leader within the toy industry. Spin Master is best known for such popular brands as boy's action phenomena and 2009-2010 Boy's Toy of the Year winner Bakugan Battle Brawlers™, and award-winning brands Air Hogs®, Aquadoodle™, Spin Master Games™ including the popular Hedbanz™, Tech Deck™, Zoobles™ and SpyGear™. The company has also marked an entry into children's media with the launch of Spin Master Entertainment, a subsidiary focusing on the design, development and production of television and other media properties. Spin Master employs over 900 people with offices in Toronto, Los Angeles, London, Paris, Hong Kong, Mexico City, Munich, and Milan. For additional information please visit: www.spinmaster.com
About the Canadian Youth Business Foundation
The Canadian Youth Business Foundation (CYBF) is a national non-profit organization dedicated to growing our nation's economy one young entrepreneur at a time. We look at character not collateral, when providing youth aged 18-39 with pre-launch coaching, business resources, low-interest financing of up to $15,000, and industry-leading mentoring to help them launch and sustain successful businesses. CYBF's co-financing partner, the Business Development Bank of Canada, leverages CYBF's application process to provide up to $30,000 in additional support for CYBF entrepreneurs.
Established in 1996, CYBF has been recognized as a global leader in advancing youth entrepreneurship. CYBF is a founding member of the global G20 Young Entrepreneurs' Alliance, the Canadian member of The Prince's Youth Business International and the Canadian host of Global Entrepreneurship Week (November 18-24, 2013). www.cybf.ca.
Canada's business development bank, BDC puts entrepreneurs first. With almost 1,900 employees and more than 100 business centres across the country, BDC offers financing, venture capital and consulting services to 29,000 small and medium sized companies. Their success is vital to Canada's economic prosperity. www.bdc.ca.