The Zone Startups India Next BIG Idea Contest 2018 for India’s most innovative technology companies (An all expenses paid 2-week market access program to 3 cities in Canada)

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Application Deadline:31st August 2018

The Next BIG Idea Contest seeks to discover India’s 5 most innovative technology companies who are looking to leverage a soft-landing opportunity to expand to North America. The contest is a “Market Access Program”, whereby the winners get to incubate their company in Canada for a 2 week all expenses paid program. The visiting entrepreneurs receive mentorship, business development advice, customer connects, investor access and valuable international experience.

The Next BIG Idea Contest is a joint initiative of the Government of Ontario, Canada and Ryerson University, Toronto. The contest was conceptualized in 2013, with the objective of identifying promising tech startups from India, and showcasing them in Toronto; largely to provide a platform in North America for these startups, as well as to change the perception that India produces only IT services companies. While primary objective of Next BIG Idea is to help startups with global expansion, over the past 5 years, the program has evolved as a platform for startups to engage/work with different stakeholders – Governments, Corporates, Investors, Academia & other Startup ecosystem enablers.

Eligibility Criteria:

The Contest is open only to legal residents of India who have reached the age of majority at the time of entry and who meet the following conditions:
Represent an Indian business involved in:

  • Any Technology Innovation
  • Have a unique, innovative, digitally-based business idea that brings social and/or commercial value.
  • Have a business plan and prototype for their company’s idea.
  • Have an idea and a working style that fits into the collaborative nature of the DMZ (brings and receives value).
  • Be willing to communicate their accomplishments and experience to others such as media and stakeholders.
  • Be willing to communicate their experience and stay in touch with the DMZ when they return home.


  • An all expenses paid 2-week market access program to 3 cities in Canada – Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary
  • Opportunity to explore Canada’s startup & innovation ecosystem
  • The bespoke program comprises of soft-landing, meeting with sector experts, investor connects, business development opportunities, mentoring & networking.

The winners travel to Canada in the month of November for 2 weeks. The 2018 program is expected to start from 17th November 2018.

Winners travel to 3 cities in Canada:

  • Toronto
  • Calgary
  • Vancouver

NBI facilitates stakeholders interactions at various stages & in different formats.

  • Mentorship & Business Development Counseling: The hosts in each of these cities give you access to our rich network of advisers and mentors. Most of the times you will be meeting or showcasing your startups to leading corporates.
  • Networking Opportunities: Startups meet Government, University, Industry & Other Startup Community representatives to explore synergies.
  • Workspace: Companies receive workspace in a communal setting, meeting rooms, and WI-FI service. Startups can set-up their meetings & work from the Host office spaces.
  • Investor meetings: Companies in the program will be assisted in identifying variety of funding options. Companies will also be advised on preparation for investor pitches.
  • Peer to Peer Meeting Sessions: The Peer meetings & experience sharing sessions allow us to better assist you to plan your journey in Canada.
  • Setting-Up Assistance: Startups meet experts to understand prerequisite to setup business in Canada, includes – Visa process, Immigration, Taxation, Laws & Regulations, Fundraising, Incentives etc.


  • 29th June : NBI Contest 2018 Launch

  • 12th July – 28th July: Roadshows in 20 cities

  • 31st August : Application Deadline

  • 15th September : Screening Starts

  • 12th October: Winner Announcement

For More Information:

Visit the Official Webpage of the Next BIG Idea Contest 2018

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