RBC Prize Competition

Do you have a great idea for a company or are you already working in an innovative startup?

The RBC Prize for Innovation and Entrepreneurship is an annual business pitch competition offering $50,000 in prizes to recognize, reward and accelerate U of T’s innovative technologies and startups. Part of Entrepreneurship@UofT Week Startup Showcase, the competition takes place Thursday, March 1st at MaRS. Selected individuals or teams will compete by showcasing their business idea via a 5-minute pitch to a panel of judges for the following prizes:

Early Stage Prizes* Later Stage Prizes**
1st Prize: $10,000

2nd Prize: $5,000

1st Prize: $25,000

2nd Prize: $10,000

Who is eligible to compete?

  • U of T entrepreneurship community: The idea or startup came from research at U of T, and/or at least one founder is a current U of T student, post doc or a recent alum (i.e. graduated no earlier than July 2016).
  • Open to all faculties and industries.
  • *Early Stage Prize: Startups must have less than $20K cumulative funding or investment (not including research grants), and less than $20K cumulative revenue as of January 1, 2018.
  • **Later Stage Prize: Startups must have between $20K and $100K cumulative funding or investment (not including research grants), and less than $100K in cumulative revenue as of January 1, 2018.
  • Entrants must be able to present their pitch in person to the panelists on March 1, 2018.

How can I apply?

  1. Competition Entry in January: Please email the completed 2018 RBC Prize for Innovation and Entrepreneurship – Application Form and Executive Summary about your idea or startup to entrepreneurs@utoronto.ca before 5:00pm on Friday, January 26, 2018. Applications received after this time will not be considered.
  2. Competition Preparation with an Advisor in February: Applicants selected to compete will be notified and matched with an advisor from one of our accelerators or incubators (uoft.me/incubate) to help them prepare and perfect their pitch.
  3. Competition Day on March 1st, 2018: The competition will take place from 2:30-5:00pm on Thursday, March 1 at MaRS, with five startups competing for the Early Stage Prize and five for the Later Stage Prize. Each startup will present a 5-minute pitch to a panel of entrepreneurs and investors followed by a 7-minute Q and A from the panel. The winners will be announced at 4:30pm followed by a reception.

What is the criteria for judging?

At both the entry and competition day stages, the panel of judges will be looking for the startup’s:

  • Opportunity: A clearly articulated and compelling value proposition
  • Viability: Demonstrated market opportunity and knowledge
  • Growth potential: Sustainable and scalable business model
  • Innovation: Intellectual property and/or strong competitive differentiation
  • Talent: A strong team
  • Communication skills: An effective and persuasive overall Executive Summary and pitch presentation

Apply now for your chance to win prize money to take your startup to the next level!

Questions about the RBC Prize for Innovation and Entrepreneurship or application process can be sent to entrepreneurs@utoronto.ca.

The 2019 RBC Prize for Innovation and Entrepreneurship competition will open in December 2018.