Entrepreneurs from across northwestern B.C. have just one more week to submit their applications to the 2018 Northwest Innovation Challenge and show off their creative new ideas.
Whether it’s a toy, gadget, service or any other thoughtful experiment, the annual event organized by the Skeena-Nass Centre for Innovation in Resource Economics (SNCIRE) offers a way for people in the region to gather attention around their ideas with the potential of winning thousands of dollars in cash prizes.
Rick Brouwer, executive director for the Innovation Challenge, said the competition helps to elevate the brainchildren of thoughtful innovators from across the region.
“There’s a huge number of ideas out there, people that tinker or have ideas that we don’t even get a chance to tap into,” he said. “Part of the solutions for our society are out there already, people just haven’t taken it to the next step because we aren’t hearing about them.”
In 2016, Anika Juergensen of Terrace was awarded the $500 prize for the People’s Choice Award for her centre pin reel used for float fishing in B.C. rivers and streams. Her inventive, homemade idea was constructed using the head of a recycled VCR and some reclaimed aluminum.
After the finalists are chosen they will be awarded $250 to create a presentation to present during the final judging and public event on April 27 at the Terrace Sportsplex. There are 10 sponsors for this year’s event, including Rio Tinto, Canadian Helicopters, Rotary International and Thrive North.
Brouwer said having the stakeholders play a part in the final decision can be a huge resource for aspiring innovators.
“You’re getting together with like-minded people,” he said. “As a result, they’re either going to give you ideas, they may become friends or partners, or they just may help you build your confidence by saying, ‘go for it!’”
The deadline to submit an application is March 31 at midnight.