About N100

Northumberland, Ontario, Canada’s annual $100,000 startup competition

Through three Rounds (The Pitch, Business Planning and Negotiation) N100 startups compete for a $100,000 convertible note that will support key milestones in their development, such as finalizing a prototype. The competition (which runs every year from March to July) is designed to accelerate high growth potential startups and to position them for follow-on investment. That is why we offer a chance to secure a $100,000 investment.

N100 is also an attraction strategy. While startups currently located anywhere are eligible to compete, ultimately they must establish operations and impacts in Northumberland in order to receive the $100,000 investment. The N100 Startup Competition was developed by Northumberland CFDC and is powered by our partners: the N100 Power Panel and Advisors, Port Hope’s Delta V Accelerator, Northumberland’s Regional Innovation Centre, Spark Centre, MathWorks, Budgeto, Reviewr and with the support of FedDev Ontario.

What kind of startups are we looking for?

To compete, you must have a plan to commercialize a new
and innovative technology-driven product or service with:


Large, addressable market


High growth potential/scalability


Competitive advantage


Credible founder team


Potential for economic impact in Northumberland

Key Dates

January 9, 2017

N100 call for applications.

March 3

Deadline for Applications.

April 11 and 12

N100 Pitch School for the Top 10 Finalists (mandatory)

May 17

Top 10 Finalists compete in the N100 Pitch Contest live event at the Capitol Theatre, Port Hope. 5 will advance.

May 18-26

Business plan feedback for Top 5.

June 2

Deadline for submission of business plans from the Top 5.

June 2 *NEW*

Boardroom presentation skills workshop.

June 6

Boardroom simulations for the N100 Top 5.

June 21

Investment proposal presentations to the Northumberland CFDC Board of Directors, for the N100 Top 3.


Winner is announced.

Why Northumberland?


We’re with you from the beginning

Intensive early-stage support from investors for pre-commercial and idea-stage startups is rare. We want to be there from the beginning to support your vision and help separate you out from the crowd.


What Northumberland brings to the table for your startup

Excellent capabilities in prototyping, engineering and manufacturing as well as access to superior media and business development and support talent at a fraction of the downtown price tag. We can help you build out your team by connecting you with local partnerships that will stand the test of time.


Business, Innovation, Lifestyle

Watch this video we produced to express why we think Northumberland is a great place for business, innovation and lifestyle.


Quality of Life in Northumberland – The Near East

Northumberland is a metro-adjacent lakeshore community, close to the cultural and economic intensity that is Toronto, but with none of the commuting chaos and urban sprawl of the big smoke. But don’t worry: you can hop on the VIA train in Cobourg or Port Hope and be at Union Station in just over an hour, ready for a night out on the town, or a day touring art galleries, shopping the boutiques of Queen St. West or taking in a Raptors game.

Meanwhile there are lots of things to do right here in beautiful Port Hope, Cobourg, Brighton and other penturban locales: great restaurants, loads of hiking trails, good cycling opportunities and gorgeous beaches.

Out of fifty comparable communities, did you know that Cobourg was rated highest on the Creativity Index by the Martin Prosperity Institute? The index takes into account levels of Talent, Technology and Tolerance.

We have a modern regional hospital, really great schools, a core group of advanced manufacturers represented by the NMA, a college campus, a makerspace that meets at the Cobourg Public Library, and a thriving arts scene (multiple orchestras, choirs and theatre guilds, for instance). We also have a historic and innovative agricultural community providing local produce (farmer’s markets and CSAs) as well as value-added products for national and international markets. The doors have opened at the new Ontario Agri-Food Venture Centre (OAFVC) (OAFVC) in Colborne.

Background: Where did N100 come from?

With the support of FedDev Ontario, Northumberland CFDC launched our Scientists and Engineers in Business initiative in January, 2012 to support new entrepreneurs from Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) programs at Ontario Colleges and Universities. As demand for the initiative grew, it became apparent that we were experiencing a true entrepreneurial shift—and that further acceleration of these next generation companies would require an expanded approach to entrepreneurial finance and development in Northumberland. In July 2012, we began exploring how to address the gap in private equity investment opportunities for early stage companies at the local level.

We decided that an entrepreneurship competition would be a great way to crystallize our intentions. After carefully studying successful models far and wide—including MIT$100K, Velocity, Ignite and MassChallenge—as well other early stage investment programs such as MaRS Investment Accelerator Fund—N100 was born.

Bryan Kanarens from Spark Centre (Northumberland’s regional innovation centre—originally known as “Innovation Durham Northumberland”) worked with the Northumberland CFDC to shape a framework for the competition that would balance intensive competitive down-selection with concurrent opportunity for entrepreneurial development and growth. We anticipated the participation of many first-time technology entrepreneurs and young STEM founders of early-stage ventures and knew that N100 would represent an important opportunity for their advancement and success.

N100 is a way of abbreviating “Northumberland” and “$100,000”. But it is also an aspiration: to find the next 100 innovation-driven companies that will make a difference for our regional economy. Since launching in January, 2013, the N100 Startup Competition was featured in TechCrunch, BetaKit, Takepart, Techvibes, PROFITGuide, ITBusiness.ca and beyond, effectively putting Northumberland on the map of the Canadian startup scene.

What the press has been saying about us

“Beyond the skyscrapers and freeways of the Toronto region, entrepreneurs in Eastern Ontario are gearing up for a new initiative in local business. N100 is giving businesses in Eastern Ontario a jump start, but it’s also blazing trails for opportunities in other smaller urban centres.”


“Might the next Silicon Valley North be in Eastern Ontario? It will be if the Northumberland Community Futures Development Corporation and Spark Centre, the local regional innovation centre, have their way.”


“Will Vancouver be the Silicon Valley of Canada? Maybe Kitchener-Waterloo is the best candidate for SV North. What about Northumberland, Ontario? The Northumberland Community Futures Development Corporation (CDFC) thinks the small town one hour East of Toronto has a good chance at becoming a startup hotspot—and it’s setting its sights on innovation-driven startups.”


What N100 competitors are saying about us

The N100 win is a game changer for the Qoints team. Previously, the company was bootstrapped through the funds we generated from our previous business in addition to some government grants. We had been discussing an equity investment with a number of parties - many were looking for a lead investor or more business validation. N100 provides both of these and much more!

Cory Rosenfield
Co-Founder & CEO, Qoints

The Northumberland CFDC N100 competition was invaluable in helping us hone our business plan, our pitch, and ultimately get our product to market faster.

Leor Grebler

I really want to thank you all so much for this amazing opportunity that has brought Pro Angler through so many incredibly valuable steps.

Kyle Reid CEO, Open Ocean Apps

We are delighted to have won N100 2014. The advice and support we have received from the Northumberland CFDC and our advisor there, John Hayden, has been nothing short of amazing.

Lyssa Neel
CEO Linkitz

I just wanted to express my extreme gratitude for giving us the time and opportunity to be part of such a great competition… the entire process has really helped us gain insight into our own business as well as the pitch-process.

Mina Tawadrous
President SkopWorks

The Fifth Annual N100 Startup Competition

Brought to you by:

Northumberland Community Futures Development Corporation

In partnership with:


With the support of:




About DeltaV

In 2016, Two Rings Media launched DeltaV: an intrepid new technology accelerator initiative located on John St. in beautiful downtown Port Hope, Ontario. DeltaV is a historic first for Northumberland. Led by visionary Port Hope residents, Paul Godin and David Pamenter (Founding members of the N100 Power Panel), along with business partner Jimmy Moskos, DeltaV provides startups with “the structure and support required to achieve an operational orbit.”

This year, DeltaV will be our lead facilitator for the fifth annual N100 Pitch School, helping to prepare Finalists for the upcoming N100 Pitch Contest on May 17, 2017.

Northumberland CFDC is a member of:

N100 Project Manager John Hayden

Contact John Hayden about N100

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For over a decade, John has worked with Northumberland CFDC in entrepreneurial development and finance, with a particular interest in technology-driven startups and advanced manufacturing. John is a member of the Canadian Venture Capital and Private Equity Association (CVCA) and holds an Executive Certificate in Strategy & Innovation from MIT where he participated in the Entrepreneurship Development Program in 2013. He holds a BA from the University of Toronto and a MA from the American University of Beirut and is currently involved in several startups. In the summer of 2015, John completed a two-man 305 kilometre unsupported traverse of Iceland.

John Hayden Manager, Enterprise Programs 905.372.8315 x224 john.hayden@northumberlandcfdc.ca

With the support of: