Carla Allen ( Published: Jan 30 at 3:37 p.m.


Ideas were percolating at the Ignite Tourism Startup event on Jan. 26 at Ignite Labs Inc., housed in NSCC Burridge campus.

The 44 registrants listened to guest speakers from the tourism industry and were encouraged to develop and pitch tourism product ideas to the group as a whole.

At the end of the afternoon 10 individuals presented an entrepreneurial idea to judges that included representatives from Nova Scotia Tourism and Yarmouth and Acadian Shores Tourism Association.

Each of the presenters stood a chance to win up to $1,000 and assistance towards developing their plan.

Nicola Roberts-Fenton won the prize with her pitch for adventure tourism in the Tobeatic wilderness.

Ignite Labs Inc. founder and executive director Doug Jones says he was very pleased with how the event went.

‘There were all kinds of good ideas,” he said. “Everybody is a little different when they pitch. Some are more prepared than others, but it really doesn’t matter about that. It matters about the ideas and sharing. What matters is the conversations happening around the table.”

Ignite Labs Inc. launched last summer with a combined investment of $600,000 from the federal government and Nova Scotia Community College (NSCC).

The business incubator provides low-cost office space, equipment and internet to reduce the financial burden normally faced by new companies so that they can focus their energy on developing products and services.

Tenants and members of Ignite Labs will be able to access mentors with expertise in technology, finance, governance, commercialization, marketing and law, and they can benefit from working alongside like-minded creative people, sharing concepts, ideas and experiences.

Ignite partners with universities and is a COVE outpost (Centre for Ocean Ventures & Entrepreneurship). In addition to many other establishments, it collaborates with SEED (Students for Education, Empowerment and Development) to provide entrepreneurship training to youth. Digital Nova Scotia provides training once a month.

Jones says Ignite Labs has the latitude to create new opportunities and see what works. “No one is saying ‘no you can’t do that,’” he said.