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Apr 14, 2011 - 3 minute read - entrepreneurship

CYBF Launches Spinmaster Innovation Fund

The Canadian Youth Business Foundation (CYBF) has partnered with Spinmaster to launch the Spinmaster Innovation Fund. The fund will offer financing, mentoring and support for up to 10 young entrepreneurs.

Spinmaster was started by three Toronto entrepreneurs in the mid 1990s. The company has grown to be a successful toy maker, well known for its Air Hogs line of toys. The founders have decided to partner with the CYBF to give back to the entrepreneurial community.

Each entrepreneur will be eligible for up to $50,000 of startup financing. There is no collateral required and there are no principal payments required for the first year of the loan’s amortization. Interest rates start at Prime + 2.0% and can decline over the life of the loan should all payments be made on time. A loan with these terms and interest rate is a very good deal for the entrepreneur. Typical bank financing for this type of business would likely require collateral with a much higher interest rate.

Each of the entrepreneurs will receive mentoring through  the CYBF’s mentoring program. They will also have access to some of Spinmaster’s executives during the first two years of operating their business. The successful entrepreneurs will be given a paid trip to Toronto for a two day Innovation Launch Pad Workshop where they will be taught business skills by the Spinmaster team.

The application process is as follows:

  1. Call For Applications - CYBF will start taking applications on April 27th, with the call for applications closing on June 9th, 2011. Each application will require a business plan.
  2. Application Review - The evaluation committee will review applications throughout July and August. They will narrow the applicants down to 18 semi-finalists.
  3. Pitches - During August 17th & 18th, the finalists will pitch their presentations to the selection committee.
  4. Innovation Launch Pad Workshop - The 10 winners will be announced and they will attend the workshop on September 24th & 25th.

The contest is open to Canadian entrepreneurs 18 to 34 years of age. The business must have been in operation for less than a year and it must have a business plan with good prospects for profitability. The business must be majority owned by qualifying age individuals. The applicants need to work in the business full time and cannot be full time students.

The application process is fairly straightforward. The entrepreneur will need a business plan prepared according the CYBF’s template, resumes for each individual applying and a couple of references. There is an online loan application that will also need to be filled out.

For any of you young entrepreneurs out there, this a contest worth entering. The financing is a sweetheart deal, you’ll have access to the mentorship of the entrepreneurs behind Spinmaster and the contest exposure can only help your business.

For further information check out the CYBF’s Spinmaster Innovation Fund website.