Renfrew County, Ontario $100,000 Startup Competition


Congratulations to RIVERWOOD ACOUSTICS, 2018 WINNER


“Winning the RC100 has helped take our startup to the next level.  We have established our R+D centre of excellence plus manufacturing facility in the downtown Renfrew core.  Additionally, we have started selling our first product line and are receiving worldwide attention.  The support system from the CFDC through RC100 has been instrumental to our growth and creating a “sound” future for Renfrew County.”

Riverwood Acoustics locally designs and manufactures home wireless speakers made from reclaimed riverwood from the Ottawa River.  For more information go to 


The competition takes place over three rounds
in which start-ups compete for a $100,000 convertible note.

1. The Pitch

2. Business Planning

3. Negotiation

The competition is designed to accelerate high growth potential start-ups and to position them for follow-on investment, with the $100,000 convertible note supporting key milestones in the start-ups development, such as finalizing a prototype.

**While start-ups currently located anywhere are eligible to compete, ultimately they must establish operations and/or impacts in Renfrew County in order to receive the $100,000 investment**


Stay tuned for 2019 competition dates

RC100 is brought to you by:

Renfrew County Community Futures Development Corporation

Sponsored by:

BDC     Mathworks         Budgeto     SRB Technologies
Edwards PC Creative Law         City of Pembroke         Algonquin College

With the support of:

The County of Renfrew         Invest Ottawa         Reviewr         N100

This project is funded by the Government of Canada through the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario

Why RC100?

Compete to secure a $100,000 convertible note and position your startup for follow-on investment!

In addition to the convertible note:

Top 10 Finalists Receive:

  • One-year software licenses from our official sponsor: MathWorks (MATLAB, Simulink and all other products with full technical support).
  • One-year software licenses from our official sponsor: Budgeto (easy to use budgeting software for startups).
  • Valuable insight and feedback from the RC100 Power Panel and Advisors.
  • Hands on training to hone their pitch and investment proposal to effectively advance their business through a competitive gauntlet.

Top 5 Finalists Receive:

  • Boardroom skills presentation workshop including presentation training and mock presentation simulations.

Top 4th and 5th Finalists Receive:

  • 1 hour of legal services from our official sponsor: Edwards PC Creative Law.

Top 3 Finalists Receive:

  • 3 hours of legal services from our official sponsor: Edwards PC Creative Law.
  • Consideration for additional funding of up to $30,000 each in the form of a non-repayable, performance-based contribution matching private investment in their company. **Subject to separate determination of eligibility, receipt of necessary approvals, and availability of funding**

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 Renfrew County

The Competition/Important Dates

Round 1: The Pitch

Out of the set of all business concept applications received, approximately 8 applicants (the Finalists) will be invited to make their pitch directly to the RC100 Power Panel at the RC100 Pitch Contest.  Finalists must appear in person at Festival Hall, Pembroke, ON to make a presentation before a live audience. They will have 3 minutes to present their idea with a 5 minute Q&A to follow.

No props or similar visual aids may be used. Violations of this rule will result in disqualification. Based on their pitch, approximately 3 finalists will be selected by the RC100 Power Panel to advance to Round 2: Business Planning.

RC100 Pitch School workshops will be held on May 29 and May 30 during which participants will take part in workshops to help them prepare for the Pitch Contest. Attendance at Pitch School is mandatory and failure to attend will result in disqualification.

Round 2: Business Planning

During this round, finalists advancing to round 2 will develop a concise business plan and marketing strategy. Fully substantiated and up-to-date business plans must be submitted to Renfrew County CFDC by 12 PM EST on July 6, 2018. Renfrew County CFDC’s Board of Directors will evaluate business plans based on the following established criteria:

  • large addressable market
  • growth potential/scalability
  • competitive advantage
  • an excellent, credible team who will roll up their sleeves and make things happen
  • the potential to impact job creation, economic development and future prosperity in Renfrew County

In order to support the finalists, Renfrew County CFDC will hold boardroom simulations on July 19, 2018.

Renfrew County CFDC reserves the right to seek the independent, confidential opinion of third party experts regarding the feasibility of the business plan.

Round 3: Negotiation

The top 3 finalists will then make formal presentations to the Renfrew County CFDC Board of Directors. These presentations will be no more than 20 minutes in length and will be followed by a Q&A period lasting approximately 30 minutes.

The finalists are competing for a $100,000 investment deal negotiated directly with Renfrew County CFDC. Finalists must incorporate (or have previously incorporated) a company in order to be eligible for investment.

The investment deal will normally take on the following form:

  • $100,000 Convertible debenture
  • Interest: 8%
  • Discount: 20%
  • Conversion: At the option of Renfrew County CFDC after future significant financing event

Renfrew County CFDC may require additional documentation and substantiation of the original application, investment proposal, business plan or other submissions.

Renfrew County CFDC does not guarantee any amount of investment to applicants in the RC100 Startup Competition.

The Power Panel

The RC100 Power Panel is comprised of experts in early-stage investment, technology entrepreneurship and intellectual property and business law.

The Power Panel:

  • Serves in an ad hoc advisory capacity to Renfrew County CFDC throughout the RC100 Startup Competition
  • Is responsible for selecting the approximately 8 Finalists who will be invited to the Pitch Contest
  • All finalists invited to the Pitch Contest will make their pitches directly to the Power Panel. The Power Panel will then determine the Top 3 who will advance in the competition.

Ryan McCartney

Ryan is a serial start-up revenue grower with insatiable curiosity and love the thrill of taking concepts to contracts. He has successfully been a player/coach at both Miovision and Axonify with success in repeatable revenue and investment. He has spent time negotiating enterprise contracts with the Fortune 500, jetsetting for client presentations and building high performing sales teams. Ryan is passionate about lifelong customer satisfaction to sustain organizations.

Kirk Dobbs

Kirk is a R&D Technologist, inventor, entrepreneur and angel investor. He co-founded Exotemp Ltd. (later Delta Temax Inc.) and as President drove the Pembroke-based manufacturing company to profitability and eventual acquisition by Med-Eng Sysems. Within Med-Eng Systems, Kirk was part of the senior management team and held Business Development Director and Product Line Director positions.

He has several patents to his credit, and considerable experience with the patent process and IP protection strategy development. With training and expertise in new product development, marketing, sales, business development and strategic planning, he has guided a number of tech-based start-ups, some of which he has invested in. Kirk also serves on the Algonquin College (Pembroke) Entrepreneurship Advisory Panel.

Stephane Levesque

Stephane Levesque is a native of Montreal who completed his studies in Aerospace Engineering at Ryerson University in Toronto. Residing in Pembroke for the last 23 years, Mr. Levesque is President and co-owner of SRB Technologies (Canada) Inc., a growing manufacturer with over 40 employees that produce self-luminous tritium lighting used for aerospace, commercial and military applications.

Mr. Levesque also serves on the City of Pembroke Economic Development Committee and Community Improvement Panel.

Chéla Breckon

Chéla Breckon is a leadership expert and owner of The Fraser View Group –  a consulting firm which specializes in team-based strategy development, welcoming communities, change management, leadership training, and capacity building for more effective teams and valuation of people within organizations. Working alongside her father in the field of nuclear power and engineering, she gained valuable experience with project management but eventually chose to pivot the firm towards community development work here in Renfrew County. Working with clients in broad sectors including municipal governments, advocacy, charity, military personnel support, and entrepreneurship, Chéla has led change and improved outcomes for these organizations and also for those they serve.

This experience brought her to Algonquin College where she is a Professor of Entrepreneurship and, recently, as the Entrepreneur in Residence for the Pembroke Campus.  Ms. Breckon also leads the Local Immigration Partnership of Renfrew & Lanark Counties as an agent for change in Eastern Ontario with a strong focus on rural community development, sustainable participation, and long lasting impact. As a licensed Inter-Cultural Competency Trainer, Ms. Breckon brings expertise to the organizations, employers, and communities she works with who are looking to improve their interactions and effectiveness engaging with a variety of diverse groups. Her robust background in leadership and the design of program models presents a unique opportunity for her work to reflect corporate and start-up tactics in the non-profit and community development environment. Chéla brings passion and expertise to help nurture positive and collaborative environments centered on a proactive and purposeful approach, which is designed to shift challenges into opportunities for the communities she works with.

How it Works and How to Enter