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    WINNIPEG

    CEO: Joelle Foster

    441 – 100 Innovation Drive
    Winnipeg, Manitoba R3T 6G2• P: 204-262-6400

  • North Forge | East

    PINAWA

    President: Shane Li

    24 Aberdeen Avenue
    Pinawa, Manitoba R0E 1L0 • P: 204-753-5170

  • Fabrication Lab

    WINNIPEG

    Vice-President: Marney Stapley

    125 Adelaide Street
    Winnipeg, Manitoba R3A 0W4 • P: 204-799-2033

  • North Forge | North

    THE PAS

    University College of the North
    436-7th Street East, The Pas, Manitoba R9A 1M7
    (204) 623-0311

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NORTH FORGE’S ANNUAL RAMP UP WEEKEND BEGINS ITS 2ND DECADE OF IDEA-TO-STARTUP COMPETITION

Winnipeg, Manitoba, May 25, 2018 –​ Entrepreneurship in Manitoba is thriving, and the opportunity to get in on the ground floor of a new budding business may be closer than you think! After a decade of presenting new ideas, and seeing startup companies launch as a result along the way, North Forge is excited that its annual Ramp Up Weekend, now in its 11th year, is still going strong.

Over the June 1-3 weekend, teams will spend an intense 55 hours building a minimum viable product. Ideas are pitched on Friday evening; teams organically form around the best ideas and the magic begins. “It’s like the four hour work-week, with 51 extra hours,” says Nick Danzinger, CEO of Polar Grinders and North Forge Fabrication Lab member. The duration of the weekend is spent developing product prototypes, customer traction strategies, marketing plans and brand assets. Experienced mentors and advisors lend their expertise to accelerate the process and guide the teams.

At first glance, a 55-hour Ramp Up Weekend may appear overwhelming, but as Elaine Palson, Senior Technology Advisor, BDC explains, “it’s not about the startups that come out of the weekend, better yet, it’s about learning the process of starting a business and all the connections you make. It’s a rollercoaster ride to success!”

Prizes for the event are geared to help companies get off the ground quickly, while greatly reducing risk. Winners will compete for cash prizes and have a chance to have their prototype brought to life by a team of students at Red River College’s ACE Project Space. They’ll enjoy free legal, accounting and marketing services from top-shelf providers. “Winners will also receive access to North Forge’s proven startup program, expert mentorship and office space,” adds Jeff Ryzner, President of North Forge.

Past winners and participants of the event have gone on to raise millions of dollars of investment capital, are driving demand for high skill jobs here in Manitoba, and have been putting Winnipeg on the map as a technology startup destination in Canada.

“Ramp Up Weekend was a life changing experience for me. The skills I acquired over the weekend led to the successful launch of my current company that was formed over Ramp Up Weekend, Go Oil Canada! It’s an opportunity to realize and unlock your potential,” says Jonathon Sparrow, CEO, Go Oil Canada.

There’s opportunity to be a spectator at this event too! The final hours are wrapped up in a Dragon’s Den-style event open to the public. Be in the audience as teams pitch their best ideas to a panel of judges, including Forough Khadem, Business Development Specialist at Mitacs and WCIO and nominee of the CBC’s 40 under 40 youth leaders; Joelle Foster, Executive Director of the University of Calgary Hunter Hub for Entrepreneurial Thinking and former Director of Futurpreneur here in Winnipeg; and Michael Legary, Chief Innovation Officer for the City of Winnipeg and Director of Innovation Alley.

Spectators are welcome Sunday, June 3 at the Metropolitan Entertainment Centre. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. and pitches begin at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are free, but attendees must RSVP. Last year’s event attracted hundreds of attendees, so be sure to RSVP early!

Anyone interested in participating on a team or coming out to enjoy the Sunday Live Finals event can learn more at ​wordpress-31151-820923.cloudwaysapps.com/rampup​.

Supporters

North Forge Technology Exchange partners with PCL Construction Inc.

PCL Construction Inc.

From small renovations to complex billion dollar projects; from modular construction, to advanced digital technologies, to cutting-edge sustainability, PCL has you covered.

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North Forge has partnered with 6P Marketing

6P Marketing

6P Marketing is your collaborative marketing agency, working with you to achieve your goals.

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Bell MTS

Bell MTS is part of Canada’s largest telecommunications company, providing Manitobans with Mobile phone, TV, high speed Internet, and Home phone service.

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Thompson Dorfman Sweatman

At Thompson Dorfman Sweatman LLP (TDS), we are devoted to serving our valued clients. Our collegial workplace fosters greater teamwork, responsiveness and communication, providing better results for clients. TDS is Manitoba’s largest independent law firm.

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Bit Space Development

Bit Space Development Ltd. is an interactive digital media studio that specializes in creating innovative learning experiences for the classroom and workplace. We work with educators and industry professionals from around the world to develop effective solutions for education and training using cutting edge digital media technologies.

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Princess Auto

For more than 85 years, Princess Auto has been supplying trade professionals, home mechanics or people who simply love building things with the tools and equipment they need to figure it out – whatever that “it” may be. With a unique assortment of tools, equipment and products, ranging from hydraulics to welding, Princess Auto complements the home improvement sector rather than competing with it.

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Bockstael logo

Bockstael

For over 100 years the Bockstael name has been synonymous with construction in Manitoba. From the humble beginnings of a Belgian carpenter, to the fourth generation of family ownership, building is in our blood. We pride ourselves on world-class innovation and a client-first approach to doing business. This is our commitment to serving the province we choose to call home for the next 100 years — and beyond.

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Stu Clark Centre for Entreprenuership

The Stu Clark Centre for Entrepreneurship (SCCE) is here to support entrepreneurial activities across the entire University of Manitoba campus. In addition to supporting students at the I.H. Asper School of Business we also support students from ALL faculties across the University of Manitoba – Fort Garry and Bannatyne Campus including: Faculty of Engineering, Faculty of Agriculture and Food Sciences, Faculty of Science, Faculty of Medicine, Faculty of Education and more!

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SevenOaks School Division

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Maples Met School

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LGD Pinawa

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North Forge Technology Exchange

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SEED - Altona

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Portage Regional Economic Development

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Morden & District Chamber of Commerce

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Morden Community Development Corp

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Community Futures Heartland

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Access Credit Union

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North Forge East

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Community Futures Winnipeg Rivers

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Barkman Concrete Ltd.

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Pinawa Community Development Corporation

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Western Economic Diversification Canada

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Government of Canada

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University of Manitoba

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Fabbaloo

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Red River College

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Manitoba Government

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