ProtoZone Program

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What is the ProtoZone Program?

So you have an innovative idea! Now all you need is to get made. That's not a simple task but luckily for you, the ProtoZone program is here to help you get started with a prototype. It starts by looking at the viability of your idea, both from a customer perspective and scalability perspective, and ends with a physical prototype being produced. The focus of the program is to support innovative product development and commercialization by providing the right technical and business support, ensuring product-market fit throughout the product development process, and assisting innovative entrepreneurs and small businesses with the costs associated with successful product development.

 

 

3 STAGES TO THE PROTOZONE PROGRAM

 

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Stage 1

Interactive Product Development Workshops

find out more

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Stage 2

New Product Assessment Service (NPAS)

find out more

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Stage 3

Prototype Funding Assistance

find out more

 

 

What Type Of Products Are Supported By This Program?

If your innovative idea will be made from one the following materials the ProtoZone program can help!

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Metal

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Plastics

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Electronics

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Composites

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Woods

 

We are happy to consider other product materials. Please connect with our team and we can talk further. 

 

 

How Does The ProtoZone Program Work?

Taking that napkin sketch and using it to create a prototype may seem like a logical choice for many but there's more to it than that! The ProtoZone program will give you a crash course in product and business development, a crucial new product assessment, and funding and assistance towards the design and development of your prototype.

Not all program participants qualify for each stage of the ProtoZone program. Please review the eligibility for each stage.

 

 

 

program-stages

 

 

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Interactive Product Development Workshops

This 3-session interactive workshop series is on the basics of product development that will provide you with key information, insights, and education around the best practices for successfully developing a product. You will also receive 1-on-1 support by the Innovation Centre team.

 

WHAT YOU WILL LEARN

This workshop series will cover the following topics:

  • Materials selection
  • Product development best practices
  • Define your product
  • Designing your product correctly (material selection, process selection, design for manufacturing, CAD, cost reduction strategies, ethics/safety)
  • Steps to developing a prototypes and production process (why prototype?, types of production, benefits of tooling, building and maintaining quality)
  • How to validate your business idea
  • How to complete a Business Model Canvas
  • Basics in the patent process

 

COST TO PARTICIPATE - $25

 

WHY IS THE WORKSHOP SERIES IMPORTANT?

The knowledge gained in this Step is imperative to the development of a well-built product that can outperform the competition.

 

ELIGIBILITY

Anyone that has an innovative idea for a physical product and the willingness to sell it beyond the Northwestern Ontario market.

 

INTERESTED IN GETTING YOUR INNOVATIVE IDEA STARTED?

If you have a great idea James will be happy to discuss it further.

Email: james@nwoinnovation.ca

 

ARE YOU READY TO REGISTER?

Our next workshop series begins Thursday, November 25th, 2021 at noon

register now

 

 

 

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New Product Assessment Service (NPAS)

In this stage, innovators will work with experts to determine preliminary technical and market feasibility, cost of development estimates, insights, and feedback for their innovative idea.

 

WHAT YOU WILL RECEIVE

Your New Product Assessment Service report will include:

  • An assessment by the Innovation Centre that will include:
    • Feasibility analysis
    • Materials recommendation
    • Recommendation to move forward
    • Manufacturing Feasibility report (along with market report)
    • A product design based on manufacturing recommendations to simply manufacturing processes and reduce costs
    • Recommendations on materials based on product characteristics and manufacturing process
    • Technical understanding

 

COST TO PARTICIPATE - $75

 

ELIGIBILITY

Those that are eligible for Stage 2: New Product Assessment Service have:

  • Completed Business Model Canvas
  • A validated business idea with completed customer interviews

     

     

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    Funding and Assistance Towards the Design and Development of Your Prototype

    This final stage will provide your business with funding of up to $5,000 in assistance for product design, material sourcing and selection, rapid prototyping, product testing, and product development. A Technologist will sit down with you and finalize the design of your first prototype and recommend prototyping methods and companies to do so. Participants choose their preferred vendor to work with. Those interested in this stage will submit an application that will be reviewed by a committee.

     

    WHAT YOU CAN RECEIVE

    Up to a maximum of $5,000 in support at 80% of eligible costs to develop an initial prototype.

     

    ELIGIBILITY

    Those that are eligible for Stage 3: Funding and Assistance Towards the Design and Development of Your Prototype

    • Completion of Stage 1: New Product Assessment Service
    • Completion of Stage 2: With a recommendation to move forward
    • Have a completed market assessment that appears viable and ready to test the market

       

       

      ARE YOU READY TO CREATE YOUR
      INNOVATIVE PRODUCT?

      We are happy to talk with you further on how this program is right choice for launching your million dollar idea!

       

      Contact James by emailing james@nwoinnovation.ca