AgTech Corporate Funding Round

ProtoZone Program Helps Innovators Bring Ideas to Life

ProtoZone Program Helps Innovators Bring Ideas to Life

The Northwestern Ontario Innovation Centre is helping turn innovative ideas into tangible products through its ProtoZone program. The three-phase program supports product and business development, funding, and prototype design and development assistance.

The Northwestern Ontario Innovation Centre allows innovators to turn their ideas into reality through its ProtoZone program. The three-phase program offers product and business development support, a new product assessment, funding, and assistance with the design and development of prototypes. The program works by running the idea through a business model canvas to develop the business side of the concept to see where its market is. Then, the program moves to a market research phase to see if there’s a fit and connection with the product. Followed by a funding phase where the innovator can receive up to 80% funding, up to $5,000.


Benjamin Feagin, CEO of AgriTech North, is one of the program’s success stories. He is in the final stages of receiving funding and completing his design. Feagin’s company provides rapid prototyping solutions to reduce the labor intensity of vertical farming operations. The goal is to make it possible for rural and remote communities to 3D print the means of food production, which will also help the company reach an urban market. Feagin explained that innovation is expensive, but the ProtoZone program helps jump-start the prototyping phase and get through the most costly part, the testing and iteration stage.

Feagin plans to collaborate with Confederation College, which he says is associated with the Innovation Centre. The college has an applied research laboratory where the company can work with students to test and iterate the prototypes. With the ProtoZone program, the Northwestern Ontario Innovation Centre provides a platform for innovators to bring their ideas to life and positively impact their communities and beyond.

Image provided by Domenik drz

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