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1. What is the NSBI Scale-up Hub Cambridge Program?

The purpose of the NSBI Scale-up Hub Cambridge Program is to expedite and scale export growth opportunities for Nova Scotia businesses in the US market and beyond. The Program is designed to provide participating businesses with professionally guided entry into the New England market.

The primary objective of the Program is to provide innovative, high-growth potential Nova Scotia businesses with an efficient and focussed gateway into the US market and to gauge and exploit their international competitiveness in an effort to expand their export sales.

2. How does the NSBI Scale-up Hub Program support Nova Scotia businesses looking to export?

The NSBI Scale-Up Hub Cambridge Program provides participating businesses with access to a shared office space in Cambridge, Massachusetts for a one-year term. Participating businesses will also have access to an experienced, in-market business development professional whose goal is to drive export sales and facilitate strategic business development connections.

3. Is there a participation fee for the NSBI Scale-up Hub Cambridge Program?

Yes. Participating businesses are required to pay a non-refundable fee of $5,000.00 CAD plus HST.

4. What is the application submission deadline?

Applications for the NSBI Scale-up Hub Cambridge Program must be received by 5:00 pm (Atlantic Daylight Time) on October 30, 2017.

Applications received past the submission deadline will not be considered.

5. What is the application submission process?

Companies must complete and submit the online Application Form available on NSBI’s website at novascotiabusiness.com/scaleuphub.

Don’t have time to complete the online Application Form at once? No problem. You will be able to save information entered on your Application Form, close it, and come back to it at any point during the application timeframe to continue before final submission.

Once the Application Form has been submitted, an e-mail notification will be sent out to confirm that the Application Form has been received. A Program Administrator will contact you within 7-10 business days from the submission deadline with an update on the status of your application.

6. Who can I contact for questions about the application process?

For more information, please email scaleuphub@nsbi.ca.

7. What businesses are eligible for the NSBI Scale-up Hub Cambridge Program?

The NSBI Scale-up Hub Cambridge Program is open to Nova Scotia-headquartered businesses registered on the Nova Scotia Registry of Joint Stocks that are in good standing and engaged in commercial activities outside of Nova Scotia.

Ineligible businesses include:

  • Franchises
  • Games of chance operations, bingo halls, small scale gaming operations
  • Real estate developers
  • Licensed liquor establishments whose primary business is alcohol sales (except production breweries, brew pubs, wineries, and distilleries)
  • Distributors, agents, or associations
  • Creative industries businesses including Music, Written and Published Work, Performing Arts (touring), Visual and Applied Arts (Contemporary Art, Production Craft, Photography, and Fashion Design)
  • Publicly funded organizations

If your business is in the Creative Industries, please refer to the Creative Industries Fund.

8. How will applications be evaluated?                                               

Applicants will be scored and evaluated on:

  • The strength of the company's export plan for the New England market; and
  • How clearly they articulate how participation in the Program is linked to their export plan for the New England market, and will help accelerate export sales in this market.

Once evaluated, short-listed businesses will be notified via a phone call and required to participate in an interview process for final selection. The anticipated interview period will be November 14-16, 2017 and will be scheduled upon short-list notification. Third party reviewed financial statements will also be required in advance of the interview.

9. What is the application approval process?

Following evaluation, approved businesses will be extended an NSBI Scale-up Hub Cambridge Program Agreement (the “Agreement”). The Agreement must be accepted, signed and returned within 15 days to be valid. NSBI reserves the authority to remove a participating business from the Program if they are not compliant with the contractual agreement.

10. What information should my export plan for the New England market include?

Submitted export plans for the New England market should outline the following:

  • The products and services, and all related technologies and innovations that the business plans to market and modifications, if any, that must be made to adapt them to the target market;
  • Supporting research on product/service market fit;
  • Identification of required in-market distribution channels;
  • Challenges (competition, cultural differences, import controls, intellectual property status, certifications, regulatory, legal, financial, etc.) and how these will be overcome;
  • The strategy intended to be used to succeed in the market, including timelines and organizational resources (human and financial) dedicated to support an in-market presence;
  • Any planned expansion inclusive of projected increase in staff or establishment of a long-term in-market presence in New England;
  • Expected outcomes in the New England market; and
  • Plans and factors affecting a permanent presence in the target market.

11. Why is my export plan for the New England market and experience relevant?

Participation in the NSBI Scale-up Hub Cambridge is competitive. Applicants will be evaluated on the strength of their export plan for the New England market, as well as their articulation of the link between participation in the program and their export plan for the New England market, along with insights as to how participation will help accelerate export sales in this market.

12. Is there an expected level of commitment from participating businesses?

Yes. Participating businesses will be expected to commit the appropriate personnel, in-market time and financial resources necessary to develop and execute on business development opportunities. 

13. Are there reporting commitments from participating businesses?

Yes. Participating businesses will be required to provide monthly progress updates to the in-market business development professional for consistent tracking of potential opportunities and challenges. At program completion, the business must complete a final survey to summarize results and evaluate the Program.

14. How will performance expectations be managed?

Export growth opportunities and business performance expectations will be established collaboratively and managed uniquely with each participating business. 

For additional information, please refer to the NSBI Scale-up Hub Cambridge Program Guidelines at novascotiabusiness.com/scaleuphub or contact the Program Administrator via email at scaleuphub@nsbi.ca

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