Spin Master Ltd. and Canadian Youth Business Foundation Announce the Recipients of the Spin Master Innovation Fund

August 29, 2012

Five businesses innovate their way to success

Toronto, ON- August 29, 2012– Today the Spin Master Innovation Fund announced the 2012 recipients of the Spin Master Innovation Program. In partnership with the Spin Master Ltd. and funding partner Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC), the Canadian Youth Business Foundation (CYBF) is pleased to introduce the next level of highly innovative entrepreneurs to the rest of the country.

The short-listed finalists had the opportunity to present their innovative business plans to an elite group, the Spin Master Innovation Fund (SMIF) Selection Panel. Participating in the selection panel were; Ronnen Harary, Chairman and Co-CEO of Spin Master Ltd.; Adam Beder, Senior Vice President, Global Licensing & Business Affairs, Spin Master Ltd.; Peter Lawler, Senior Vice President, Financing and Consulting, Ontario, Business Development Bank of Canada; Valerie Fox, Executive Director, Ryerson University’s Digital Media Zone; Colin Bohm, Managing Director, Nelvana Enterprises and John Risley, Chairman, Clearwater Fine Foods and Chairman, CYBF.

The recipients impressed the SMIF Selection Panel with professional presentations, polished business plans and, above all, their strength of character; qualities that will serve them well in the fast paced world of innovation start-ups.

The 2012 Recipients of the Spin Master Innovation Fund are:

  • Char Technologies (Waterloo, ON) Entrepreneur: Andrew White
  • Eyewear Evolution Inc (Winnipeg, MB) Entrepreneur: Sean Sylvestre
  • pplconnect (Montreal, QC)      Entrepreneur: Jenviev Azzolin
  • SweetSeat International (Carlton Place, ON) Entrepreneur: Ryan      MacGregor
  • Twenty One Toys, (Montreal, QC) Entrepreneur: Ilana Ben-Ari

“With the Spin Master Innovation Fund we have taken this opportunity to give back to young entrepreneurs across Canada,” says Spin Master’s Chairman and co-CEO, Ronnen Harary. “As each business plan was rolled out, it was great to see the high levels of innovation, passion, integrity and outstanding character demonstrated by all of the recipients.”

Developed to encourage young entrepreneurs to turn their innovative idea into a booming business, the Spin Master Innovation Fund received enthusiastic responses from all over the country.

“The recipients of the Spin Master Innovation Fund really impressed the selection panel with their unique business solutions and their ability to present in an innovative and informative manner,” says Tessa Mintz, Vice President, Volunteers and Programs, the Canadian Youth Business Foundation. “Their personal commitment and expertise in combination with the support that they will receive as part of the program makes them well positioned to experience every success with their start-ups.”

“BDC is proud to partner with CYBF and Spin Master to offer financing and mentoring to the five entrepreneurs in the Spin Master Innovation Fund,” says Peter Lawler, Senior Vice President, Financing and Consulting, Ontario at BDC.  “Today, more than ever, young entrepreneurs need access to an array of resources that can make a difference in the growth of their companies and position them to better compete at home and abroad.”

Recipients have received a start-up package of up to $50,000 in start-up financing from CYBF and BDC, and a hand-matched mentor from CYBF’s world-class mentoring program. Plus, recipients will get an all-expense paid trip to Toronto to attend a two-day Innovation Launch Pad Workshop, which will provide access to top-tier Spin Master executives and includes specially designed educational workshops and networking opportunities. As well, they have the opportunity to attend a specialized Acceleration Workshop six months after the Launch Pad to reconnect with the Spin Master Innovation Fund peer group and Spin Master contacts.

About Spin Master Ltd.

A multi-category children’s entertainment company since 1994, Spin Master has been designing, developing, manufacturing and marketing consumer products for children around the world and is recognized as a global growth leader within the toy industry. Spin Master is best known for such popular brands as boy’s action phenomena and 2010 Boys Toy of the Year winner Bakugan Battle Brawlers™, and award-winning brands Air Hogs®, Aquadoodle™, Tech Deck™, Moon Sand™, Liv™, and Zoobles™.  The company has also marked an entry into children’s media with the launch of Spin Master Entertainment, a subsidiary focusing on the design, development and production of television and other media properties. Spin Master employs 900 people worldwide with offices in Toronto, Los Angeles, London, Paris, Hong Kong, Mexico, Munich, Italy and central Europe. For additional information please visit: www.spinmaster.com.

Canadian Youth Business Foundation –

Canada’s Entrepreneur Gateway
The Canadian Youth Business Foundation (CYBF) is the ‘go to’ place for youth entrepreneurship. As a national organization, we are dedicated to growing Canada’s economy one young entrepreneur at a time. We look at character not collateral, when providing youth, age 18-34, with pre-launch coaching, business resources, start-up financing and mentoring, to help them launch and sustain a successful entrepreneurial business. www.cybf.ca

About BDC

Canada’s business development bank, BDC puts entrepreneurs first. With almost 1,900 employees and more than 100 business centres across the country, BDC offers financing, venture capital and consulting services to 29,000 small and medium sized companies. Their success is vital to Canada’s economic prosperity. www.bdc.ca



Harold Chizick                                                                       Nicolee Tattersall

VP of Global Communications & Promotions                Manager, Media Relations

Spin Master Ltd.                                                                   CYBF

416-364-6002 ext. 2238                                                      416-408-2923 x2208

HaroldC@spinmaster.com                                                 ntattersall@cybf.ca