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Win This Space Competition

Open the door to your new business in downtown Guelph

A competition held in conjunction with the Downtown Guelph Business Association and the Business Centre Guelph-Wellington. Winners will be eligible to rent a local downtown business space for a reduced cost. Thanks to the support of our generous community sponsors over $40,000 in cash and prizes will be awarded.

Program Info

Who is this Program For?

  • The contest is open to all legal residents of CANADA, who are 19 years of age or older, and residing in the Province of ONTARIO at the time of submitting an entry to the “WIN THIS SPACE” competition.
  • Proposed business can be independently owned (sole proprietorship) or owned by 2 people (partnership), however no franchises will be considered.
  • Proposed business must be qualified under the city bylaws usage for "Active Frontage Area" as found under commercial zoning. Please review the city zoning.
  • If the candidate is a current local business owner, application must be with the intent to introduce, open and operate a concept, which will offer a new element not promoted in the existing location, or expand upon and highlight an element that would be removed from the existing location. Candidates must be willing to commit to signing a minimum 1-year lease from one of the participating spaces, which are available for lease at the end of the competition.
  • Candidates must have submitted an entry into the competition by 4 pm on February 5th, 2021 to have their idea considered as part of the competition.
  • The judging panel will select the top ideas to advance to the next phase of the competition and receive a series of 6 FREE Business Plan Development Workshops presented by BCGW (Business Centre Guelph Wellington).

start up Entrepreneurs new business



Program Start Date

February 16, 2021

Registration Deadline

February 5, 2021

Session Info

1 session(s).

Applications open January 18th, 2021. Applications close February 5th, 2021 at 4:00 PM. 6 Week training runs from February 16th to March 23rd from 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM. Final Pitch April 13, 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM.


Selected participants will:
  • Complete 5 weeks of Training focused on Business Development, Marketing, Operations and Financials specifically focused on brick and mortar businesses
  • Compete in a virtual Mini Pitch Qualifier on March 23rd from 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM to a panel of judges where 5 winners will be selected to move onto the Major Pitch Competition date
  • Qualified participants will move present at the Major Pitch Competition on April 13th from 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM to a panel of qualified judges and Guelph landlords where a winner for the prizes will be determined.
  • Awards, prizing and space selection for the Winner will follow the Major Pitch Competition
Logos of donation partners for win this space


Attend our Win This Space Pitch Night, Tickets are by Donation! Donations go towards our People's Choice Award prize for contestant voted as the peoples favourite!
  • Listen to our top contestants pitch for a chance to Win This Space.
  • Vote for your People's Choice Award Winner!
  • Join us in welcoming our Keynote Speaker by Laura Beauparlant from Lab Creative for her Keynote speach: "IT’S ALL ABOUT CHEMISTRY - Why Brands Succeed or Fail"
(Applications Closed: Register to Attend our Pitch Night) Apply to be a contestant in the Business Centre Guelph-Wellington and Downtown Guelph Business Association's "Win The Space" Competition.
  • Complete the application fully to be considered for the contest
  • Selected applicants will go through a 6 week training course from February 16th ending on March 23rd at the Mini Pitch Qualifier
  • Qualifying participants will be selected to participate in the Major Pitch Competition on April 13th from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
  • Winners of the Major Pitch Competition will win a space within Downtown Guelph: Winning prize amounts and spaces available are to be announced.
  • There is prizing for the Winner; all finalists and a pool of prizing that can be customized based on the needs of the businesses. New this year, property owners are stepping up to the plate and offering several months of rent incentives (utilities excluded) to a business plan that fits with their location (up to their discretion). Thanks to the support of our generous community sponsors over $40,000 in cash and prizes will be awarded.
Prize by Centre Staged Designs Inc.
  • "Commercial E-Design & Space Plan" When it comes to your business, there are many elements to consider in the design. From the layout and space planning to lighting and colours, many things contribute to setting the tone for a commercial space. As a business, it is essential for your space to accurately represent your brand. Your space should also provide an efficient environment for your team, while attracting and engaging customers. All of these elements have to be balanced in the design
New Prize by BMO Bank of Montreal
  • 6 Month free banking option and other potential products.
New Prizing From 2H media
  • Grand Prize: Updated Google My Business listing with new location details and photos. Video interview at new location after grand opening. Formalized Brand Guidelines. Exterior signage designs* Total value = $3100.00
  • Runners Up - Available to all participants that secure a location through the Win the Space contest. Formalized Brand Guidelines. Exterior signage designs* Total value = $1600.00
  • *2H Media will coordinate with your signage manufacturer of choice to ensure that all signage follows the brand guidelines. Sample signage designs may be supplied based on manufacturer requirements. The participant is responsible for all manufacturing costs and permitting.
Win This Space Sponsors

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