The folks who started 100 Entrepreneurs: Planting Seed$, an annual pitching competition that awards one young entrepreneur $10,000, have registered the organization as a non-profit called 100 Seeds Atlantic.

Halifax-based 100 Seed$ has a more solid structure now, with a new website and advanced ticket sales for its pitching event, said Allyson England, owner of Nova Box and one of the co-founders of Seed$.

England said in an interview she’s excited about “the future potential of the organization and its ability to have an impact on more youth, both in Nova Scotia and Atlantic Canada.”

Seed$ also formed an advisory board, that includes Halifax Mayor Mike Savage and leading business people, to help better understand and foster youth entrepreneurship. Don Mills, the chairman and founder of Corporate Research Associates, said he joined the board because it’s important to foster the next generation of entrepreneurs.

“In fact, Nova Scotia and the entire Atlantic Canadian region need to rekindle the kind of entrepreneurial spirit that existed in the region prior to Confederation,” said Mills. “Our future prosperity depends upon it.”

The next Seed$ pitching competition is scheduled for Jan. 16 at the Halifax Public Library and you can buy your ticket here. Each ticket costs $100, and the organizers aim for 100 attendees to provide a $10,000 prize package for the winner.  All the contestants are young people developing a business in the region.

England said the advanced sales will streamline the operations on the day of the event because they previously had to collect 100 different cheques at or after the pitching event.   

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The first Planting Seed$ event was held in 2015 as a response to Ray Ivany’s report on Nova Scotia’s future, which said only 12 percent of youth between 16 and 24 in Atlantic Canada aspired to start their own business. Planting Seed$ aims to raise that percentage and encourage more youth to become entrepreneurs.

“My mission was to simply encourage young Nova Scotians to have courage, and to roll up their sleeves and test out their ideas right here at home,” said Stefanie MacDonald, the owner and designer of Halifax Paper Hearts and co-founder of Seed$.

“I am so inspired by the drive and determination of our past finalists, and continue to follow their stories of success and growth.”

The past winners of Seed$ competitions were Canada Cold Press Juices in 2015, and renewable energy company Aurea in 2016.