The Application for
THE 2019 Founders Circle AWARDS

Qualifiers for video day will be notified on March 8.
Winners will be announced at the IMPACT Awards Night on April 11.

Thank you to our applicants. Good luck!

Rules & Regulations (pdf)  • Scoring Criteria (pdf)  • Contest Timeline (pdf)




“FOUNDERS CIRCLE” is a project of the Rotary Club of Gravenhurst.

1. Agreement to be legally bound by rules:
When you submit a one-page proposal you are acknowledging that you and any organization your nominate agrees to be bound by the Contest Rules as provided on this website.

2. Eligibility:
In order to qualify for consideration for the $15,000 (1st place) and $5,000 (2nd place) Founders Choice Award, you will need to make sure your one-page proposal:

  • Is an idea for a start-up business or is a start-up business*;

  • Has the potential to make money;

  • Is from a Muskoka resident who has reached the age of 18;

  • Will benefit Muskoka; and

  • Requires early stage funds (usually referred to as family and friends' money)

*Please note the term "start-up business" is used to describe an organization that is designed to grow very quickly.

3. Entry Limit:
There is a limit of one (1) Entry (proposal) per person/ start-up business

4. Verification:
All applicants and entries are subject to verification at any time and for any reason by the FOUNDERS CIRCLE. Failure to provide verification to the complete satisfaction of FOUNDERS CIRCLE within the timeline specified by FOUNDERS CIRCLE may result in disqualification in the sole and absolute discretion of FOUNDERS CIRCLE.

5. Contest Timeline:
The following dates and locations are provisional and subject to change:

  • Tuesday, January 1, 2019 to March 1, 2019 – Application submission

  • Friday, March 8, 2019 – Selected Qualifiers will be notified

  • Saturday, March 16, 2019 – Video Day

  • Tuesday, March 26, 2019 – Meet The Founders: Questions & Answer session

  • Thursday, April 11, 2019 – Awards Dinner: IMPACT Awards Night at the JW Marriott The Rosseau Muskoka Resort & Spa,1050 Paignton House Rd, Minett

6. Contest Process:
Qualifiers will be notified of their selection on or before March 8th, 2019. 

Video Day (March 16, 2019) – Selected qualifiers will attend a video recording session where they will present their business idea in front of a video recording crew. 

Meet the Founders (March 26, 2019) – Five finalists will meet individually with a group of Muskoka Founders for a question and answer session. The objective of the session is for the finalists to make an impression on the Founders by articulating their business plan succinctly and answering questions. The Founders will have seen the video presentations and will be prepared to test the finalists’ knowledge and conviction.

IMPACT Awards Night (April 11, 2019) – All five finalists will be expected to attend the IMPACT Awards gala dinner on April 11th at the JW Marriott Rosseau in Minett.  Each finalist will receive two free tickets to attend the event.  Finalists will be recognized for their achievements, and vignettes of the video presentations will be shown.  At the end of the evening, the first and second Founders Choice prize winners will be announced.  

7.1. General Rules:
By participating in this contest, each entrant and winner agrees to: (a) be bound by these Contest Rules and the decisions of FOUNDERS CIRCLE; (b) agrees to submit only non-confidential information as the FOUNDERS CIRCLE cannot guarantee confidentiality (Therefore, if this is of concern, please wait until your invention is protected by a patent, trademark or other means before entering the contest) and; (c) release and hold harmless FOUNDERS CIRCLE, and its Board of Directors, officers, employees and agents from and against any and all liabilities, losses, claims, demands, costs and expenses (including lawyer’s fees and litigation expenses on a solicitor and own client basis) whatsoever to which any of them may become subject arising from any actions or omissions by the entrant.

7.2. The Founders Circle Selection Committee shall consider the one-page submission describing your idea / start-up business on condition that:

  • All diagrams submitted for this contest become the property of the FOUNDERS CIRCLE, whether selected as a winning entry or not. The FOUNDERS CIRCLE will not return such material or any portion thereof received from you as part of your application;

  • FOUNDERS CIRCLE may disclose your name, the name of your organization the nature of your idea / start-up business and other related materials as the FOUNDERS CIRCLE (together with sponsors and other organizers of the IMPACT Awards) considers appropriate. The materials may include photos, award videos and additional information deemed appropriate (e.g. for press releases, advertisements, website).

  • FOUNDERS CIRCLE reserves the right to cancel, terminate, or suspend this contest, at its discretion, at any time without prior notice.

7.3. All contest entries obtained through unauthorized sources or which are incomplete or in any way not in compliance with these Contest Rules are automatically void as are entries if the materials in the entry:

  • Contain any third-party trade-marks, name or logos without the consent of the respective owners;

  • Include any nudity, lewd or obscene behaviour; or

  • Infringe the intellectual property or privacy of a third party

7.4. FOUNDERS CIRCLE is not responsible for lost or late entries.

7.5. FOUNDERS CIRCLE is not responsible for any miscommunications, failed communications systems, software malfunctions, or for any human errors in connection with this contest.

7.6. The prizes must be accepted as awarded. No substitutions of the prizes are permitted except by FOUNDERS CIRCLE at its discretion. FOUNDERS CIRCLE reserves the right to substitute any of the prizes with other prizes of equal or greater value if any prize cannot be awarded as described for any reason. Prizes are non-transferable and are not redeemable for cash or credit, in whole or in part.

7.7. You warrant that the disclosure of material submitted with, or in support of, your idea or your start-up business does not breach the terms of any contract of employment or any other contract, and that you are entitled to make use of the material.

7.8. Questions about the collection of this information may be directed at Graham Porter at