SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Sean Houghton, Glenn Rossman, Ignacio M. Llorente, Xenia von Wedel, Peter Silva

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Applications Now Open for the $500K Spin Master Innovation Fund Hosted by Spin Master Ltd. and Canadian Youth Business Foundation

Fund is established to support and champion 10 innovative Canadian-made businesses each year

TORONTO, ONTARIO -- (Marketwired) -- 05/01/14 -- Spin Master Ltd., Canada's most innovative children's toy and entertainment company, and the Canadian Youth Business Foundation (CYBF) and have teamed up to support innovative young entrepreneurs through the Spin Master Innovation Fund for the fourth consecutive year. This program annually supports up to 10 innovative businesses, each with $50,000 in start-up financing, a hand-matched mentor from CYBF's industry-leading mentoring program and a trip to the Spin Master offices in Toronto to attend a two-day Innovation Launch Pad Workshop, with exclusive access to senior Spin Master executives. Plus, program alumni are supported each year with an Accelerator workshop designed to allow ongoing access to intellectual capital at Spin Master and peer to peer learning. This year, the accelerator program has grown to include new partners Deloitte and Dentons Canada LLP; with both companies hosting innovation sessions for alumni.

Applications open today and will offer qualified 18-39 year olds the opportunity to kick-start their innovative start-up business. Qualified individuals are invited to apply online before June 20, 2014 at www.cybf.ca/innovation.

"The partnership between CYBF and Spin Master has helped us jump-start innovative young entrepreneurs from coast-to-coast," says Julia Deans, CEO, CYBF. "The Spin Master Innovation Fund furthers the passion and spirit of Canadian innovation by identifying highly driven young people and helping them become the future job creators who will strengthen and grow our economy."

"We are excited to partner with CYBF and give back to young entrepreneurs for the fourth consecutive year," says Spin Master's Chairman and co-CEO, Ronnen Harary. "This fund allows us to finance young people with great ideas while matching them with great mentors to make them successful."

"The Spin Master Innovation Fund has provided me with the opportunity to work with a mentor who was specifically chosen for my business needs," said Sarah Fong, founder and CEO of Suite City, an online portal for condo sales, based in Toronto, ON, and Spin Master Innovation Fund 2013 recipient. "In addition, I was able access the essential start-up funding, and crucial advice and support from the CYBF and Spin Master communities."

Sarah Fong worked in consulting for a few years and as an economist/market analyst where she was able to strengthen her entrepreneurial skills. She eventually took the plunge and left to start her own business because she had a vision of the kind of lifestyle she wanted to build for herself, which didn't seem to fit in to a traditional career. Since attending the Spin Master Innovation Launch Pad Workshop in 2013, she has been active with both media interviews and pitching her business in competitions. She continues to revolutionize the condo marketplace with Suite City, the low-cost alternative to using a real estate agent for the digitally-savvy buyer and seller. Sarah will be joining other alumni at the second annual Accelerator workshop to be held in Toronto on May 14 - 15, 2014. During the workshop, alumni will have one on one specialized mentoring sessions with Spin Master executives, Adam Beder, (EVP of Licensing) and Jeff Hurst (VP, US & Canadian Sales).

To highlight the business success of the Spin Master Innovation Fund alumni, and champion Canada's young innovators, CYBF is profiling their journeys in a series of "Where Are They Now?" vignettes - a social media campaign that follows the path to success for a series of program participants, available at www.cybf.ca/blog.

About Spin Master Ltd.:

A multi-category children's entertainment company, Spin Master has been designing, developing, manufacturing, and marketing consumer products for children around the world since 1994 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 2009-2010 Boy's Toy of the Year winner Bakugan Battle Brawlers™, and award-winning brands Air Hogs®, Aquadoodle™, Flutterbye™, Spin Master Games™ including 2014 Game of the Year, Boom Boom Balloon ™ and the popular Hedbanz™, SpyGear™, Tech Deck™, and the 2014 Innovative Toy of the Year Zoomer™. 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, including the hit animated preschool series, PAW Patrol™. Spin Master employs over 900 people with offices in Toronto, Los Angeles, London, Paris, Hong Kong, Mexico City, Munich, and Milan. For additional information please visit: www.spinmaster.com.

About the Canadian Youth Business Foundation

The Canadian Youth Business Foundation (CYBF) is a national non-profit organization dedicated to growing our nation's economy one young entrepreneur at a time. We look at character not collateral, when providing youth, age 18-39, with pre-launch coaching, business resources, start-up financing and mentoring, to help them launch and sustain a successful entrepreneurial business. CYBF has been recognized as a global leader in advancing youth entrepreneurship, is a founding member of the global G20 Young Entrepreneurs' Alliance (G20 YEA) and the Canadian Host of Global Entrepreneurship Week (November 18-24, 2013). Visit www.cybf.ca.

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