Additional $20,000 up for grabs

The second phase of a regional innovation and entrepreneurial challenge offers $20,000 in funding for a new product, service or solution aimed at bettering the community and aiding economic recovery

A TRIO OF London-based organizations have announced the second phase of a program calling on Southwestern Ontario innovators to team up on inclusive, technology-enabled solutions to revitalize and rebuild our local economy and community.

TechAlliance, Libro Credit Union and Pillar Nonprofit Network have launched the second stage of the Recovery & Rebuilding the Region: Design Challenges, and are seeking collaborative made-in-Southwestern Ontario solutions that support economic recovery and community prosperity.  The challenges are co-presented by Communitech in Waterloo Region, and WEtech Alliance, in Windsor-Essex.

The second phase of the challenge asks innovators, entrepreneurs and community organizations to work together on an application that will:

  • address rebuilding and revitalizing our communities;
  • support regional economic recovery;
  • demonstrate measurable social, environmental, and economic impact.

The successful applicant will be granted $20,000 in funding, as well as a personalized suite of business advisory, financial coaching and community impact services provided by the Design Challenge partners.

The challenge is open to individuals and teams of people who are collaborating or seeking to collaborate on initiatives, startups or growth for enterprises and nonprofits. Applicants are encouraged to design with empathy for those most affected by Covid-19, and to be mindful of diverse perspectives as they create their solutions.

  • Applications open at 9:00 a.m. on Monday, June 15.
  • Applications close at 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday, June 17.
  • The successful applicant will be announced on Wednesday, June 24.

Interested parties can access application questions and a frequently asked questions document in advance of the application portal opening on June 15 by clicking here.

“This moment requires us to look beyond ourselves, our organizations, our businesses and dream of what is possible together,” said Michelle Baldwin, Pillar Nonprofit Network executive director. “Bringing diverse people and perspectives to a new product, service or solution will amplify its innovation, inclusiveness and impact. Collaboration is the way forward in this crisis.”

The recipient of the first $20,000 Recovery & Rebuilding the Region: Design Challenge was London-based Go Fog It, founded by Diana House and Melissa McInerney. Go Fog It, which offers disinfectant fogging to make spaces safer, was selected for their innovative response to the immediate health and social issues related to Covid-19.

“We were amazed to receive over 100 applications in our first challenge,” said Lori Atkinson, regional manager advice and service delivery, Libro Credit Union. “We will welcome new applicants and those interested in re-applying. We were already wowed once and we’re ready to be inspired again by the great minds and talent in our region who will work together to help southwestern Ontario move past immediate responses to Covid-19 and on the road to recovery.”

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