CEC North American Youth Innovation Challenge 2018 – Win C$5,000 in seed funding!

CEC North American Youth Innovation Challenge 2018 – Win C$5,000 in seed funding!

Deadline: April 3, 2018

Young entrepreneurs from all over North America to submit their ideas for the Commission for Environmental Cooperation’s (CEC) Innovation Challenge. Submit your bold idea for the chance to receive C$5,000 in seed funding and present your innovation to North America’s top environmental officials in Oklahoma City, United States this summer. From all the ideas on the platform, nine semifinalists will be invited to develop their innovative ideas into full proposals.

The innovation challenge is intended to harness the creativity of college and university students and young entrepreneurs by eliciting bold and innovative technology, science and business ideas for green growth that address the complex sustainability challenges facing North America. Innovative ideas will:

  • Create better or more effective products, processes, services, technologies, business models, marketing, supply chains and/or partnerships for the benefit of society, the economy and the environment.
  • Contribute to the natural asset base of North American economies, create green jobs and/or economic opportunities for citizens in North America.
  • Make good business sense in terms of profitability and potential for growth.

These ideas will then be crowdsourced—a process whereby submitters refine their ideas based on feedback and comments from the community of North American youth registered on the platform.

Theme and Driving Questions

The theme for this year’s challenge is Innovation and Partnerships for Green Growth. Driving questions that can help you to articulate your idea for this challenge include:

  • Innovation and Partnerships: How will my idea create better or more effective products, processes, services, technologies, business models, marketing or supply chains for the benefit of society, the economy and the environment? Does my idea capitalize on partnerships to enrich the concept, implementation and for results?
  • Impact: How does my idea contribute to maintaining the natural asset base of North American economies? Does my idea help North America become more efficient in using natural resources and environmental services? Will my idea create green jobs and economic opportunities for citizens in North America?
  • Feasibility and Replicability: How will I implement the idea? What is the timeline? What are the technical/technological challenges/requirements/opportunities? What human, capital and natural resources are required? What partnerships would increase the likelihood of success of this venture? Could the idea be replicated in Canada, Mexico or the United States?
  • Profitability and Growth: What level of investment is required before any revenue can be generated? Does my idea make good business sense? Is there a market opportunity or niche to fill? Can I demonstrate growth potential, for example by moving into new markets, developing new products, or expanding from a niche market to a broader operation?

Prizes

  • The individual or team lead for the top three proposals will be invited to present their proposal to North America’s top environmental officials at the CEC Council Session, in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, United States.
  • Transportation and lodging, airport transfer expenses, and a daily stipend for food will be provided. The traveler is responsible for obtaining any necessary travel documents such as a valid passport and travel visa.
  • The invitation will be extended to the individual or team lead (one person) for each of the top three proposals. The team lead may only transfer the invitation to another person within the team of submitters. The submitter or submission team members are the only people eligible to travel to the CEC Council Session, to be held in Summer 2018.

Eligibility

  • Participants in the Youth Innovation Challenge must be 18 to 30 years old on the date they upload their idea to the ideation platform. The idea may be uploaded by an individual or team of submitters.
  • Participants must be residents of Canada, Mexico or the United States.
  • Participants must demonstrate that their idea responds to one or several of the sustainability challenges facing North America through innovative green growth science, technology or business solutions.
  • Participants must demonstrate the innovativeness of their approach or solution (i.e., respond to one or several of the innovation-focused driving questions).
  • By submitting an idea, participants confirm that they are the sole author or have obtained written permission from all team members who contributed to developing the idea before uploading it to the ideation platform.
  • Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) staff, Joint Public Advisory Committee (JPAC) members, CEC and JPAC immediate family members, and Youth Innovation Challenge judges or immediate family members of judges (siblings, children, grandchildren) are not eligible to enter.

Students and young entrepreneurs are encouraged to share innovative ideas that:

  • Create better or more effective products, processes, services, technologies, business models, marketing, supply chains and/or partnerships for the benefit of society, the economy and the environment.
  • Contribute to the natural asset base of North American economies, creating green jobs and/or economic opportunities for citizens in North America;
  • Make good business sense in terms of profitability and potential for growth.

Show them what you’ve got! Submit your bright idea and benefit from the collective intelligence of youth across North America.

Judging Criteria

  • Ideas and subsequent proposals must respond to one or several of the stated sustainability challenges in North America and present innovative green growth science, technology or business solutions.
  • The idea and proposal approach or solution must demonstrate innovativeness (i.e. respond to one or several of the innovation-focused driving questions).
  • Ideas and proposals will be judged using the following criteria: innovation and partnerships (30%), feasibility and replicability (30%), impact (30%) and profitability/growth (10%).
  • The idea and proposal must have been developed by youth aged 18-30 in Canada, Mexico or the United States.
  • Any idea or proposal containing vulgarity, nudity, violence, defamatory language or any other subject matter deemed by the CEC to be inappropriate will be disqualified and given no further consideration.
  • Participants agree that the decisions of the panel of judges are final.

Application

  • Ideas: All eligible ideas must be posted to the ideation platform by midnight on Tuesday, 3 April 2018 (Eastern Standard Time). Ideas posted after this time will not be considered eligible.
  • Proposals: All fully-completed proposals must be posted to the ideation platform by midnight on Monday, 7 May 2018 (Eastern Time). Proposals that are incomplete or posted after this time will not be considered eligible.
  • Top Proposal Selection: The panel of judges will select the top three proposals on or around Tuesday, 22 May 2018.

Make sure to tell them about your green idea on the Youth Innovation Challenge Facebook page or Twitter using the #Youth4Innovation hashtag!.

For more information, visit CEC Youth Innovation Challenge.

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