Post-secondary students eligible for Mayor’s Annual Innovation Challenge

Mayor Bryan Paterson. Photo by Phillip Stafford.

The City of Kingston is calling on local post-secondary students to share their innovative ideas. The fourth annual Mayor’s challenge seeks suggestions from college and university students on how to improve Kingston.

“With all the challenges we’re facing as a community as a result of the pandemic, it’s never been more important to explore new ideas and approaches to help support our recovery and ensure we build back in efficient and innovative ways,” said Mayor Bryan Paterson. “I’m thrilled to announce the launch of the 4th annual Mayor’s Innovation Challenge. Each year, this event is a highlight, and once again I’m excited to hear innovative ideas from our students.”

Prizes include entry into the Queen’s Innovation Centre Summer Initiative (QICSI 2021), as well as bursaries towards education.

How to participate

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year, the Mayor’s Innovative Challenge student showcase will take place online in March. Participants must:

  • Attend an online (Zoom) workshop from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 23 or from 12 to 1 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 24. Find out more and register here.
  • Prepare a two to three-minute video proposal that presents:
    • an innovative project that could be implemented in the city and contributes to the quality of life of residents, or
    • a proposal that leverages emerging technologies or develops new innovations to enhance the delivery of municipal services.

Proponents of shortlisted proposals will be invited to present their ideas in a virtual (Zoom), live-streamed event to a panel of leaders with expertise in municipal government, entrepreneurship, and innovation.

This year’s pitch competition will take place online on Friday, Mar. 26, 2021 following municipal innovation week (March 22 to 25), which will feature lunch-time presentations highlighting innovation in the municipal sphere.

About the prizes

Prizes are being offered in two streams:

Winners of the Dunin-Deshpande Smart Kingston Stream will receive admission to the Dunin-Deshpande Queen’s Innovation Centre (DDQIC) incubator program. This prize includes a $7,000 stipend for up to three co-founders, up to $4,000 seed capital to build a venture around the winning idea, and full participation in the Queen’s Innovation Centre Summer Initiative (QICSI 2021) program – including the opportunity to pitch again in August for a grand prize of $30,000. Learn more about the QICSI program.

Winners of the Public Sector Innovation Stream will be awarded bursaries to use toward their university or college programs. A total of $8,000 is available in bursaries for the students who excel in the student showcase. Funding for this prize is being provided by Bell Canada.

Samantha Butler-Hassan, Local Journalism Initiative

Samantha Butler-Hassan is a staff writer and life-long Kingston resident. She is a news junkie and mom who loves reading and exploring the community. This article has been made possible with the support of the Local Journalism Initiative.

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