2017 SingularityU Canada Global Impact Challenge

Submit an idea that will positively impact the lives of the people of Canada and beyond

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Are you the next exponential leader of tomorrow?

What is your big idea to improve the standard of living of 1 million+ Canadians over the next 3 to 5 years using exponential technology?

Overview

The SingularityU Canada Global Impact Challenge strives to celebrate and promote change agents and their high impact ideas; align them as thought leaders for innovation, exponential change, and positive social change; and open national and local conversations about innovation in Canada. 

This challenge is an open call to entrepreneurs, technologists, and scientists for innovations and startups that positively impact the lives of people living in Canada, with an ability to scale and impact millions of people worldwide in the next 10 years. 

Why host a Global Impact Challenge in Canada?

Canada has a celebrated history of world-changing innovations in medicine, energy, transportation, food, and technology. We have the talent, drive, dedication, and opportunity to succeed.

Our creativity and resourcefulness define us and innovation is a Canadian value. Therefore, let’s rise to the occasion and showcase our innovative solutions to humanity's biggest challenges and create solutions for millions of people in Canada and beyond.

Apply to this challenge by submitting your BIG idea to improve the standard of living of 1 million+ Canadians over the next 3-5 years using exponential technology.

New for 2017

This year, the GSP has two big changes: (1) climate change is the overarching theme, and (2) we have a new collaboration with XPRIZE.

We selected the climate change theme because it has consequences for every industry, geographic region, and way of life. Even if you don’t consider yourself a climate change authority or innovator, your skill set can probably help mitigate the effects of climate change. If you’re already passionate about impact or working in the impact space, you can create a moonshot innovation to address this urgent global problem.

We will not require participants to innovate in the climate change space, and welcome people from all disciplines to apply, but this theme will inform the program curriculum. We are looking for applicants from ANY technology or science discipline because we know a challenge as huge as climate change can only be solved within the convergence of multiple disciplines and exponential technologies. 

Our collaboration with XPRIZE will give you an extraordinary opportunity to tap into the wisdom and expertise of the best minds working in this field today and their established network of funders. 

The prize

The winner of this challenge will secure a full sponsorship to attend the prestigious Global Solutions Program at Singularity University. The program runs from June 17 to August 17, 2017, and is held on the SU campus at NASA Research Park.

This year, for the first time, GSP is ideally looking for applicants who have the skills and passion to develop a moonshot idea and launch a startup company that addresses climate change, although we will also accept outstanding candidates who have other areas of expertise or choose to innovate in other fields.

Climate change is a broad focus area that includes many areas ripe for innovation. For example, if you're developing sustainable food sources or alternative energy sources, developing governance models for policy, or focused on issues such as biodiversity or water access, you already fall within the climate change theme and should definitely apply.

Again, we welcome entrepreneurs, technologists, scientists, and other experts from all disciplines to apply, and we will not require participants to innovate in the climate change space.

Dates and timeline

Applications open: December 23, 2016

Applications close: March 5, 2017

Pitch event and winners announced: April 5, 2017, Toronto City Hall at 6:30 PM

Sponsored by:

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Rules & Criteria

Applicant Criteria

Applicants must meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • The challenge is open to residents and citizens of Canada
  • You must be age 21 or older on the first day of the GSP
  • You must be fluent in written and spoken English
  • You must be able to participate in the entire GSP17 program from June 17 - August 17, 2017
  • Applicants selected as finalists will be interviewed by a panel of judges in April 2017

Who Should Apply

We look for people from all professional backgrounds, but will be really thrilled to find you if:

  • You’re an accomplished entrepreneur, technologist, scientist, or change agent with expertise in your chosen field(s)
  • You have a background in or a passion for addressing climate change or are working to address any of the direct or indirect effects of climate change, such as governance, security, sustainable water supplies, and alternative food or energy sources 
  • You’re already considering how to leverage exponential technologies to create positive impact in the world 
  • You’re committed to the long-term journey of launching an impact-focused startup

Assessment Criteria

We will evaluate submissions using the following criteria:

  • Degree of the solution's relevance to the theme of the challenge
  • The regional relevance in solving the challenge in Canada
  • Feasibility, viability, and coherence of implementing the idea
  • Entrepreneurial and innovative potential, with a focus on technological novelty
  • Applicant's leadership experience and quality, profile, achievements, and potential

Entry Criteria

  • CV or resume
  • Summary of accomplishments 
  • An abstract of the project idea
  • Video (provide url) of the project idea

Important Dates

  • Applications open: December 23, 2016
  • Applications close: March 5, 2017
  • Pitch event & winners announced: April 5, 2017, Toronto City Hall at 6:30 PM

GIC Organizing Team

Oren Berkovich

Deloitte

Irene Sterian

ReMAP Network

Karen Dubeau

ventureLAB

Wendy Cukier

Ted Rogers School of Management
ReMAP Network

Andrea Palmer

AwakeLabs
2015 Canada GIC Winner

Join our exponential team!

Want to participate in the planning of the 2017 GIC?

Learn more about our committees, or contact Irene Sterian, Executive Director, ReMAP at [email protected] for more information.

Interested in partnering for the 2017 Canadian Global Impact Challenge?

Download the partner package or contact Irene Sterian, Executive Director, ReMAP at [email protected] for opportunities.

Frequently Asked Questions

Global Impact Challenges (GICs) are annual incentive competitions held in partnership with sponsor organizations worldwide and organized by geography and theme. These challenges act as a platform to identify outstanding entrepreneurs, leaders, scientists, and engineers with the most innovative ideas for moonshot innovations and startups that can positively impact a billion people in 10 years. The winner of each challenge receives a full sponsorship to attend our transformational Global Solutions Program.

Do ideas have to be at a certain stage to be submitted?

No, ideas do not have to be at a certain stage to be submitted.

Who is the owner of the intellectual property resulting from a GIC?

Intellectual property resulting from a GIC belongs to the applicant(s).

What is the GIC review process?

The selection process has 2-3 phases, depending on the GIC. The first phase involves a review of all applications to determine 5-10 finalists, and the second phase involves final judging to select the winner at a pitch event.

Is there an obligation for the GIC winner to work on the winning project during the GSP?

No, there’s no such obligation from either SU or the GIC Sponsor. The GIC winner can elect to recruit fellow GSP classmates to work on his or her winning project or create an entirely new project during the summer.

Who pays for the travel expenses for the winner to come to SU?

GIC winners are responsible for their own travel expenses to/from SU.

What happens if a GIC winner cannot attend GSP for any reason?

In all cases where a GIC winner cannot attend GSP, the winner forfeits his or her GSP seat to the first runner-up and would then need to reapply for admission in a future year.

For more information, see the Global Solutions Program.

Still have questions?

Contact the Global Impact Challenge team at SU at [email protected].