News

Five Ontario-based social enterprises to compete for $20,000 at Discovery 2018

March 29, 2018

TORONTO, March 29, 2018 – Five Ontario-based social enterprise ventures will compete for $20,000 in awards at Ontario Centres of Excellence’s (OCE) third Social Enterprise Pitch Competition, being held on May 1 at Discovery 2018.

The pitch competition is part of the Social Enterprise Zone (SEZ) at Discovery, which runs April 30 and May 1 at Metro Toronto Convention Centre, in partnership with the Ministry of Economic Development and Growth (MEDG). The SEZ will showcase innovative social enterprises, connecting them to potential investors, partners, and customers.

“Ontario’s social enterprises are an essential way our province is redefining business; proving that making a positive impact on lives and growing the economy can go hand-in-hand,” says Steven Del Duca, Minister of Economic Development and Growth. “The third Social Enterprise Pitch Competition is one way our province, and its partners, are supporting an ecosystem where ideas for high-potential social enterprises can flourish.”

The Social Enterprise Pitch Competition accepted applications from for-profit and non-profit social enterprise ventures across the province. To enter the competition, companies submitted two-minute videos or pitch decks outlining the problem they aim to solve. These presentations include the social and environmental impact, the market, a competitive analysis, traction, revenue model, and any other unique items about the business.

“The Social Enterprise Zone and Pitch Competition offer a great opportunity to see just how exemplary and forward-thinking Ontario’s social entrepreneurs really are,” says Dr. Tom Corr, President and CEO, OCE. “We are very excited to see how these teams address social challenges that allow us to focus on improving the lives of everyone in this province through innovation and great business ideas.”

On May 1, the five competition finalists will be given six minutes to pitch their innovative product or service to a judging panel comprised of investors, leaders in the social innovation community and OCE representatives. A three-minute question-and-answer period will follow each pitch.

The competition winner will receive an award package valued at $20,000, including $10,000 from MEDG and a $10,000 legal-services package from Norton Rose Fulbright to assist with the further development of their social enterprise.

The five finalists are:

  • Genecis Enviro Tech Inc. 
  • Genecis converts organic waste into high quality biodegradable plastics.
  • NU Grocery
  • Ontario's first zero waste grocery store, NU Grocery is reinventing consumption by eliminating packaging from producer to consumer.
  • Just Vertical Incorporated 
  • This hydroponic growing technology and subscription service makes it easier for families to grow and consume their own food.
  • Library In a Week 
  • Library In a Week empowers some of the most disadvantaged children around the world by providing access to knowledge by building libraries in under a week in communities around the world.
  • Growing North 
  • Growing North tackles food insecurity through Arctic Growing Domes and implementing educational programming to ensure long term sustainability.

Named Canada’s Best Trade Show in 2010, 2011, 2016, and 2017, and celebrating 13 years of bold, new ideas, OCE’s Discovery is Canada’s premier innovation showcase. It brings together the best and brightest minds in industry, academia, investment and government to showcase leading-edge technologies, best practices and research in the areas of energy, fintech, cleantech, the environment, advanced health, digital media, information and communication technologies and advanced manufacturing. The annual conference and showcase attracts more than 3,600 attendees and 500 exhibitors.

For more on Discovery, please visit www.ocediscovery.com.

Media Contact: 
Andrew Robertson
Manager, Media Relations
t: 416.861.1092 x 1092
andrew.robertson@oce-ontario.org