Social entrepreneurship is the theme of fourth $100,000 Yukon Innovation Prize

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WhitehorseCold Climate Innovation (CCI) at Yukon College and Government of Yukon’s department of Economic Development have launched the fourth annual Yukon Innovation Prize (YIP). Yukoners can win up to $70,000 for their innovative product or service designed under the theme of social entrepreneurship.

Innovators first compete for one of four $10,000 prizes which is used to further develop their idea and provide evidence of social impact and economic viability. The four finalists then submit their refined plans to compete for the grand prize of $60,000 in additional funding to bring their innovation towards commercialization.

“The incredibly creative minds of Yukoners craft innovative solutions to Northern problems. CCI encourages that innovation and by supporting this culture we continue to build a vibrant northern economy,” said Alison Anderson, Technology Innovation Officer at Yukon College.

Suitable projects for the 2018 YIP would include any innovation that solves a social issue or helps people live better lives. Applicants must address the economic viability of their idea as well as the benefits it can bring to Yukon and its communities.

“Each year, the Yukon Innovation Prize highlights our territory’s wealth of talent and provides an exciting opportunity to support Yukon innovators,” said Minister of Economic Development Ranj Pillai. “The Yukon Innovation Prize is an important part of growing and diversifying our economy – and I look forward to seeing this year’s submissions.”

The 2017 grand prize winners were Elise McCormack and Joanne Sherrard in the theme of health and wellness. Their project proposed a line of facial care products made with natural compounds found in birch sap. With the help of Cold Climate Innovation, they are moving towards commercializing their line of Aurum Birch Sap Skincare.

The 2018 competition runs from Thursday, January 18 to Sunday, March 4th. It is open to any Yukon-based resident or organization. The four finalists will be selected by March 19th.

Interested parties can attend an information session on Friday, February 9th at Ayamdigut campus in Whitehorse in room T1082 from 5pm to 6:30pm. More information and application forms can be found at yukoncollege.yk.ca/YIP.

While the YIP focuses on a thematic area each year, Cold Climate Innovation welcomes innovative ideas year-round.