Minister Pillai announces Yukon Fur Real winner of the 2018 Yukon Innovation Prize

Harry Borlase and Minister Ranj Pillai present the $60,000 YIP cheque to Yukon Fur Real members Lisa Preto and Misha Donohoe.
CCI Director Harry Borlase and Minister Ranj Pillai present the $60,000 YIP cheque to Yukon Fur Real members Lisa Preto and Misha Donohoe.

WHITEHORSE— The Honourable Ranj Pillai, Minister of Economic Development for the Government of Yukon announced the Yukon Fur Real project, led by Kelly Milner, as the winner of the 2018 Yukon Innovation Prize.

Yukon Fur Real team members Lisa Preto and Misha Donohoe were on hand to receive the $60,000 grand prize on behalf of the team today from Minister Pillai and Harry Borlase, Director, Cold Climate Innovation at Yukon College, in a ceremony at Ayamdigut campus.

The winning submission proposed an initiative to develop a sustainable business strategy for the marketing and sales of Yukon wild fur and fur products.

In making their decision, judges cited the project’s rural focus, the revival of a traditional economy, and the potential to disrupt the existing fur market.

“Economic diversification and innovation is key to a vibrant Yukon economy. I am proud to see projects like Yukon Fur Real being recognized, and given the chance to make positive changes in the lives of all Yukoners. Congratulations to the Yukon Fur Real team and to all the applicants who will continue to innovate and lead us into the future,” said Minister Pillai.

“We are pleased with the number of quality of submission we received overall this year. It was very competitive and the four finalists worked hard to present their best vision to the jury,” said Harry Borlase. “Yukoners are incredibly creative in crafting inventive solutions to northern challenges and the team at CCI is happy to continue encouraging and supporting our culture of innovation.”

From 29 initial submissions, the shortlist was made up of four ideas from Yukon innovators with high potential of societal impact, sustainability, and economic viability in the area of social entrepreneurship. The finalists each received $10,000 to further develop their idea and compete for the grand prize.

The annual Yukon Innovation Prize was created by Cold Climate Innovation at Yukon College and Government of Yukon’s Economic Development to invigorate and support Yukon innovators.

For more information, please contact:

Lauren Beille

Manager, Northern Innovation and Entrepreneurship
Community, Innovation and Development

Sara Thompson

Program Enhancement Officer
Cold Climate Innovation
Yukon Research Centre

Michael Vernon

Communications Coordinator
College and External Relations