TORONTO, May 6, 2016 – Last night at CivicAction’s ELNshowcase, five teams of emerging leaders presented rapid-fire project pitches in a Dragon’s Den-style event. The prize? Seed funding, work space, strategy support and media profile to help turn their ideas into action. Now in its third year, the event helps incubate projects that aim to make the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA) a better place to live, work and play.
“CivicAction’s Emerging Leaders Network [ELN] attracts the best and brightest rising leaders our region has to offer,” said Sevaun Palvetzian, CEO of CivicAction. “This event showcases that incredible talent while also inspiring new & creative ideas that will shape the future of our region.”
The winning team, Get Outside! Toronto Parks + Trails App took home the grand prize package of $1500 cash, 100 hours of co-working space at the Centre for Social Innovation (CSI), a strategy session with PwC and promotional support from NOW Magazine – a package that will help get their project off the ground. Get Outside! proposed an app that showcases the city’s incredible greenspaces and calls on people to interact with parks and trails in new ways by providing accessibility, amenity, event, activity and permit information to users.
“We’re so grateful for the award,” said Neluka Leanage, Get Outside! Team member. “The talent in the ELNshowcase room was tremendous and all the project ideas were brilliant.”
The winner was selected by an all-star panel of judges with a deep understanding of what it takes to make new ideas stick:
- Rami Lama,Group Director Business Development at Fjord (Accenture)
- Sheldon Levy, Ontario Deputy Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities
- Scott Mullin, Vice President of Community Relations at TD Bank
- Elisha Muskat, Executive Director, Ashoka Foundation
- Joanna Reynolds, Director of Social Enterprise, CSI
- Som Seif, President & CEO, Purpose Investments
“Through ELN project incubation we support our members to test and strengthen their city-building ideas,” said Elisha Muskat, ELN Co-Chair. “It is inspiring to watch rising leaders build both themselves and their city, and to realize their civic vision.”
Proving that city-building can be a democratic process, new to this year’s event was the People’s Choice Award, which gave the audience the opportunity to “be the judge” and vote for their favorite project. The award went to Baby Bucks, a pilot loan program modeled off the Ontario Student Assistance Program that would help middle-income families afford the rising costs of childcare.
At ELNshowcase, CivicAction also celebrated 10 years of supporting the region’s rising leaders through the ELN. CivicAction’s leadership programs have incubated many successful city-building projects such as Project Neutral, which has helped 80 percent of participating households in Toronto reduce their carbon footprint by five tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions; and the Pan Am Path, an 80-kilometre multi-use path that continues to offer active public space long past the Pan Am Games.
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