Advancing Ideas Into Solutions In A Virtual Environment
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we learn, teach, interact, and share information. Educators and learners have been forced to pivot and adapt to a virtual environment, and have demonstrated tremendous resiliency.
To best support our students and foster a sense of entrepreneurship, we have modified our annual Innovation Launchpad @ CUE program and are proud to be offering a fully virtual program. The program is open to interested CUE students and registration is now open. (Registration will close on February 17, 2021.)
Creating An Environment for Entrepreneurship And Innovation
Our virtual 2021 program has two components: an Innovation Sprint and an Innovation Showcase. These components have been intentionally designed to provide students with inspiration and support, and equip them with the tools and knowledge needed to pursue and advance their ideas.
A five-day program comprising virtual, action-based learning modules, the Innovation Sprint will challenge participants to ask questions, think critically, and build a strong foundation to bring their ideas to life. A facilitator will lead daily modules and guide participants through workshops to gain the skills, knowledge, and confidence needed to brainstorm concepts, prototype solutions, and conduct end-user testing and interviews. Upon completion of the structured modules, the facilitator will be available to answer questions, and provide clarifications and tips to participants.
Following the Innovation Sprint, participants will have five days to implement learnings and prepare a 5 minute presentation to be shared at our annual Innovation Launchpad Showcase. At the showcase, each participant will present their idea, progress, and next steps to a panel of expert judges from across Edmonton’s innovation and entrepreneurship community, and prizes will be awarded. More details to follow.
Registration will close on February 17, 2021.
Innovation Sprint Schedule
Note: All modules will be delivered virtually from 10am to noon.
|February 22||Lean Canvas|
Lean Canvas is a 1-page business plan template that helps you deconstruct your idea into its key assumptions
|March 1||Identify your Customers|
In this workshop, you will learn some tips and tricks to identify early adopters and understand customer needs
|March 8||Plan your test|
You will be introduced to tools that can help you develop assumptions regarding your idea and help you pick the optimal prototype
|March 15||Prototype development|
Our facilitators will help you build a prototype for testing
|March 22||Test the Prototype|
We will help you test the proposed solution using the prototype and/or other testing methods
All the workshops will be facilitated by Startup Edmonton with support available from Isha Katyal, Director, Innovation and Industry at CUE and Dave Damer, Executive-in-Residence at CUE.
Innovation Launchpad Showcase
Our annual Innovation Launchpad Showcase will be held virtually on March 26, 2021 from 12:30pm to 2pm.
Eligibility and Commitment
Only full-time students registered in a program at CUE and recent CUE graduates (graduated in the last 12 months) are eligible to apply and participate in the program. All participants must commit to participate in all program workshops and events online.
In addition to the online workshops, participants will be required to meet the goals set during the sprint and for the duration of the program. To register, please click here. Registration will close on February 17, 2021.
As a program facilitator, Tristan helps deliver our curriculum in an engaging and passionate way. He brings 12 years of experience in facilitating adult learners, namely in a social work context. Most recently, he co-created an 18-week course that taught programming languages to unemployed students looking to find full-time employment in the tech industry. Tristan has managed various teams in both Canada and Australia, specialized in creating out of the box programs for children with complex diagnoses. He also holds a diploma in Theatre. When not at work, Tristan can be found spending time with his family or enjoying a film.
Allan loves kick-starting ideas—from dreams to programs. He brings experience in not-for-profit and cross-cultural educational leadership to Startup Edmonton, where he is responsible for delivering our curriculum in a dynamic and thoughtful way. Allan has experience leading workshops around the world and is excited to sit down with founders and establish their next steps. He is equally passionate about giving back to the community and has been involved in many humanitarian projects over the years. Currently, he teaches citizenship classes to help prepare immigrants to become Canadians. When Allan is not coaching basketball with his son, you will find him playing touch football or cheering on Edmonton’s CFL team with his family.
Jessica Doody, Lead Program Manager
As lead program manager, Jessica ensures our curriculum is top-notch, up to date and well-delivered. A serial entrepreneur and recent graduate of the Master of Innovation and Entrepreneurship program at Queen’s University, she has a wealth of knowledge to share with the city’s startup community. Jessica loves health and fitness almost as much as she loves entrepreneurship. Her latest entrepreneurial venture saw her building a gym on the south side of Edmonton. In 2017, she also founded a fitness and leadership coaching program for teen and pre-teen girls, called GirlStrong Gang. Jessica is a proud mama bear and a mountain girl. When she isn’t facilitating programs at Startup, she can be found throwing a frisbee for her German shepherd, playing guitar with her daughters or in the river valley.
All the participants who complete the program will be given $300 in tuition credits upon completion of program requirements.
Participants will have the opportunity to win additional prizes based on completion of Innovation Sprint activities and milestones. Prizes include:
- CUE Bookstore Gift Cards
- Financial Support to Attend the Inventures Conference
- Cash Prizes
All prizes offered through the Innovation Launchpad @ CUE program are generously provided by our supporters and donors. We would like to thank CUE, our Alumni Association, the Edmonton Regional Innovation Network Community Initiatives Program, and the Institutional Support for Entrepreneurial Education (ISEE) program by Alberta Innovates. All prizes have a very specific purpose: To allow our student participants to proceed with their venture and entrepreneurial learning experience. It is critical to the integrity of the program and the relationship with donors and granting agencies that prizes awarded through Innovation Launchpad @ CUE are used for their intended purpose.
Renewable and Sustainable Energy
Despite a growing number of new innovations, financing and government programs for adopting sustainable energy practices, the uptake has been slow. What innovative solutions can be built to encourage renewable and sustainable energy practices?
Climate Change is the defining issue of our time and we are at a defining moment. From shifting weather patterns that threaten food production, to rising sea levels that increase the risk of catastrophic flooding, the impacts of climate change are global in scope and unprecedented in scale. What innovative solutions and practices can we adopt and develop to address the climate change challenge?
Alberta has been mostly reliant on fossil fuels for decades. What kinds of technologies or policies can Alberta adopt to become more sustainable? What kinds of technologies or policies can municipalities adopt?
With the increasing urbanization in the world, our populations are largely existing in major cities. This rapid growth causes unique challenges, such as lack of access to and insufficient public transportation, increasing GHG emissions in cities, and a lack of open green spaces. How can we combat these challenges that are caused by rapid urbanization?
Environment Science and Public Health
What are some innovations that you think should happen as a result of COVID-19? Can be material (like a mask innovation), or policy (wearing a face mask in public for the foreseeable future)?
With an aging population that is living for decades past the age of sixty-five, and many younger people not contributing to CPP as they are part of the freelance ‘gig’ economy, Canada will have to find new ways of meeting the demands of an ageing population. What kinds of new revenues can Canada explore, or what kinds of innovations can be made of current revenue streams?
Nearly 690 million people, or 8.9% of the world’s population suffer from hunger. Despite this, nearly 1.3 billion tonnes of food is wasted per year. What are some ways that we can correct this disparity and take action against hunger?
In spite of technological and social innovations, more than 700 million people around the world still live in poverty today. While the rate of poverty has been decreasing steadily throughout the last few decades, the COVID-19 pandemic has slowed down this trend and risks reversing the progress we’ve made. What are some novel and innovative solutions that we can implement to combat this trend?
The volume of data in the world is increasing exponentially. By some estimates, 90 percent of the data in the world has been created in the last two years, and it is projected to increase by 40 per cent annually. A large share of this output is “data exhaust,” or passively collected data deriving from everyday interactions with digital products or services, including mobile phones, credit cards, and social media. This deluge of digital data is known as big data. How can this big data be used for development and humanitarian action? e.g. eliminate poverty, reduce inequality, develop sustainable cities and communities, among others?
How can AI be used to improve our lives to influence our decisions about hospitals, resource use and customer behavior?
Artificial Intelligence is now becoming an integral part of our daily life. From lane detection while we drive to spam detection while we email, AI is constantly making our lives more efficient. How can we introduce AI into more of our daily activities to cut down on costs, waste, and time?
Mental Health in times of COVID – Transforming the way we live and interact with each other has taken a toll on many of us. Unemployment rates, substance abuse and anxiety have all increased since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. What are some innovative ways we can care for ourselves and others, while following the recommended health and safety guidelines?
Innovation in Education – The way we learn, interact, and collaborate has changed drastically over the last year. Our schools have quickly transitioned to online learning, showing us that we don’t need to go to school to be in school. With this in mind, what are some ways that we can ensure that all school age children can remotely receive quality education so we can lower the illiteracy rates around the world?
Through online-school, proctoring of exams has been difficult. What are some innovations that can be made with this in mind? Do students actually have to be there in-person in order to be in class?