Calling on Students to Come up with Creative Ideas: The 4th Annual Mayor’s Innovation Challenge

With all the challenges we’re facing as a community as a result of the pandemic, it’s never been more important to explore new ideas and approaches to help support our recovery and ensure we build back in efficient and innovative ways. That’s why I’m thrilled to announce the launch of the 4th annual Mayor’s Innovation Challenge. Once again, we’re looking to students at our post-secondary institutions here in Kingston to come up with creative ideas. We’re shifting from our usual pitch competition in the spring to an innovation showcase in a virtual format, where students can submit a 2-3 minute video describing their proposal. We’re looking for practical ideas that will improve the quality of life of residents, use new technology or propose innovative approaches to how we provide City services.

A select number of student teams will then be invited to present their ideas to myself and a panel of experts in local government, entrepreneurship and innovation on March 26th. For those entered in the Public Sector Innovation Stream, the winning team of students will be awarded a total of $8000 in bursaries towards their university or college program, thanks to funding provided by Bell Canada. For those entered in the Dunin-Deshpande Smart Kingston Stream, the winning team of students will be awarded a placement in the Queen’s Innovation Centre Summer Initiative, a 4 month incubator program with a $7000 stipend for up to 3 co-founders, up to $4000 in seed capital and the chance to pitch for a grand prize of $30,000 at the end of the summer. We’re hosting workshops at the end of February to introduce you to the challenge, help you with your proposal and to answer any questions. You can register at You can also check out the website for more details and information. I look forward to seeing some incredible ideas as part of this year’s Mayor’s Innovation Challenge.

*We’ve added an additional workshop on Monday March 1st at 5:30pm. Register at:

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