Gearing Up for the Mayor’s Innovation Challenge Pitch Competition!
I’m incredibly excited to be hosting nine teams of post-secondary students here at City Hall tomorrow to pitch their innovative ideas on how to improve Kingston. This year we saw a surge in applications and lots of tremendous ideas come forward. These nine teams are the finalists from our post-secondary institutions who have competed to come up with the best idea to address a challenge the City is facing. I don’t want to give away too many details before the pitch competition, but what I can tell you is that my fellow judges and I will hear a wide variety of pitches; from a pitch on a community oven, to an interactive public art display, to a car sharing program and a pitch on technology to improve social interactions for residents in long term care.
It’s going to be a tough choice, but the winning team will be awarded internships here at the City over the summer months to implement their idea. Thanks to a great partnership with the Dunin-Deshpande Queen’s Innovation Centre, another team from Friday’s pitch competition will win entry into their renowned summer entrepreneurship program. My hope is that even the competitors who do not win the pitch competition will find opportunities to pursue their ideas and become entrepreneurs here in Kingston.
A key part of my smart growth vision for Kingston is to establish our community as a leading centre for the development of new ideas, approaches and technologies that can then spread to other cities across the province, the nation and around the world. I am thrilled to see how the Mayor’s Innovation Challenge can give post-secondary students the chance to use their talent and creativity to make Kingston a leader in municipal innovation.