Young bright minds pitch ideas to solve some of Greater Victoria’s problems at Future Innovator Challenge

Young bright minds pitch ideas to solve some of Greater Victoria's problems at Future Innovator Challenge

WATCH: How would you make life on the South Island better? That’s the question students were tackling at a special competition at UVic. Sunday, six finalists were vying for seed money to make their ideas a reality. Luisa Alvarez was there.

The room was filled with the faces of future innovators that have ideas to help solve some of the greatest problems in the region.

“We are creating an online one-stop data-driven property management platform to address the housing problem in student society,” said Daniel Chen, finalist and member of the Dormie House team.

Their team is just one of the top six finalists and Sunday they competed for money to get Dormie House off the ground. The top prize is $1,500-second place takes home $750 and third place gets $500.

“The money will be used for them to actually implement their ideas,” said CEO of Prosperity project Emily De Rosenroll.

Students were asked to come up with creative solutions for some of Greater Victoria’s challenges in categories like transportation, housing, human health, environmental health, and economic resiliency.

“It’s critical to get our youth thinking about some of these issues because not only are they the ones that are inheriting all the challenges that we are creating for them but also they are the ones that are really creative they have a blank slate,” said De Rosenroll.

The finalists had four minutes to pitch their idea and then take questions from the judges.

“It’s really cool to hear students coming up with solutions to problems we are almost tired of hearing about in Victoria,” said panel judge Matthew Kemshaw.

Three of the final teams are in the Secondary category and the other three are in the Post Secondary category.

Yassin Guitouni from Mount Douglas Secondary School won first place in the Secondary category for his idea for an app called Hit Me Up Sports. The app aims to connect young people using sport to help reduce social isolation and increase physical health.

Second place was won by Jenny She, Yiwen Cai, Daniel Chen, Yuyang Jiang from Saint Michael’s University School for Dormie House. An idea for a property management platform that looks to tackle student housing issues by connecting landlords with desired tenants and students with the right roommates.

And third place went to April Shan and Sophia Vasko of Mount Douglas Secondary School for Project Red, an app to help reduce wait times in clinics and hospitals took third place.

In the Post Secondary category Audrey Wright, Cyrus Lee, Josh Desrochers, Magnus Kristensen, Tyler Arseneault of the University of Victoria won for ‘Lug’ it’s a person to person shipping service that allows users to crowd-source deliveries—like those made on Used Victoria or Kijiji—from the community, thus enhancing the local marketplace and saving costs.

Jarl Whist, Sophie Eckard, Ian McGavin, Sydney Blackwell, Juan Castillo from the University of Victoria got second place for Shared Spaces a connection platform that aims to tackle the regions rental market.

Third place was won by Clio Hofler, Gavin Kratz, Alex Sawers, Annie Washington, Ian Zhong from the University of Victoria for Victoria Connect —  A platform that enables the region’s non-profit organizations to collaborate.

The Future Innovator Challenge was presented by Island Savings in collaboration with The South Island Prosperity project.

The South Island Prosperity Project will be following up with the winners throughout their development journey.




Luisa AlvarezLuisa Alvarez

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