Shell Canada gives entrepreneurs $50,000 for cleantech projects

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As this generation is reported to be a highly-conscious generation when it comes to sustainability, Shell Canada is giving the tech-savvy among them a chance to pave the way in establishing sustainable businesses.

Shell Canada awarded seven young entrepreneurs between the ages of 18-35 The Quest Climate Grant, which provides $50,000 per project, to recognize their efforts in leading climate change-oriented businesses. Selected by Shell Canada, MaRS, and Canadian Geographic, the businesses were identified based on their unique business or product concept and their commitment to working on climate change innovations. These include energy efficiency and savings, behavioural or social change, or clean energy initiatives.

“Working with Shell Canada to offer The Quest Climate Grant is truly a natural fit for us,” said John Geiger, CEO of Canadian Geographic. “Our content is focused on uncovering and celebrating inspiring people and places in Canada, and these young entrepreneurs are just that — inspiring. We look forward to expanding The Quest Climate Grant in 2016 and being witness to the continued innovation of young Canadians committed to developing sustainable solutions.”

Jane Kearns, senior advisor at MaRS Cleantech, added, “On the heels of the historic agreement at COP21 in Paris, we see enormous opportunities for Canadian entrepreneurs and innovators tackling climate change. The six winning ideas demonstrate that Canada is well positioned to take a leading role in climate innovation.”

Six initiatives/entrepreneurs were funded by the grant:

      Victoria-based

Ann Stasia Makosinski

      , an 18-year-old Google Science Fair winner. She created the Hollow Flashlight, a flashlight that runs off the heat of the human hand. She is currently working on her latest invention the eDrink, a mobile phone-charging travel mug.

Saskatoon-based Michael Nemeth from Bright Buildings, which offers passive house design and energy consulting services. Bright Buildings is creating an affordable co-housing project that achieves the highest standard of sustainable housing, and is apparently 90 percent more efficient than regular homes.

Calgary-based Hop Compost, which collects food waste from select Calgary and Vancouver restaurants, and using the world’s top composting cleantech, transforms it into Canada’s highest-nutrient organic fertilizer alternative.

Toronto-based OTI Lumionics, founded by University of Toronto researchers from the department of materials science and engineering. Hopes to make OLED — a new technology for energy-efficient lighting made of carbon based dyes — accessible to innovative new product applications.

Toronto-based Solar for Life a not-for-profit organization that aims to provide access to clean and affordable energy to developing communities across the world. They raise funds and install solar lights to reduce kerosene dependency in off-grid areas.

Thunder Bay-based Ungalli clothing, which designs and ethically produces using 100 percent sustainable materials. The clothing is manufactured using zero virgin growth within a 320-km production radius to minimize environmental impacts and reduce or eliminate water, petroleum, and C02 waste.