Green Innovation Award for ZooShare Biogas Co-operative (Ontario, Canada)
Green Innovation Awards for ”zoo poo” energy and urban mini farms culminate ClimateSpark Social Venture Challenge
February 8, 2012
ZooShare Biogas Co-operative Inc. and Young Urban Farmers Community Shared Agriculture (CSA) are the 2012 winners of the Toronto Community Foundation’s Green Innovation Awards. Rahul K. Bhardwaj, Community Foundation President & CEO, made the announcement at last evening’s ClimateSpark Launch Gala. The winners will share a $50,000 grant.
This year, through a partnership between the Community Foundation, Toronto Atmospheric Fund, and Centre for Social Innovation, the winners were selected from the finalists of the ClimateSpark Social Venture Challenge. The crowd-sourcing challenge attracted 61 contestants, who were put through their paces by an online community of over 3,000, and 20 expert reviewers. Ten finalists participated in a custom-designed, intensive business mentoring workshop and then had the opportunity to pitch a panel of grantmakers and private investors.
The Green Innovation Awards grant program is designed to help aspiring, Toronto-based entrepreneurs develop new and innovative green products and/or services for the Toronto marketplace. This grant program is a response to findings in the Toronto’s Vital Signs® Report, published annually by the Community Foundation, which cites the need for greater investment in green technologies, products, and services. Toronto is below target on per capita emission rates, residential waste diversion, and overall pollution levels.
“ClimateSpark is a perfect example of how ‘two thousand heads are better than one’ at reducing local climate change and air pollution. It is exciting to use open-innovation and collaboration approaches to stimulate, incubate and support home-grown social ventures that can make a difference for the planet,” said Julia Langer, CEO of TorontoAtmospheric Fund (TAF). “Crafting and running the challenge is a chunk of work, but the reward is being able to invest in the city’s most creative and dedicated social ventures.” TAF will be supporting two of the ClimateSpark finalists.