Introducing the Future Innovator Challenge Presented by Island Savings

The Future Innovator Challenge is a chance for students to help improve the quality of life for citizens of the region and compete for seed funding of $1,500 (x2), $750 (x2), and $500 (x2) to put towards their projects. The challenge requires students to develop an innovative solution to a problem related to one of the Five Challenge Themes listed below. Students must consider how data, technology, and innovation will address their chosen problem.

The Six Finalists Have Been Selected!

The Future Innovator Challenge received close to 80 proposals, and six finalists have now been selected. We were extremely impressed at the quality and ingenuity of the students’ submissions. Thank you and kudos to all the students who participated!

Everyone is invited to attend the Future Innovator Challenge event on January 13, 2019 at 1:00pm at UVic (Bob Wright Building, Flury Hall). Watch the finalists pitch their projects to the judges!

The Finalists:

Secondary school category:

  • HMU Sports: A social networking app that reduces social isolation and increases physical health by connecting young people through sport (Yassin Guitouni – Mount Douglas Secondary School)
  • Project RED: Reducing dangerous wait-times by directing patients to the closest, most available clinic (April Shan and Sophia Vasko – Mount Douglas Secondary School)
  • Dormie House: Connecting people to address the rental crisis for low-income families, students, and new graduates through excess capacity (Jenny She, Yiwen Cai, Daniel Chen, Yuyang Jiang – Saint Michael’s University School)

Post-secondary institution category:

  • Vicc (Victoria connect): A platform that enables the region’s non-profit organizations to collaborate and achieve better results for individuals, larger causes, or emergency response (Clio Hofler, Gavin Kratz, Alex Sawers, Annie Washington, Ian Zhong – University of Victoria)
  • Lug: A person-to-person shipping service that allows users to “crowd-source” deliveries—like those made on UsedVictoria or Kijiji—from the community, thus enhancing the local marketplace and saving costs (Audrey Wright, Cyrus Lee, Josh Desrochers, Magnus Kristensen, Tyler Arseneault – University of Victoria)
  • SharedSpaces: Through a connection platform, induce a negative demand shock to the region’s rental market, which would increase the vacancy rate and decrease costs of renting housing (Jarl Whist, Sophie Eckard, Ian McGavin, Sydney Blackwell, Juan Castillo – University of Victoria)

You can also visit the Ideas Gallery at the event to see semi-finalist projects and vote on your favourite!

Read the full media release here.

Five Challenge Themes

Applicants will choose from a series of Problem Statements that relate to each of the themes below, which were drawn from our Smart South Island Vision 2040. Alternatively, they may identify a different problem that is clearly linked to one of the five themes. All projects must utilize data and/or connected technologies in some way.

  • Transportation & Mobility
  • Housing & Affordability
  • Economic Resilience & Inclusion
  • Environmental Health
  • Human Health & Wellness

Why Participate?

  • The chance to actively participate in improving the community
  • Prize money and mentorship to launch your innovative idea
  • Semi-finalists will be invited to publicly showcase their project in a public gallery, with a chance to win more prizes
  • The chance to apply “design-thinking” methodology toward a real-world issue
  • Finalists will learn from an expert speaker how to make engaging, fun, and insightful presentations
  • Applicants retain exclusive intellectual property rights for their ideas. If the project turns into a business venture, applicants retain ownership

How to Apply

Submit your project details to in no more than two pages, plus a cover page. Semi-finalists will be selected by the judges based on submitted proposals. Please review the Evaluation Criteria.

The deadline for submission is November 7, 2018 at 11:59 pm (PST). Semi-finalists will be notified on November 15, 2018. Semifinalists will have three weeks to refine projects before the final deadline on December 3, 2018. Further details for semi-finalists will be provided.

Please click here for the full Future Innovator Challenge Submission Guidelines.


Do you have questions about the Future Innovator Challenge? Attend one of three Information Sessions (dates listed below, check back closer to date for more details) or please get in touch with our team at

Key Dates

  • September 10, 2018: Future Innovator Challenge launch
  • September 18, 2018: Information Session (UVic, 18:30-19:30)
  • September 25, 2018: Information Session (Royal Roads University, 12:00-13:00)
  • September 26, 2018: Information Session (Camosun College, 18:00-19:00)
  • November 7, 2018: DEADLINE TO APPLY (23:59 PST)
  • November 15, 2018: Semi-finalists are notified, details of next round released*
  • December 3, 2018: Second-round closes
  • December 10, 2018: Top six finalists announced
  • December 12, 2018: Pitch workshop (top six only)
  • January 13, 2019: Final pitch event (top six finalists only) and Idea Gallery (all semi-finalists)

* Further details for the criteria and scoring of semi-finalists will be released on November 15th, 2018. Teachers and participants should take this opportunity to re-configure project teams based on projects that went through to the second round. This means that participants who didn’t make it to the semi-finalist round can be placed onto successful projects teams and participate going forward.