How it Works

Honouring past OCE Board Chair David McFadden, the David McFadden Energy Entrepreneur Challenge invites university and college students from across Ontario’s academic institutions to address challenges facing the energy sector. Each year a particular challenge is selected and students pitch their entrepreneurial ideas and solutions to be judged against David’s own philosophy of innovation: that it be economically viable while also leading to the betterment of society in creating a safer, better place. The winner receives $25,000 to assist in advancing the business concept.


How Funding Works

One winner receives $25,000 to assist in advancing the winning business concept.


2015/16 Challenge

The theme for this year’s Energy Entrepreneur Challenge is “Conservation as a tool for meeting the world’s energy challenges”. Energy conservation and demand management (CDM) can play a key part in assisting the world to use energy responsibly and to achieve desired environmental and climate change objectives. Consumers, big and small, individuals and large corporations, can all make a contribution to CDM. The challenge is to develop an easily used and cost effective CDM system or technology which can be used by a broad spectrum of consumers in Canada or around the world.


How to Apply

To enter, please complete and submit the entry form and a three-minute pitch video no later than March 30, 2016. Videos will not be eligible for the award without the submission of a completed form.

Eligibility:
  • The David McFadden Energy Entrepreneur Challenge is open to students from all faculties of publicly funded Ontario colleges, universities, and hospitals.
  • The energy solution must be the brainchild of one/several of the team members.
  • Contest entries can be done on an individual or team basis.
  • Teams may include up to four students.
  • Teams are required to name a team representative, who will be responsible for submitting the entry form and serving as the team’s primary contact for matters related to the contest.
  • You may not participate as both an individual entrant and a team entrant.


Guidelines:

  • Students are encouraged to work cross-discipline to develop creative solutions e.g. arts, science, engineering. 
  • The video must be no longer than three minutes 
  • Your video must be entirely your original work and you must grant the contest organizers* unrestricted use and reproduction rights for any purposes.
  • Types of videos can include:
    • Live
    • Screen casts
    • Motion graphics/animation
    • Slideshows with voiceover
  • Students will be responsible for the production of their video
  • Video business concepts should be original and creative and must clearly explain the following: 
    • the product, service or business model 
    • how your idea is different than existing products, services or business models 
    • how your idea will generate revenue and profit your customers/target market 
    • how your product, service or business model will deliver a social benefit 
    • why you/ your team are the right person/people for this opportunity 
  • Ensure that your message is clear and can be conveyed to a wide audience (academics, industry, nonprofits, the general public etc.) 
  • Ensure that the information flows in a logical manner 
  • Your video must be uploaded to YouTube by March 30, 2016
Terms of Agreement:
  • All entries become the property of the contest organizers.
  • Your video must not infringe upon or violate any laws or any third party rights, including, but not limited to, copyright, patent, trademark, trade secret or other proprietary rights and must not lead to any cause of action including libel, defamation, privacy violation, contract breach or tort.
  • If necessary you must obtain all necessary permissions, licences, clearances, releases, waivers of moral rights and other approvals from third parties (including, but not limited to, all copyright holders and all individuals appearing in the video submission), necessary to use the video submission, in whole or in part, in any way, including without limitation, to reproduce, make derivatives, edit, modify, translate, distribute, transmit, publish, license and broadcast the video submission worldwide, by any means. Any and all such permissions, licences, clearances, releases, waivers of moral rights and approvals must be attached to the video submission.
  • Each contestant must consent to the use, reproduction, publication, transmission and/or broadcasting of his/her name, address, likeness, school, age, program and/or prize information, without compensation, in any advertisement, publication or promotion, for general news or other information purposes. Winners must also consent to their photographs being taken by the contest organizers for the same purposes, without further compensation.
  • Each contestant irrevocably and in perpetuity grants the contest organizers, without compensation, the right to use the video submission, in whole or in part, in any way, including without limitation, to reproduce, make derivatives, edit, modify, translate, distribute, transmit, publish, license and broadcast the video submission worldwide, by any means.

Timelines

The David McFadden Energy Entrepreneur Challenge is conducted in two rounds. The first is an open call for preliminary business concepts and in the second, up to 10 finalists develop their ideas with a mentor and then pitch their business to a panel of judges at Discovery in Toronto in May 2016.

Key dates:

Challenge launched at Discovery 2015 April 28, 2015
   
Video business concepts and entry forms due March 30, 2016*
   
Selection committee reviews submissions April 2016*
   
Finalists announced April 8, 2016*
   
Full business plans due April 25, 2016*
   
Finalists make their pitch at Discovery May 9-10, 2016
   
Winner and next year’s challenge announced at Discovery luncheon      May 10, 2016

*dates subject to change


Decision-Making Process

Submissions are assessed by a selected group of energy experts chosen to align with the current year’s theme. 

Up to top ten finalists meet face-to-face with expert advisers, who help them improve their proposals and strengthen their concepts.  

At Discovery 2016, each finalist receives five minutes to pitch/sell their concept to a panel of energy sector experts and investors. This panel will choose the winner of the contest who will be presented with the David McFadden Energy Entrepreneur Award at Discovery.


For more information on the David McFadden Energy Entrepreneur Challenge, please contact:

Holly Gardner
Program Manager
(416) 861-1092 x1086
Email: holly.gardner@oce-ontario.org