App for Aiding International Students Awarded Top Prize at Sheridan's The EDGE Philanthropitch
Social impact took the stage at Sheridan’s Trafalgar Campus on the evening of October 3 with seven social entrepreneurs pitching their business ideas for the chance to win $25,000 in prizes. More than 100 people attended The EDGE Philanthropitch hosted by Sheridan’s entrepreneurship hub – EDGE – in partnership with the Oakville Community Foundation (The Foundation).
Showcasing entrepreneurs across the Greater Toronto Halton Area who are working to make a social impact in their communities inspired the inaugural event. “It’s moving to hear how passionate the founders are about their ideas that, at their core, are looking to positively affect people and the environment,” says Renee Devereaux, EDGE’s Director of Entrepreneurship and Changemaking. “This event provides a platform for them to network and receive funds to continue growing their ventures.”
The Foundation generously presented a $25,000 cheque for four event prizes. Wendy Rinella, CEO of the the Oakville Community Foundation echoes Devereaux’s sentiment. She shared with attendees that community stakeholders whose voices were included in a recent Oakville vitality report firmly believe that funding social enterprises will help address the equity gap. “There’s a lot that can be achieved by investing in people,” she says. “Supporting initiatives like The EDGE Philanthropitch is one way for our Foundation to inspire grassroots change.”
All the finalists are connected to Sheridan either as students, alumni or currently working with EDGE as a client at its location at the Hazel McCallion Campus in Mississauga. Founders had three minutes to pitch their idea to a judging panel and audience members. Judges included Robert Latham, retired Principal of RFL Consulting, Lily Tse, Founder and CEO of Think Dirty and Steve Goodrich, Founder of Some Like it Hot and the Stephen C. Goodrich Foundation.
Joint App was awarded the top prize of $10,000 for its digital platform that aids in digitizing and centralizing aspects of the immigration process for international students. Circular Toys – an environmentally-conscious subscription service for quality and developmentally-appropriate children’s toys – won the $7,500 second prize, and a website that connects people with mental health services called LinkMentalHealth won $5,000 for placing third and $2,500 as the crowd favourite.
Kushi Kaur, Joint App’s founder who has studied in the Bachelor of Business Administration - Finance program at Sheridan and is a current EDGE client, was inspired to launch her business from her own experience as a Canadian immigrant. “We’re using technology to personalize pathways for international student success so they can become contributing members of society,” she says. “Winning The EDGE Philanthropitch will allow our team to move forward to the next version of our app. We’re so appreciative of this opportunity and the phenomenal mentors we’ve had through EDGE.”
Since opening its doors in 2017, EDGE has supported more than 150 startups, many with a focus on social entrepreneurship. Through EDGE, startups receive mentorship, training, community connections and a co-working space to help grow their businesses or social enterprises.
Pictured top (from left to right): LinkMentalHealth team and Kushi Kaura from Joint App.
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