If you’re reading this, you probably have an amazing project to submit to the Ingenious+ challenge. Woohoo! We are pumped for you and the incredible things you’re doing in your community. Let’s make sure your application hits the mark.
Download this article and the required forms in our Ingenious+ Application Kit.
Step 1: Make Sure Your Innovation Qualifies
Your innovation can be a product, a service, a process, or a program that solves a problem or makes the world a better place. You might be thinking… “That could be almost anything!” And you’re right. We are using a broad definition of innovation to capture the wide range of awesome things young Canadians are doing. Make sure your innovation fits into one of these five categories:
- Community and Civic Engagement
- Climate Change and the Environment
- Equity and Inclusion
- Health and Well-being
- Technology and Entrepreneurship
Ideally, your project should be advanced beyond the idea or concept stage. Can you demonstrate that you’ve started to put the solution into action? Check mark! Projects do not have to be complete inventions or something you can make money from to qualify. You must also:
- Have a parent or guardian’s permission to submit if you’re under the age of majority in your region
- Be between 14 and 18 when you enter
- Live in Canada.
Decide whether you will submit on your own, or with collaborators who are part of your project. All collaborators must meet the above requirements.
Step 2: Gather Your Submission Elements
Before you start filling out the application form, gather up everything you will need. Make your application process nice and smooth by noting all your information in a document before beginning the online form.
You can submit your project description in writing, in video, or both. You will need to answer these questions:
- Provide a short description of your innovation. (40-60 words)
- Describe the problem or opportunity your innovation addresses. What do you hope to solve or improve? (max 500 words)
- Describe your innovation in detail, including any relevant information as to how it came about. (max 200 words)
- Tell us about your Research and Design process. What sort of background research and/or consultation have you done to support the development of your idea (e.g. consulting with people in the field or industry)? (max 200 words)
- Who does your innovation help and how? (max 100 words)
- What is currently being done to address this problem or similar problems in your community or elsewhere? How does your project differ from existing solutions? (max 100 words)
- Are there any potential barriers to implementing your solution? If so, how might you propose overcoming them? (max 100 words)
- Explain who your collaborators or partners have been, or will be, as the innovation is brought to life. (max 200 words)
- Describe how you would use the cash award to support your innovation. (max 200 words)
If you’re submitting in writing, stick to the word counts listed beside each question. Focus on the process and benefits of your project and try to avoid jargon or buzzwords. We want to know about you and your project!
Video submissions must be shorter than 10 minutes long.
Practice your answers to the questions above and record yourself speaking to the camera. Make sure:
- You answer every question.
- You introduce yourself and your team.
- Your face is well-lit with natural or artificial light–we want to see you!
- The video is capturing your audio clearly. Record in a quiet room and use a microphone if you have one.
- Show us your stuff! If it makes sense for the question, show us your innovation as you talk about it. Make sure we can see your project clearly in the video if you choose to include show and tell.
You can record your video in one long shot, or edit together each question. Upload your completed video to YouTube or Vimeo before beginning the online application. You will be asked to submit your video link in the application.
Relevant Files and Documents
All submissions need to include an image that represents your project. This could be:
- An image of your innovation, either a physical object or digital rendering
- A photo from an event associated with your project
- A team photo of you and your collaborators
- An image of the problem you are trying to solve
Images must be smaller than 2MB and in .jpeg or .png format. This is your chance to show off your stuff! If your project is a thing, make sure we can see it clearly in the image.
If your project has other documents that would help us understand your innovation, you can also upload those as part of your application. Some examples include presentations, short tutorial/promotional videos (under two minutes), drawings, etc.
Step 3: Complete the Declaration/Release Form and Submit!
Before you submit your application, carefully review the Declaration/Release form with a parent or guardian. If you are under the age of majority in your province (under 18 in Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Quebec and Saskatchewan, under 19 in British Columbia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Northwest Territories, Nova Scotia, Nunavut and Yukon), your parent or guardian must sign the form as well.
You will be asked to upload your form as the first step of your application.
Step 4: Send Us Your Stuff…and Wait
Don’t be afraid to contact us about the application process! We’re here for you if you’ve got questions.
Once you’re ready to submit, set aside one or two hours where you can focus in a quiet space and upload your answers and documents. We don’t want you to miss anything, or mix up your responses.
Once you’ve completed all the questions in the application, hit submit and wait. We know that’s the hardest part! We take time to review each application carefully. Successful applicants will be notified by May 13th, 2024.