TORONTO, ON--(Marketwired - April 12, 2017) - The 2017 Canada Global Impact Challenge (GIC), hosted by Deloitte, ReMAP and ventureLAB is pleased to announce a tie for Canada's next Exponential Leader. Two of Canada's best and brightest minds won coveted spots at SingularityU's Global Solutions Program (GSP). The prize is valued at $40K USD.

Announced in November 2016, the #canadagic challenge was open to Canadian entrepreneurs, leaders, scientists, technologists and engineers to bring their BIG idea to improve the standard of living of 1 million+ Canadians over the next 3-5 years using exponential technology. Submissions ranged from a wide variety of technologies to improve food security, the environment, energy, water, education, health, space, prosperity and disaster resilience.

The Finalist Pitch Event was held in Council Chambers at Toronto City Hall on April 5th where five contestants pitched their bold idea to an accomplished panel of judges. Winners, Zachary Lefevre from Montreal, Quebec and Ed Champion of White Rock, BC, will both attend SingularityU's Global Solutions Program (GSP) at NASA Research Center for nine weeks this summer. This year's curriculum will focus on climate change. The GSP will provide Canada's representatives with inspiration and mentoring from top CEOs, inventors, artists, and government leaders with the mindset, tools, and network to help develop their ideas to positively transform the future of humanity.

2017 Canada Global Impact Challenge Winners

Ed Champion (left) and Zachary Lefevre (right)

At the pitch event, Zachary Lefevre, President of Meo Electric, presented his idea to build DC, charging stations to enable rapid recharging of electric vehicles (EV) across Canada. This is a good fit for his current entrepreneurial efforts, building and supporting EV charging stations at Meo Electric. Zachary's moonshot idea is to build a national network of next-generation DC charging stations that could change the viability of EV for Canada, North America, and around the world. While market leaders are focusing on deployment of Level 2 AC charging systems (typically 7.2 kW), this is an opportunity for Zachary to transition the world to sustainable transportation. Started by a team of alumni from McGill University, Meo Electric, recently completed the commissioning of 10 new EV chargers for the Government of Canada in downtown Ottawa. The chargers are located in a private parking lot a short walk from Centre Block, intended for ministers, senators, and other members of the federal government who drive plug-in hybrid or electric vehicles to work.

Ed Champion, Founder of Indigenous Housing & Mortgage Corp. (IHMC) pitched to the judges a plan to build 3D printed net-zero, affordable homes. Ed's moonshot idea is tackling the housing crisis in First Nations and remote communities with 3D printed homes. Taking advantage of recent advancements in 3D printing for construction, the building supplies can be transported on the back of a truck or by helicopter or to remote communities. Combined with an integrated solar roofing and water filtration system, these homes will have a net-zero energy rating. Net-zero homes could reduce Canada's carbon footprint and dependence on diesel generators in remote communities. This idea (focusing on solar energy and clean drinking water roofing systems) can become exponential by integrating artificial intelligence, robotics, and 3D printing. The result could be net-zero eco-villages, eventually self-sufficient in energy, water, and food sources, at an affordable price. This is an incredible milestone that would forever change the cost and methods of home building.

The other three top Canadian's who pitched at the event received honorable mentions for their ground-breaking ideas. Stephen Achal, Chief Scientist & Vice President, ITRES Research introduced geo-locating small wildfires from low-earth orbit, James Irwin, Founder, AlgaeCan Biotech pitched closed containment algae propagation facility and Cynthia Liao, Associate, Current, powered by GE shared her big idea for intelligent energy storage optimization software.

2017 Canada Global Impact Challenge Finalists

From left to right, Stephen Achal, Zachary Lefevre, Cynthia Liao, Ed Champion, and James Irwin.

Special guests at the gala event include Michele Romanow, Canadian tech entrepreneur, television personality, board director and venture capitalist; Keynote Leerom Segal, leader, innovator & philanthropist and CEO of Klick Health, as well as, Keynote Nikolas Badminton world-respected futurist speaker, author & researcher.

The 2017 judging panel included Andrew D'Souza, CEO of Clearbanc, Becca Pace, Director of Country Partners at SingularityU, Daniel Sawaya, Founder and Managing Partner of AyaWas Investment Group (AIG), Nikolas Badminton, Futurist, Nicole Lichowit, Global Vice President of People and Culture, Celestica and Terry Stuart, Chief Innovation Officer, Deloitte Canada.

The same competition took place in several other countries around the world. "This kind of innovation and passion is vital for building the future of Canada", said Irene Sterian, Executive Director of ReMAP. "We saw the tremendous impact SingularityU's Global Impact Challenge has already had with previous Canadian winners. The 2017 Canada GIC is an opportunity to showcase Canadian innovations on a national stage and to have their ideas recognized and connected with like-minded thought leaders through SingularityU. Zachary and Ed will join 80 students from around the world to develop moonshot ideas for an abundant future."

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Irene Sterian
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(416) 509 2161