Innovate Calgary’s R2SI Program: Celebrating the Latest Cohort of Graduates

Social Innovation

The team photo above is missing Meaghan Edwards and Valerie Chin.

We believe in fostering innovation that not only advances technology but also drives positive social impact. Our Research to Social Innovation Incubator (R2SI) program is designed to support and nurture ventures that aim to address social challenges through innovative solutions. We are proud to celebrate the graduation of our latest cohort of six exceptional innovators, each bringing unique and impactful ventures to life.

The graduation event took place on June 21, 2024, at the Social Innovation Hub, where graduates shared their journey and achievements with the community. For many participants, this was their first time pitching their ventures in such a format, providing them with a valuable platform to share their stories and receive feedback from judges.

Micah Louison – Coala Energy

Micah Louison’s venture, Coala Energy, is at the forefront of transforming the energy sector. Coala Energy is advancing pioneering cold fog reactor technology to ensure efficient load balancing, paving the way for a brighter, more sustainable future. Micah’s dedication to revolutionizing energy solutions showcases the kind of forward-thinking innovation we champion at Innovate Calgary.

Meaghan Edwards – Building Knowledge Together

Meaghan Edwards is the force behind Building Knowledge Together, an organization dedicated to empowering disability organizations. Using a human-centered approach, Building Knowledge Together provides training, capacity building, and evaluation support. Meaghan’s commitment to collaboration and empowerment is instrumental in creating more inclusive environments for people with intellectual disabilities.

Samantha Moore – Flying Start Advocates

Samantha Moore’s venture, Flying Start Advocates, aims to revolutionize the healthcare journey for clients. By offering personal co-pilot services, Flying Start Advocates ensures that individuals receive the support they need to navigate the complexities of healthcare. Samantha’s vision for improved healthcare experiences highlights the importance of personalized support in achieving better health outcomes.

Valerie Chin – Toddly

Valerie Chin is addressing a critical need with her venture, Toddly, which provides flexible, high-quality childcare solutions. Recognizing the unique challenges faced by working parents, especially those in industries with non-traditional hours like construction, Toddly offers support that adapts to their schedules. Valerie’s innovative approach to childcare is helping to create a more supportive environment for working families.

Julia Jacobs-Levan – Knowledge2Empower (K2E)

Julia Jacobs-Levan’s venture, Knowledge2Empower (K2E), is on a mission to educate the world about epilepsy. Through entertaining videos, educational games, and virtual reality experiences, K2E aims to increase knowledge about seizures and epilepsy for those living with the condition, their families, and their communities. Julia’s dedication to making learning fun and accessible is crucial in fostering understanding and support for epilepsy.

Bill Zheng – RadiCare Ventures

Bill Zheng is the visionary behind RadiCare Ventures, a social enterprise that innovates community safety and cleanliness. By hiring individuals experiencing poverty and barriers to employment, RadiCare Ventures not only addresses these critical issues but also provides meaningful opportunities for those in need. Bill’s commitment to social innovation exemplifies the transformative power of entrepreneurial solutions in creating positive societal change. Learn more about Bill’s work and his story.

The R2SI Experience

The R2SI program provides a comprehensive support system for social innovators, offering resources, mentorship, and networking opportunities. This recent cohort has demonstrated exceptional creativity and dedication in tackling pressing social challenges. Their journeys reflect the core mission of R2SI: to harness the power of research and innovation in creating solutions that make a tangible difference in our communities.

The event was not only a showcase of their hard work but also an opportunity to expand their connections within the startup ecosystem. By packing the room with ecosystem partners, we aimed to ensure that graduates could tap into valuable resources as they continue their journey beyond the program.

Being in a room with creative problem-solvers sharing a piece of their challenges despite the obstacles was incredibly motivating, demonstrating how social innovators and entrepreneurs are leveraging Calgary’s innovation ecosystem to move their solutions to social problems forward.

We congratulate all the graduates on their incredible achievements and look forward to seeing the continued impact of their ventures. Innovate Calgary remains committed to supporting the next generation of social innovators and fostering an ecosystem where impactful ideas can thrive.

For more information about the Social Innovation Hub and to learn more about our social innovators, visit the Social Innovation Hub.