Are you a U of T student or recent graduate working with a U of T incubator/accelerator program on a promising social venture?

Overview

Established in 2020 through a generous $500K donation from Kenneth and Yvonne Lo and family, the Lo Family Social Venture Fund helps U of T students and recent graduates take the most promising, solutions-based social enterprises to the next level, providing support for student-driven ventures that will positively impact the global community—particularly in Asia.

The first cohort of Lo SVF recipients can be viewed here.

Eligible social ventures who apply for the 2022 UTE Startup Prize will be considered for the Lo Family Social Venture Fund – Impact Award, valued at $10,000. The award winner will be announced at the UTE Startup Prize Pitch Competition during U of T Entrepreneurship Week (March 7-11, 2022).

  • Social ventures who apply must have at least one founder who is a current full-time U of T student, post doc or a recent alum from a full-time program (i.e. graduated no earlier than July 2020). It is strongly encouraged that they are affiliated with one of the incubators/accelerators at the University of Toronto. Companies who are not yet incorporated may apply, however incorporation is required in order to receive the award money. See full eligibility criteria here.
  • The funding and revenue criteria for the Lo Family Social Venture Fund Impact Award are the same as the upper band of the Later Stage category in the UTE Startup Prize, specifically:
    • Applicants have received less than $200,000 cumulative funding or investment, and less than $100,000 in cumulative revenue as of November 12, 2021
  • Awards will be offered to social enterprises that are entrepreneurially innovative and global-minded, with consideration of how they could positively impact communities in Asia.
  • Competition is open to all students across the University – regardless of their area of study.
  • Project applications may include more than one student from different academic areas.
  • Former winners of the Lo Family Social Venture Fund are not eligible to apply.
  • The award recipient(s) are expected to participate in the University of Toronto Entrepreneurship Week annual startup showcase in March each year; if social distancing or other restrictions are in place, this participation could be virtual.
  • Publications (print or online) and/or presentations made possible by the Lo Family Social Venture Fund should carry the following acknowledgement: “Supported by the Lo Family Social Venture Fund at the University of Toronto”.

All award applications will be reviewed and assessed by an adjudication committee comprised of social entrepreneurship and innovation faculty members, researchers, entrepreneurs and directors from our incubator/accelerator programs, and will be evaluated based on the following criteria:

  • Problem identification: Is the venture addressing a well-documented and significant social or societal challenge?  Are they clearly able to highlight the need or demand for their solution as a response to this challenge? Is the proposed social venture design and methodology well thought out and achievable?
  • Impact, Future Plans, and Knowledge Translation: If this project is successful, what might the quantifiable impact or Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) be? Is the team committed to continuing with this project after the competition, regardless of whether they win this award?  Does the solution look at the societal challenge on a global scale, especially with regard to communities in Asia (an asset but not required)?

Applications to the Lo Family Social Venture Fund Impact Award are now closed. To check the status of your application, log in to your UTE Community Portal account here.

Please direct all questions regarding the Lo Family Social Venture Fund – Impact Award or application process to:

Melanie Langemeyer
Program & Business Services Coordinator, University of Toronto Entrepreneurship
melanie.langemeyer@utoronto.ca
Subject line: Questions: Lo Family Social Venture Fund – Impact Award

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