Do you have a sustainable student-led idea, project or startup? Apply now for the U of T Sustainability Innovation Prize (#UofTSustPrize) – the new annual competition offering $15,000 in prizes to recognize, reward and accelerate the U of T’s most innovative sustainability ideas. Selected individuals or teams will compete by showcasing their idea via a five-minute pitch to a panel of judges. The three winning teams will each receive a $5,000 prize to develop their idea further.

Attend the event

June 12, 2019 | 2:00-5:00pm
ONRamp @ U of T Entrepreneurship, Suite 150, 100 College St.

Pitch Competition: 2:00-3:30pm
Award Announcement: 3:45pm
Sustainability Startup Meet & Greet: 4:00-5:00pm


2019 Winners

Congratulations to the 2019 U of T Sustainability Innovation Prize winners Circular Toys, STP Sports, and SoluSave who each received $5,000 to develop their idea further. Click here to learn more about the winners and read about them in U of T News.


Beanstalk Enterprises is a virtual garden application that serves as a teaching tool to administer health, nutrition, cooking, and natural sciences curriculum through an interactive gardening experience adaptable to various age groups and classroom learning outcomes.

CheaprEats is a sustainable and social mobile food ordering app that streamlines the buying process between students and campus vendors by reducing food waste throughout the day and saving the environment through intelligent e-receipts.

Circular Toys
Circular Toys is a circular economies company where families, schools, and individuals subscribe to receive eco-friendly toy packages that stimulate the child’s mind and encourages teamwork.

FWV Nano
FWV Nano develops nanomaterials and solutions for tackling environmental issues.

Lead with Dignity
We aim to empower young women in Afghanistan by giving them access to micro-loans so they can start their small businesses.

Natural Organic Matters (NORM)
NORM provides an opportunity for individuals to enhance their natural beauty by going back to the roots of traditional practises. When an individual uses our unique blend of simply natural ingredients, this replaces the need to use harmful chemicals that poison aquatic life and pollute our environment. We keep everything green.

Reeddi Inc.
Reeddi innovatively provides clean energy and allied innovations at a price point that individuals and businesses operating in energy-poor regions of the world can afford.

Our goal is to build a device to recycle solvents that are used in undergraduate laboratories to cost effectively reduce waste. The recycler would be optimized for easy use, high purity, and scalability for different common solvents, beginning with acetone.

STP Sports
Our proposal is to reduce the environmental footprint produced at professional sporting events by optimizing closed-loop supply chains and diverting waste from landfill. Also, to effectively and efficiently capture the value in organic waste produced at these events.

The Toronto Reuse Centre
By expanding our current Free Store project, The Toronto Reuse Centre will offer services to membership holders that will help reduce landfill waste and strengthen the sense of community by encouraging people to share and exchange items with each other.


Kenneth Corts
Vice-Dean, Faculty & Research Marcel Desautels Chair in Entrepreneurship
Professor of Economic Analysis and Policy
Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto

Tyler Hamilton
Senior Manager of Partnerships
MaRS Cleantech

Ron Saporta
Chief Operating Officer, Property Services & Sustainability
University of Toronto

Joerg Wittenbrinck
Senior Policy Advisor
Ontario Ministry of Energy, Northern Development and Mines

Sustainability Meet & Greet Startups

CERT converts carbon dioxide into fuels and chemical feedstocks using only water and electricity. Our process operates at room temperature and atmospheric pressure, has zero carbon emissions, and is modular and scalable.
Genecis Bioindustries is a bio-cleantech company that reprograms bacteria to make premium materials from low-value organic waste. The company’s first product line is based on high-quality biodegradable polymers that can be used to make thermo-resistant packaging, compostable coffee pods, and 3D printing filaments. By developing a technology platform that uses organic waste as the feedstock, Genecis is able to dramatically reduce the cost of producing these plastics while eliminating the use of fossil fuels in plastics production.

At Just Vertical, we build furniture that feeds you. Our indoor vertical garden is beautifully designed to fit seamlessly into your home, restaurant, office, or school. Our plant subscription system ensures you grow like a pro from day one.


Who is eligible to compete?

  • The team has at least one founder who is a current U of T student, post doc or a recent alum (i.e. graduated no earlier than July 2017).
  • Open to all faculties and sectors across the tri-campus.
  • Applicants must have less than $25,000 cumulative funding or investment (not including research grants), and less than $25,000 cumulative revenue as of April 1, 2019.
  • Entrants must be able to present their pitch in person to the panelists on June 12, 2019 in ONRamp.

How can I apply?

  1. Competition entry: Please email the completed Application Form and three-page Executive Summary about your idea to before 5:00pm on Monday, April 8, 2019. Applications received after this time will not be considered.
  2. Competition preparation with an advisor: The finalists will be notified in April and encouraged to work with an advisor from one of our accelerators or incubators to help them prepare and perfect their pitch.
  3. Competition day on June 12, 2019: The competition will take place from 2:00-5:00pm on Wednesday, June 12 in ONRamp, with ten finalists. Each team will present a five-minute pitch to a panel of experts followed by a five-minute Q and A from the panel. Three winners will be announced and win $5,000 each to develop their idea.

What is the criteria for judging?

At both the entry and competition day stages, the panel of judges will be looking for the idea’s:

  • Opportunity: A clearly articulated and compelling value proposition
  • Viability and impact: Demonstrated market opportunity and knowledge
  • Growth potential: Sustainable and scalable idea
  • Innovation: Intellectual property and/or strong competitive differentiation
  • Talent: A strong team
  • Communication skills: An effective and persuasive overall Executive Summary and pitch presentation

Apply now for your chance to win prize money to take your sustainability idea, project, or startup to the next level!

Questions about the U of T Sustainability Innovation Prize or application process can be sent to