Take Action Now CoLab Program 2022

The CoLab is an innovation accelerator that helps the next generation of leaders, activists, innovators, entrepreneurs and critical thinkers, who are providing business solutions to Canada's most pressing problems by offering them access to investment and mentorship via industry and academic experts.

Our partners this year are:

colab-image-group-youth-activists 1

Canadian Activists Age 18-29

Why is this an amazing opportunity? The Press Start CoLab Program has allocated a pool of $50,000 in grant money to help youth activists get their ideas for social change off the ground or accelerated. (2 Grants of $10,000 and 6 Grants of $5000. The distribution of grant funds may be flexible.)
  • Ideate around 1 of 3 social challenges
    • Climate grief
    • Cultural sensitivity in the mental health industry
    • Spread of misinformation
  • Access to leading Canadian thought leaders as mentors
  • Learn design thinking and problem solving
  • Attend two inspiration sessions led by dynamic speakers
  • Total pool of $50,000 to support ideas among our participants.
  • Time commitment: 2-4 per hours per week for 7 weeks
  • $750 paid participation (Must complete the program)
  • You own the IP for your idea
  • 2022 CoLab Program is 100% remote / online
Applications for the CoLab Program are now closed. We're currently reviewing all applications. Stay tuned for updates on the nowly socials. Click here to read the full CoLab Program rules and regulations.

Speakers

Participants will join 2 virtual summits that will help inspire and reframe the thinking around the challenge space. Speakers will offer a new perspective and inspire participants as they work on their own collaborative solutions.

Mentors

Participants will work in groups with a mentor and peers on a specific challenge. CoLab mentors bring experience and additional perspective for meaningful ideation.

This Year’s Challenge

Youth face a number of systemic challenges that have been caused and contributed to by previous generations,
inadvertently placing an unprecedented amount of burden on them.

The most pressing issues highlighted by these next generation leaders are:

Climate Grief

The effects of climate change are having negative impacts on people's physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health. Thinking of the future with such a cumbersome issue causes deep grief and dread.

Cultural Sensitivity in the
Mental Health Industry

Institutions around mental health lack the cultural competence to address the harms, traumas and complexities of marginalized communities in Canada.

Spread of
Misinformation

Misinformation, polarization and radicalism are major barriers in trusting political and non-political institutions. Social media plays a critical role in perpetuating the negative impact but is an inescapable reality that needs addressing.

Next-gen leaders feel concerned about their future. To them, climate change, mental health crisis, and misinformation all feel like interconnected issues, and concrete actions are not happening fast enough.

The CoLab will empower activists to answer: what can we do now?

Amazing Opportunity

The CoLab program is open to next-gen leaders aged 18 to 29. Participants must go through a 7-week program (2-4 hours per week) to come up with a minimally viable solution. 

As part of the program, participants will engage in two Inspiration Sessions (focused on learning) and three Co-Creation Sessions (focused on collaboration).

$750

HONORARIUM TO PARTICIPANTS
FOR COMPLETING THE PROGRAM

$50,000

IN GRANTS
The money will be distributed across multiple successful ideas; the prize may increase over time.

Mentorship

WITH ACADEMIC, INDUSTRY AND ENTREPRENEURSHIP EXPERTS

Speakers

2022 CoLab Program Details

When is it?
  • Event duration: 7 weeks (2-4 hours per week)
  • Start date: week of July 4, 2022
  • End date: week of August 15, 2022
  • Awards date: week of September 12, 2022
Who can join?
  • Application is open to next-gen leaders who are 18-29 years old (Turned 18 as of January 1, 2022 - turned 29 as of January 1, 2022). Applications are now closed. Stay tuned to our socials for updates.
  • Background: interested in climate change, mental health and/or spread of misinformation; volunteer experience or participated in related NGOs (not mandatory)
  • Application fee: no
  • Teams: there will be 8 teams of 4-6 participants each
What type of solution ideas can we work on?
  • An entrepreneurship idea

  • An awareness or action campaign

  • An MVP (minimum viable product)

  • A service idea

  • An evolution of a current system – any type of solution that addresses a current gap or pain point within the stated issues

 

Solution proposals can be submitted solo or in small teams

Submissions must be an original and unconventional solution that directly addresses one or more of the core issues.

Frequently Asked Questions

Applying for the CoLab Program

When does the application period open and close?
The application period will be open May 16, 2022 and close June 13, 2022 (applications are now closed.)
Is an application fee required?
No, there is no application fee required.
Who can apply?
We’re looking for the brightest minds across Canada. If you are an activist, innovator, entrepreneur or critical thinker aged 18 to 29 (turned 18 as of December 31, 2022 - turned 29 as of December 31, 2022). We want people who can think outside the box, and have the tenacity to see their ideas through to completion.
Are there alternative ways to get involved?
If you are not interested in going through the accelerator programming, there are other ways to get involved. We are additionally looking for mentors who have demonstrated expertise in academia, industry or in entrepreneurship to help program participants through challenges they may have.

Program Overview

Tell me about the CoLab Program.
The CoLab is an innovation accelerator that helps young activists, innovators, entrepreneurs and critical thinkers launch their business solutions to today's most pressing problem by offering them access to investment and mentorship via industry and academic experts.
Will this program be remote or in person?
The 2022 CoLab Program will be 100% remote / online.
What are program key dates?
The CoLab program will take place over 7 weeks in the summer (2-4 hours per week), between July and August, 2022. A detailed timeline of the challenge can be found in the image above.
What is the purpose of the program?
CoLab has 4 core objectives that represents its purpose:
  • Bring great minds together
  • Create a collaborative space for creative solutions
  • Enable impact through expanded networks
  • Foster a community of the next generation of innovators
What are the core issues CoLab Program is solving?
Climate grief, cultural sensitivity in the mental health industry; and the spread of misinformation. More information can be found in ‘This Year’s Challenge’ section of this page.
How do I submit a solution?
Participants are required to submit a solution either individually or with a team. The proposed solution (submitted via email) should be a minimally viable concept that you will work towards launching in market in the next 6 months.
Who will own the IP from the program?
You will own the intellectual property that you produce through this program. However, we are hoping to have a number of potential partners that may have vested interest in the solution.
How much grant money has been allocated for this program?
The Press Start CoLab Program has allocated a pool of $50,000 in grant money for 2022 to help youth activists get their ideas for social change off the ground or accelerated. (2 Grants of $10,000 and 6 Grants of $5000. The distribution of grant funds may be flexible.)
How will submissions be evaluated?
Criteria of selection will be originality; quality and clarity of the proposal; viability; desirability; feasibility; potential impact to drive change.
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