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Helping Start-ups Grow Green by Regional Sustainability Initiative

Please find below the judging results for your proposal.

Finalist Evaluation

Judges'' ratings


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Judges'' comments


This proposal sounds like an extension to the Regional Sustainability Initiative Program to include Start ups. Building on an existing program will be helpful to reduce risks and uncertainties. The idea of integrating a green program at the start up of any company is highly commended but very ambitious. Staring on the right tracks will help continue the journey on the same tracks, rather then pausing in the middle to add on as is the case with SMEs and green programs. The main concern is Start Ups lack human resources and time. Although most SMEs face this issue, Start Ups are the most impacted by it. The proposal didn't touch on how the program will help taking reducing the load while keep them on track to meet their Grow Green targets. One suggestion is to work with them one on one, rather than having workshops, to create simple, specially tailored program for them that can be expanded as the company grows.

Training startups to build-in considerations for the environment and climate into their models from an early stage makes sense, and the proposal author is in a good place to do so. Emissions reductions measurements would take a while to show whether the training translated into positive change to business models or practices, and I wasn't clear on how they would carry out their program evaluation to answer whether this kind of training provided at the startup stage really results in lower-emission SMEs down the road (especially compared to a control group).

Strong examples and metrics to demonstrate the potential impact of the initiative. Some demonstrated traction, yet the business model and the capacity to generate revenue is unclear.

This is a very good proposal. This proposal addresses a key area of economic growth in Ontario. This proposal aligns with the literature on innovation intermediaries and sustainability as they have identified a key phase of the start-ups development to impact future decisions that will have long-term impacts. This organization is well-placed both geographically and in terms of knowing their market. There are two issues with this proposal that should be discussed. One is small, which is that this organization should also be engaging with the incubators and accelerators themselves in terms of sustainability services they offer to and require from startups. Also, the budget does not match the project. The salary might be high for a non-profit and the materials and events appears low to me.

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