Venture for Canada has announced the 2020 recipients of their TD Clean Tech Prosperity Awards. In partnership with TD, VFC recognizes 8 of their Fellowship Program participants every year for their commitment, passion, and interest in environmental sustainability and the cleantech sector. The Fellowship program is a 15-month long program for recent Canadian gestures seeking to pursue careers in the innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem. The 2020 Cohort began their Fellowship in May 2020 and have since received a direct connection to jobs at innovative startups, participated in a month-long immersive entrepreneurial skills development training camp and ongoing training, and network to kick-start entrepreneurial careers. The Fellows will graduate in August 2021.
“The 2020 recipients of the TD Clean Innovator Honorary Awards demonstrated a commitment towards environmental stewardship throughout their Fellowship. These Fellows work in the wastewater technology sector, find suitable glow stick alternatives, and focus on delivering sustainable food solutions to communities using technology and innovation. Environmental sustainability and impact are themes at the forefront of the startup, and young people’s passion is essential for us to scale,” states Scott Stirrett, Venture for Canada’s Founder and CEO.
Through this program, each honorary reward recipient attends an exclusive learning and development session with TD and receives a certificate acknowledging their contributions to Canada’s environmental sector. Clean-tech solutions are essential towards shifting towards a net-zero economy. Their and relevance continues to grow as we address the three that is the climate crisis. Making a sustainable impact for future generations requires the resourcefulness of innovative young Canadians. TD supports this initiative through $50,000 to grow Venture for Canada’s Fellowship Impact on the clean-tech sector.
“On behalf of TD, I’d like to congratulate the recipients of the 2020 TD Clean Innovator Honorary Awards and thank these eight leaders for their contributions toward environmental sustainability,” says Nicole Vadori, Associate Vice President and Head of Environment, TD Bank Group. “Through the TD Ready Commitment, the Bank’s global citizenship platform, we are proud to support Venture for Canada and these awards, which demonstrate our continued commitment to environmental leadership. We look forward to the advancements these eight change-makers will help create in the Canadian clean-tech sector.”
About the TD Ready Commitment
TD has a long-standing commitment to enriching the lives of its customers, colleagues and communities. As part of its corporate citizenship platform, the TD Ready Commitment, TD is targeting CDN $1 billion (U.S. $775 million) in total by 2030 towards community giving in four areas critical to opening doors for a more inclusive and sustainable tomorrow – Financial Security, Vibrant Planet, Connected Communities and Better Health. Through the TD Ready Commitment, TD aspires to link its business, philanthropy and human capital to help people feel more confident – not just about their finances but also in their ability to achieve their personal goals in a changing world. For further information, visit td.com/tdreadycommitment.
About Venture for Canada
Venture for Canada is a national charity that fosters entrepreneurial skills and mindset in young Canadians. To be entrepreneurial is to act upon opportunities for others. We recruit, train, and support young people to work for innovative Canadian small businesses and start-ups. Through our programs, participants develop the network, knowledge, and entrepreneurial skills to have more impactful careers.
Click to jump to each recipient.
- Alexandra Webb
- Anne Boucher
- Ryan MacNeil
- Monica Khaper
- Taylor Morrison
- Vincci Chan
- Bradley Scheftner
- E-Xuan Chen
Alex Webb is a 2020 Venture for Canada fellow. She has a Master’s degree in Water Resource Management and a background in sales, operational development, and strategic planning in the industrial supply sector. Alex is passionate about all things H2O (water), and she is currently working for SENTRY Water Technology as a client manager. Fluent in French and an avid traveler, Alex has been fortunate to have lived and worked in numerous cities across six different provinces and in two other countries throughout her career and studies. She has enjoyed gaining perspective (and new favourite foods) from these experiences. When not at work, you will most often find her contemplating her following run route or favourite craft brewery, volunteering for various organizations, or tackling a new technical skill with a smile and a touch of self-deprecating humour.
Anne is based in Toronto, ON. Born and raised in Timmins, ON—surrounded by both nature and open-pit mines as far as the eye can see—she became passionate about environmental sustainability, thinking through what our relationship with nature should be. She is a recent graduate of the University of Toronto, having studied both Political Science and Environmental Studies at the St. George campus. Initially darting toward a career in environmental policy, it wasn’t long into her studies that she realized a) the sheer impact—and opportunities—that exist in the private sector and b) that her entrepreneurial spirit may be better suited for the private sector. Anne gets unreasonably excited by circular economy/closed-loop solutions and finding production & supply chain efficiencies, among other sustainability-related subjects. In the BeforeTimes (i.e. pre-Covid), you could find Anne rummaging through thrift & bulk stores. Nowadays, you can find her reading up on the latest sustainability innovations and working toward an exciting sustainability-centred venture.
Ryan MacNeil was born and raised in Halifax, Nova Scotia. He studied Industrial Engineering at Acadia University & Dalhousie University. In his professional experience, he has explored business development, lean six sigma, manufacturing, healthcare, oceans & innovation. Most recently transitioning from enabling ocean innovation to enabling healthcare innovation. Outside of work, Ryan likes to get outdoors and together with friends & family – preferably near the ocean.
Monica Khaper studied environmental sustainability with a focus on food security and urban planning at Ryerson University. She took an interdisciplinary approach to her education and discovered social entrepreneurship, where she was able to bridge her passion for community with business. Upon learning about the dynamics of social enterprises, she joined her first social venture to address high rates of food insecurity in remote communities across Northern Canada. Moreover, Monica was inspired to grow her career in social innovation by joining the Venture for Canada fellowship to connect with like-minded changemakers and impact-driven businesses. Currently, Monica works for Nyoka Design Labs, a B.C. based startup designing sustainable glow stick alternatives using best practices in circular and regenerative design. She leads the sustainability initiatives for the organization, including impact measurement, B Corp certification, and ethical marketing.
A graduate of the University of Guelph Nutritional and Nutraceutical Sciences program, Taylor Morrison is a passionate steward of equitable sustainability. Through her nutrition, childhood food education, and food tech experience, she soon discovered how integral sustainable innovation is to our growing global population. In her current position at Fresh Prep, innovative, accessible, and sustainable food solutions come to life with the Vancouver-based meal kit company recently bringing a first-of-its-kind reusable Zero Waste Kit product to market this year. With Fresh Prep, Taylor continuously strives to bring more sustainable food solutions to the industry. Taylor believes that through innovation and technology, we can empower everyone to make more sustainable choices every day. From her backyard, where she utilizes a combination of new and traditional food cultivation methods, to her goals of developing NGOs that support equitable and sustainable development, Taylor is continuously working to create a cleaner future.
After working years in a traditionally-run medical clinic while completing her BSc at the University of Toronto, Vincci Chan realized that the most impactful change has to be made through a proactive approach, not a reactionary one. This led her onto the path of the Venture for Canada Fellow program and into the startup world – where she believes she can personally drive the most change. Vincci currently works for RYSE Inc., a cleantech company that creates retrofit, window-shade automation devices that helps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from buildings and manage solar heat gain. In her role as a social media specialist and customer success representative, she works on creating content and building processes to educate consumers on how to best incorporate these devices into their homes, offices, and buildings so that environmental impact can be reduced.
Bradley Scheftner studied at the University of British Columbia’s Sauder School of Business, completing a Bachelors in Commerce (BCom) with specialization in Marketing with a concentration in Business Sustainability and Social Impact (Completed 2020). Bradley has been involved in numerous marketing and sustainability mentoring opportunities, having been a teaching assistant for; Sustainable Business Innovation, Responsible Business Strategy, and International MBA Entrepreneurship. Bradley was then accepted to the exclusive Venture for Canada Program (VFC) and Creative Destruction Lab (CDL) course, focused on supporting growing start-ups in their early seed stages and gaining further experience. He is currently working towards further growing his overall knowledge and pursuit of meaningful impact on future generations while pursuing career success. Outside of work, time is spent outdoors; hiking, trail running, mountain biking, and road cycling.
Throughout his early career, E-Xuan has been fortunate enough to land impactful internships. At an architecture firm in Ottawa, one of these exposed him to sustainability within the construction industry, specifically CLT-based structures. While he didn’t continue in this field, the exposure to sustainability-minded practices has stuck with him. The Venture For Canada Fellowship Program led E-Xuan to StickerYou, an eCommerce brand where he is currently employed. His position as a B2B Marketing Specialist allows him to shape the initiatives and outcomes of his division. He aims to drive the adoption of environmentally forward practices within the company. Currently, he is working on an environmental give-back program to offset carbon emitted during the shipping process. In his free time, he enjoys running and getting out into nature. Despite that, he is not a fan of most bugs and ironically has a phobia of butterflies.