‘Hackathon’ seeks solutions to hospitality, retail labour shortages

KINGSTON — The city, Queen’s University Smith School of Business and Venture for Canada are partnering in a “hackathon” to find solutions to the labour shortage facing the local hospitality and retail sectors.

The 21-hour event, set for Tuesday and Wednesday, is to bring together four teams of 10 Venture for Canada fellows who are to work straight through to find workable solutions.

Participants are to seek answers to a single question: “How can Kingston’s business ecosystem address labour shortages in the hospitality and retail sectors to sustain services for residents and tourists, while supporting downtown Kingston?”

“The Venture for Canada Social Impact Challenge will give emerging professionals real-world experience, while generating tangible social impact in Kingston,” said Craig Desjardins, director of strategy, innovation and partnerships for the city.

The teams are to be allotted time to develop their ideas, deliver a five-minute pitch to judges and other teams, and take part in a short question-and-answer session.

Members of the Kingston Accommodation Partners and the Downtown Kingston Business Improvement Area are to support the event as judges and subject-matter experts.

“Addressing labour shortages in Kingston’s retail and hospitality sectors will benefit the broader community by providing jobs and positioning the city for long-term economic success, while supporting COVID-19 recovery efforts,” Marijo Cuerrier, executive director of the Downtown Kingston BIA, said

“Venture for Canada fellows venture not just for themselves, but for others,” Scott Stirrett, CEO and founder of Venture for Canada, said. “We are excited to partner with the City of Kingston and the Smith School of Business at Queen’s University to provide Venture for Canada fellows the opportunity to support the local Kingston community.”

Una Lounder Una is a graduate of the MMIE (Master of Management Innovation and Entrepreneurship)...