Canada Tech FuturesBuilding a Nation of Innovators
MindFuel’s area of expertise is supporting the development of an innovation mindset in youth in both curricular and extracurricular formats and we have invested over $115M into Canada’s youth innovation pipeline.
Innovation results from a context where a problem is identified, and the desire for change, coupled with the right mindset, leads to an innovative production. Innovation will be a critical factor in achieving a durable, inclusive, and diversified economic recovery for Canada. The problem is real!
- Canada is falling behind in the world’s innovation index, despite the fact that a recent 2020 OECD report shows Canada as one of the most highly educated populations.
- If left unaddressed through low investments in youth innovation, this Canadian innovation challenge will only grow. Therefore, developing an innovation mindset among Canadian youth is a critical priority for Canada’s economic recovery and to our broader, long-term goal of an inclusive, diversified, and globally competitive economy.
After 10 years of piloting youth innovation programs (2013-22), we’re happy to share our impacts, which demonstrate the connections between the development of an innovation mindset and the creation of IP, commercialization, and ultimately GDP contributions.
The Tech Futures Challenge (formerly geekStarter) focuses on hands-on youth innovation. TFC engages & inspires youth to work collaboratively with friends, classmates or independently on real-world sustainability problems using science, design thinking and mentorship support to build tangible STEM-based solutions. This project-based learning experience encourages innovative and entrepreneurial thinking and includes hands-on workshops, collaborative community engagement and project development resources.
Interested in start-up life? Ready to take your start-up idea to the next level? Be part of Founders Fundamentals – a 7 week intro to the start-up method series. Founders is a weekly 1-hour workshop, conversation-based learning session.
This online collision space is a must for entrepreneurs, inventors & creators, who are in the early stages of their start-up journey and want to connect with other individuals to share and learn, in preparation for taking the next big step!
It takes a village! From funding partners, to mentors, subject matter experts, professional learning speakers, champion teachers, program alumni and more. MindFuel extends a big T H A N K Y O U and shout out to our amazing supporters!
Be sure to check out the amazing list of program supporters here!
MindFuel’s Youth Innovation Happenings
Alexis from MIT and some “Aha” moments at the 2018 geekStarter High School Jamboree & iGEM Workshop
On May 26 – 27, 2018, geekStarter teams came together to present their projects, receive feedback from experienced mentors, and build real-world connections and skills. In this video, a few of our guest judges and mentors share their experiences
geekStarter feature: NEXUS Robotics team (2018)
In December 2017 – with funding support from Alberta Innovates – geekStarter and MindFuel hosted the geekStarter: Startup Workshop; this day-long event introduced geekStarter teams to the principles of entrepreneurialism, which included drafting and refining a value proposition following The Lean Startup method.
Inspiring the next generation of robotics with geekStarter and NEXUS Robotics
2018 – One of the many teams of Alberta students enrolled in the geekStarter program, NEXUS Robotics is a Calgary-based team of high school students. Upon taking part in the geekStarter: Startup Workshop in December 2017, NEXUS Robotics won a prize for their team presentation, earning them a professionally-produced promotional video to highlight their project and geekStarter experience.
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