First crop of GreenHouse innovators pitch for social change

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Students from St. Paul’s GreenHouse answered the question, “What are you growing?” during a public open house last night to officially celebrate the new innovation incubator on Waterloo’s campus. 

The GreenHouse innovators presented their ideas for changing the world to an audience of over 150 University of Waterloo staff, faculty and students and Waterloo Region community members. These ideas include socially responsible investing, revolutionizing the way students study, video production for social good, changing our campus food supply to support local production and mapping where our food comes from, raising awareness about the effects of shark finning to our ecosystem, and a plan for recycling hotel soap that could prevent the millions of deaths caused by hygiene-related illnesses around the world.  

“In 12 short weeks, our GreenHouse innovators have gone from taking their passions about environmental and social issues to generating over 50 innovative ideas for change.” said Tania Del Matto, Director of St. Paul's GreenHouse. “We now have five early-stage social enterprises that are ready for testing and refining. This progress is a result of the combined energies invested by our students and our community of mentors and social entrepreneurs who have volunteered their time to help."

GreenHouse students have been working under the guidance of professional mentors and have received specialized learning opportunities to help them develop their ideas and take action. They gain valuable skills, build relevant networks and put their academic knowledge into practice, setting them up on a path to a bold career. Students must apply to be a part of GreenHouse and it is open to upper-year undergraduate students from all faculties at UWaterloo.

“The University of Waterloo is a uniquely entrepreneurial university,” said Tim Jackson, Vice-President, University Relations at Waterloo. “From our classrooms to global communities and from research labs to innovative startups, entrepreneurial spirit is part of Waterloo’s DNA. That’s why, together with St. Paul’s University College, we are ideally suited to build on this solid foundation to promote and support social innovation and entrepreneurship.”

This past September welcomed the ‘first crop’ of students to St. Paul’s.  “The response from the community has been amazing. Together, we’ll put social entrepreneurship on the map here in Waterloo Region,” said Del Matto.

For more information, contact Tania Del Matto

See the What Are You Growing video