For immediate release

Canadian entrepreneurs, scientists and engineers could collaborate with world’s brightest Silicon Valley innovators

MARKHAM, ONTARIO, MARCH 2, 2015 – The Global Impact Competition (GIC) happens every year in over a dozen countries around the world: this is Canada’s second time. It will be hosted on April 2 by ventureLAB, York Region’s, Markham Ontario-based business acceleration centre, focused on mentoring, partnering and connecting entrepreneurs.

The Global Impact Competition is a global program created by Singularity University. GIC was co-founded by Ray Kurzweil, Chief Google Architect and Peter Diamandis, co-founder and chairman of Singularity University, an engineer, physician, and entrepreneur also well known for being the founder and chairman of the X PRIZE Foundation. GIC is designed to impact the world through Global Impact Competitions. These competitions take place all over the world in partnership with sponsor organizations worldwide and organized by geography and theme. Canadian sponsors for this year’s competition include Deloitte Canada, York Region and the Remington Group.

The competitions act as a platform to identify outstanding entrepreneurs, leaders, scientists and engineers who propose the most innovative project to positively impact 1 million people in their country or region in the next three to five years.

Tamara Etmannski from Vancouver was last year’s winner of the first Canadian Global Impact Competition. Her idea was a digital thesis archive called StackZ, a mashup of open access publishing and social media designed to make the vast amount of new knowledge generated each year by PhD and Masters students easily searchable and accessible to people around the world. She conceived the idea while writing her PhD thesis at Oxford University. Millions of pieces of new knowledge are forgotten on library shelves each year – information that could help solve larger problems. “Why reinvent the wheel the wheel when we should be standing on each other’s shoulders.” The 2015 event aims to answer the question: How can we improve the standard of living for one million Canadians within the next 3-5 years through the use of technology?

The prize
Applicants compete for the prize of attending Singularity University’s prestigious Graduate Studies Program (GSP) located in South San Francisco’s Silicon Valley. The GSP is a highly competitive 10-week program that accepts only 80 participants out of thousands from around the world each year. The winner of each competition receives admission and tuition fees to the GSP.

Applications are open until March 8. How to apply:

Must be at least 21 years of age
Must be fluent in spoken and written English
Must be able to attend the entire 10-week program (June 13 – August 23, 2015)
Must be a Canadian citizen


Justine Kintanar, Acting Marketing Manager, ventureLAB, 905-248-2710,
Karen Dubeau, Director of Partner Engagement, ventureLAB, 905-248-2706,
Adam Little, GIC Chair and SU Ambassador, Canada, 519-760-1580,


About Singularity University – Singularity University (SU) is a benefit corporation headquartered at NASA Research Park in Silicon Valley. SU provides educational programs, innovative partnerships and a business accelerator to help individuals, businesses, institutions, investors, NGOs and governments understand cutting-edge technologies and how to utilize these technologies to positively impact billions of people. From our inception in 2008, SU has empowered individuals from more than 85 countries to apply exponentially growing technologies — artificial intelligence & robotics, biotechnology, nanotechnology & digital fabrication, networks & computing systems and medicine & neuroscience—to address humanity’s grand challenges: education, energy, environment, food, global health, poverty, security, space and water. SU’s Founding Corporate Partners include Genentech, Autodesk, Cisco, ePlanet Ventures, Google, Kauffman Foundation and Nokia. To learn more, visit

About ventureLAB – Located in York Region, an integral leader in the Digital Corridor, ventureLAB is a non-profit innovation center, which cultivates supports and celebrates entrepreneurs. ventureLAB is the place where talented entrepreneurs get help bringing their innovation to market.

To learn more, visit