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Venture for Canada, a national charity that accelerates the careers of Canadian youth by providing immersive learning opportunities at Canadian startups and small businesses, has announced the recipients of the TD Clean Prosperity Honorary Awards. The awards are given exclusively to current members of the Venture for Canada Fellowship Program who are passionate about environmental sustainability and the cleantech sector. In 2020, there are five recipients of this award, all of whom were nominated by their Fellowship peers across the country.
Venture for Canada’s Founder and CEO, Scott Stirrett, noted that, “Each of these five recipients think big, has a passion for action, and contributes to building a more sustainable world.”
Award recipients will attend an exclusive mentoring session with representatives from TD. They will also receive a certificate acknowledging their achievements and materials, such as a hand-picked business book, that reflects the spirit of the awards.
“TD and Venture for Canada have a shared commitment to catalyzing sustainable and inclusive economic growth,” said Scott Stirrett, Founder and CEO of Venture for Canada. “We are honoured to partner with TD to support the next generation of Canadians to create prosperity that benefits people, planet, and profits.”
“Cleantech solutions present a major opportunity to help accelerate the transition to a low-carbon economy,” says Nicole Vadori, Head of Environment, TD Bank Group. “Through the TD Ready Commitment, we are committed to helping create a more inclusive and sustainable tomorrow, which includes a $100 billion low-carbon target and is helping to propel forward innovative clean technologies. We’re proud to work with Venture for Canada to support young Canadians who are the next generation of cleantech entrepreneurs.”
The Venture for Canada Fellowship Program accelerates the careers of recent post-secondary graduates by providing practical work experience at startups, access to strong peer networks, and entrepreneurial skills training. Starting this month, 90 Venture for Canada Fellows will participate in a three-week virtual training camp. They will gain extensive job support to find work with top Canadian startups and receive 15-months of ongoing entrepreneurial skills development.
TD supports this initiative through its corporate citizenship platform, the TD Ready Commitment, which is designed to help open doors for a more inclusive and sustainable tomorrow.
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.
See biographies of award recipients below.
Joshua attended overnight summer camps from the early age of 7, where he developed a deep passion for nature. This passion led him to attend Lund University in Sweden where he completed an MSc in Human Ecology; Culture, Power & Sustainability and worked with several international and local NGOs addressing issues of sustainability. He also joined multiple conservation groups such as the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters and the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority.
Due to COVID-19, he was laid off from his project management role with a Canadian startup; however, this offered him the perfect opportunity to finally accomplish a big goal he’s been working towards for 7 years; planting his one millionth tree! He’s passionate about these sectors because of the huge opportunity that exists in Canada to create the jobs of tomorrow, while preserving the natural resources upon which thousands of communities rely across our country.
Joshua strongly believes that with constant economic growth comes environmental degradation; if we are able to mitigate some of the impacts that we have on our natural and created environments, our economies will become more sustainable. The cleantech and environmental sectors are attempting to address these very issues, and which is why he’s excited to see these sectors continue to grow in our beautiful country.
While at the University of New Brunswick, Karim completed his Chemical Engineer degree and equipped himself with the technical knowledge he needed to pursue a career in environmental sustainability.
He soon realized the power entrepreneurship can play in creating a more sustainable world through his time working with a German heating resorption start-up. Here, he saw first-hand how a small clean-tech start-up can have a huge impact on the global energy sector. The concept, ‘no change is too small,’ inspires Karim every day at AOMS Technologies, where he helps teams implement advanced IoT enabled sensors on job-sites to help mitigate the impact the industrial sector has on the environment.
Karim is also a member of Young Professionals in Energy (YPE), a network of like-minded young peers, with a growing passion to change the global energy industry by sharing and providing knowledge on new ideas. Raised in New Brunswick, Karim developed a deep appreciation for green spaces and fresh air based on his surroundings. Much of his family still live in his native country of Sudan, where vast access to green space and fresh air is limited, unless more drastic environmental changes take place.
After completing her BBA at Simon Fraser University, Kristen started the Venture For Canada Fellowship program, which led her to AVA Technologies, the indoor gardening company where she is currently employed.
Kirsten loves working for a young startup in its early stages. Her role with AVA has provided her opportunities to explore multiple facets of the business. Her experience has helped her determine what she is passionate about: food, plain and simple, however, food systems as they are today are both contributing to, and affected by, climate change. She strongly believes we need to make sure that we can feed the world in 20 years and do so sustainably. Growing up in the Fraser Valley, and now living in Vancouver, she has been privileged with having direct access to local and sustainable food. This is not the case for everyone; she plans to help change that.
Natalie works for HeroX, an online platform that crowdsources solutions and ideas from innovators around the world to solve some of humanity’s biggest problems through innovation, ranging from space exploration to environmental issues.
She helps bring these challenges to life and mesh with the day-to-day operations of the company. Her passion for the environment and environmental innovation stems from a love of nature and being in the outdoors. Much of her work in the environmental space has been in conservation. She believes in having a strong connection with our natural environment and is dedicated to protecting it.
Oriana is currently the Business Development Manager at Naveco Power. Originally from Venezuela, she came to Canada as a student in 2015. She completed her Bachelor of Arts degree with a double major in International Relations and Economics at St. Thomas University. She is responsible for designing sales processes, providing knowledge and awareness about renewable energy sources. She also creates solar proposals for customers who are keen to reduce their energy bills have a positive impact on the environment. She started at Naveco in her second year of university as an intern, and environmental sustainability became her passion.
Oriana is a change-maker who wants to ignite action through entrepreneurial ventures. Energy is not only the biggest industry on earth, but it is also the enabler of other industries. This drives her passion for this sector and her belief that progress in this area leads to good changes throughout the business world and flows down to our local communities.