Get the latest news on Venture Connection - from venture success stories to events and more! 


Support for IDeA Applicants

Innovative Design for Accessibility (IDeA) competition

The Innovative Design for Accessibility (IDeA) student competition aims to inspire  students to use their creativity to develop innovative, cost-effective and practical solutions to accessibility-related issues resulting in communities that are more accessible for persons with disabilities.

The objectives of the program are:

  • to contribute to the creation of a culture of accessibility in Canada
  • to motivate students to think about accessibility issues and to include accessibility in their creation of social and technological innovations now and in the future
  • to develop cost-effective, practical and innovative concepts, programs, initiatives or designs that address every day accessibility issues
As an agent of Discovery Foundation's Tech4Impact program, Coast Capital Savings Venture Connection will offer comprehensive support to teams interested in competing by offering workshops, mentor sessions, and application support. Please refer to the Competition Schedule and Competition Events section to make sure you meet the requirements for a nomination to compete.

Interested in competing?

Students must present a solution that addresses one of the following accessibility barriers:

  1. Attitudinal barriers
  2. Organizational or systemic barriers 
  3. Architectural/physical barriers
  4. Information or communication barriers 
  5. Technological barriers 

Please see the requirements below to see if you're eligible to compete!

IDeA Competition Events

IDeA Workshop 

This session will offer teams support in ideating solutions, addressing the chosen accessibility problem, and refining current ideas. RSVP Here

Date: May 3rd, 2018
Time: 1PM - 2:30PM
Location: HC 1415, SFU Harbour Centre


IDeA Mentor Meet

This Mentor Meet is specifically for interested IDeA competitors to further work on the competition submission with an experienced mentor.  To book your time-slot, please email with the subject line: [IDeA2018] - Mentor Meet. 

Date: May 4th, 2018
Time: 1PM-3PM
Location: Harbour Centre, by the escalators on the main floor

IDeA Info Session

Date: March 15th, 2018
Time: 12PM - 1PM
Location: SUR 3040 - SFU Surrey

Attend this info session with Brian Carriere, Program Officer for the IDeA competition, to learn how you can compete!


Eligible applicants must be:

  • Currently enrolled in any post-secondary program at a university which has recognized provincial degree granting power, or their affiliates. 
  • Students in all programs including architecture, arts, business, computer science, early childhood education, engineering, industrial design, medicine, nursing, political science, psychology, sociology, social work, etc. are welcome to apply.

Application Guidelines


Coast Capital Venture Connection is the designated University Representative for Simon Fraser University. Venture Connection will support applicants through this competition process, by offering workshops, mentor meets & info sessions. As such, applicants MUST attend the Venture Connection hosted IDeA competition events OR contact Venture Connection to indicate interest in being nominated to compete. 
  1. The University Representative (member of university faculty or administration) begins the
    submission process by nominating the student or student team. Students cannot submit their
    project without the endorsement of the University Representative.
  2. To nominate a student or team, University Representatives will be required to provide the name and email address for each project endorsed. If nominating a student team, one team member will be named as the team delegate. Email confirmation of the nomination will be sent to the
    University Representative once submitted.
  3. Once nominated, students will receive an email inviting them to complete the submission form,
    which will include four (4) short essay questions and the ability to upload their project. Confirmation of a successful submission will be sent by email.
  4. After the competition closes, University Representatives will receive a report of all submissions made by their university, which will need to be endorsed with the signature of a member of the university’s senior administration to finalize the university’s ten (10) submissions.
Please read the 2018 Program Guidelines for full application details.
For any questions or to indicate interest in competing, please contact


Students must submit their concepts, programs, initiatives or designs in one of five categories addressing an accessibility barrier as outlined in Canadian provincial legislation.

Submissions will be made at IDeA Portal and will include their project in one of the following formats*:

  • PDF Document: A document submission must present the full details of the project which is
    to be considered by a selection panel and may not exceed 2,500 words.
  • Video: A video submission must present in full detail the project that is to be considered by
    the selection panel. The video submission must be a minimum of 30 seconds to a maximum
    of 3 minutes in total running time, and uploaded to YouTube. The link to the YouTube video
    must be provided on the submission form.
  • Website: A website submission must present with full details of the project that is to be
    considered by the selection panel. Websites must include a specified “Summary Page” that
    includes a brief (maximum 1,000-word) summary of project. If the Website has restricted settings, the information required to gain access to the Website
    must be provided. The URL for the website must be provided on the submission form.
    Only online submissions in the formats noted above will be accepted.

*By making an electronic submission, the student or student team represents and warrants that he/she has obtained all necessary consents, approvals, permissions, licenses and other documents relating to the Submission that may be required from the participants or any other third party to permit the uses of the Submission or any part thereof as contemplated in these Rules, including, without limitation, any waiver of moral rights; (ii) represents and warrants that it is the owner of the Submission and grants the Competition Group and Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada an unlimited, worldwide, perpetual, royalty- free, license and right to publish, use, publicly perform the Electronic Format Submission in any way, in any and all media, without limitation, and without consideration; and (iii) agrees to release, indemnify, defend, and hold the Contest Group harmless from any and all claims, liabilities, and damages (including, without limitation, legal fees) related to the Submission, or usage of the Submission by the Contest Group in any manner; and (iv) waives any moral rights the Entrant may have in the Submission.


First Place Prize - $2,000 CAD

A $2,000 cash prize will be awarded to the first place winner, along with an all-expenses paid trip (for up to 2 team members) to the Canadian Innovative Exchange (CIX) Conference to present their concept, program, initiative or design.

CIX is the ‘must attend’ event for leaders in Canada’s innovative economy. In its 11th year, the CIX attracts 800+ technology industry leaders, corporates, investors and entrepreneurs of innovationfocused start-ups companies from across the country and globally. This national event curates and showcases Canada’s most innovative and promising young companies and provides the tools to network, build new relationships and increase deal flow. CIX is Canada’s largest innovation investment conference.

2. Second Place Prize - $1,500 CAD

3. Third Place Prize - $1,000 CAD


*IDeA Alumni Network: As a finalist in the IDeA student competition, you will be invited to join the IDeA Alumni Network.

Competition Schedule

To be nominated to compete, submissions must be in by May 15th, 2018 at 10:00am. 

For more information about the competition, please visit


Get the latest news on Venture Connection - from venture success stories to events and more!