The David McFadden Energy Entrepreneur Challenge

Tuesday, May 10, 9:15-11:30 a.m. – Talent Theatre

David McFadden photo

Honouring past OCE Board Chair David McFadden, the David McFadden Energy Entrepreneur Challenge invites university and college students from across Ontario’s academic institutions to address challenges facing the energy sector. Each year a particular challenge is selected and students pitch their entrepreneurial ideas and solutions to be judged against David’s own philosophy of innovation: that it be economically viable while also leading to the betterment of society in creating a safer, better place.

Students enter their idea in a three-minute video uploaded to YouTube. Up to 10 finalists will now meet face-to-face with expert advisers, who will help them improve their proposals and strengthen their concepts.

At Discovery, each finalist receives five minutes to pitch their concept to a panel of energy sector experts and investors. This panel will choose one winner who will be presented with the David McFadden Energy Entrepreneur Award at Discovery and receive $25,000 and a suite of business services to advance the winning business concept.

See complete competition details on OCE’s website.

2015/16 Challenge

The theme for this year’s Energy Entrepreneur Challenge is “Conservation as a tool to meeting the world’s energy challenges”. Energy conservation and demand management (CDM) can play a key part in assisting the world to use energy responsibly and to achieve desired environmental and climate change objectives. Consumers, big and small, individuals and large corporations, can all make a contribution to CDM. The challenge is to develop an easily used and cost effective CDM system or technology which can be used by a broad spectrum of consumers in Canada or around the world.

Judging Panel



2016 Finalists

TEAM LEAD: Arshan Singh
INSTITUTION: University of Toronto
SunChill is an air conditioner, a “chiller,” without a compressor that runs on hot water heated by solar, geothermal or waste energy sources. SunChill addresses the climate-change cycle by reducing demand on infrastructure and on non-renewable energy sources, and by eliminating emissions.

TEAM LEAD: Bolis Ibrahim
ENTERPRISE NAME: Argentum Electronics
INSTITUTION: Ryerson University
INNOVATION: All2One Solar Power Combiner (A2O)DESCRIPTION: 
The All2One Solar Power Combiner (A2O), a “smart solar controller” developed by Argentum Electronics, incorporates existing small-scale solar-power technologies with a unique circuit design, allowing homeowners to more efficiently generate electricity and lower dependence on the grid.

TEAM LEAD: Richard Scott
INSTITUTION: University of Ottawa
Volux is a LED streetlight incorporating a vertical-axis wind turbine, a solar panel and a battery. It has no underground wiring and few parts (all of which are manufactured and sourced in Ontario), so it can be easily installed and maintained in cities and remote areas in the developed and developing worlds. Volux eradicates the expense of running streetlights, a cost of $14B in Toronto in 2015, and aligns with the UN objective of affordable, reliable, sustainable energy for all.

TEAM LEAD: Ryan Cant
INSTITUTION: University of Windsor
EnviroDrone (ENVD) uses unmanned aerial systems (UAS), or drones, outfitted with EnviroTherm technology, a small, low-cost thermal camera that feeds high-resolution still photography or live-video into software that coordinates the images with locations, to do the often-dangerous work of examining power lines and transmission towers. EnviroTherm by EnviroDrone allows close-up, 360° examination of the 160,000 kilometres of utility line in Canada with less expense and environmental impact.

TEAM LEAD: Thouheed Abdul Gafoor
ENTERPRISE NAME: EMAGIN (Environmental Modelling, Analytics and GeoInformatics Network)
INSTITUTION: University of Waterloo
EMAGIN is a machine-learning-driven, real-time, process-control solution using cloud-based computations with predictive capacities not on the market, to transform operations in drinking water treatment plants, distribution systems and waste-water facilities, reducing water and energy consumption.