Google announces finalists in $5M nonprofit challenge

Canada will vote on winners for the first-ever Impact Challenge

TORONTO, March 6, 2017 /CNW/ - Google Canada today announced the ten nonprofit organizations that will compete for $5M in grant funding as part of the first-ever Impact Challenge in Canada.

These ten projects all use innovative applications of technology to solve big problems with the potential to scale. From growing fresh food in the Arctic to providing a bird's eye view of disaster zones to changing the way disease is diagnosed in the developing world, these are bold ideas that highlight both Canada's talent for innovation and our culture of helping others.

And now it's Canada's turn to have a say. Between March 6 and March 28, Canadians are invited to visit to learn more about the finalists, and to vote for the projects they care about most.

One winner will be chosen based on this public vote to receive a $750,000 grant from The remaining winners will be selected by an expert panel of judges during a live pitching session on March 30 in Toronto.

"It's not every day that you get a chance to make the world a better place on such a significant scale, and I would encourage every Canadian to vote for one of these fantastic projects," explains Sam Sebastian, VP, Google and Country Director, Canada. "We have been bowled over by the response to this challenge - more than 900 nonprofits from coast to coast to coast shared their best ideas with us, and these ten projects were the best of the best."

The Impact Challenge Finalists:

  • British Columbia Children's Hospital - Globally, pneumonia is the single largest cause of death among children under 5. The PocketDoc for Pneumonia is a mobile platform to accurately diagnose pneumonia in the developing world and save children's lives.
  • The Rumie Initiative - Only 40% of students on indigenous reserves graduate from high school, compared to 90% of students in the rest of Canada. The LearnCloud Portal is an offline, tablet-based curriculum to help high school students learn about Indigenous culture, history and language while gaining employment skills and financial literacy.
  • GlobalMedic - In the chaos after an earthquake or a tsunami, every minute counts. The RescUAV project will use Canadian-made Unmanned Aerial Vehicles to fly over disaster areas, allowing emergency responders to see the terrain they are heading into and help them get aid to where it's needed most.
  • Food Banks Canada - Each year, close to $31 billion of food is wasted in Canada, yet nearly one in ten Canadian households have to worry about whether they have food on the table. The FoodAccess App divert surplus quality food away from landfill by connecting farmers, manufacturers and restaurants with donation agencies and Canadian dinner tables that might otherwise go empty.
  • World Wide Hearing Foundation International - Globally, 32 million children suffer from significant hearing loss, the majority of whom live in countries where access to hearing care can be a significant barrier. The Teleaudiology Cloud will connect children living in remote communities with audiologists and speech therapists who can assist with remote screening, hearing aid fitting, speech therapy and parent counselling.
  • Arctic Eider Society - With Arctic sea ice declining at over 13% per decade, changing conditions make navigation unpredictable and limits access to traditional foods for Arctic communities. The SIKU platform will provide a set of open-source tools that help Inuit communities map changing sea ice, and build a living archive of Inuit knowledge to help inform decision making for stewardship and sustainable development.
  • Victoria Hand Project - Only 5% of the 40 million people who need prosthetic care can access the resources they need. The Victoria Hand Project will provide affordable 3D-printed prosthetics in low-to-mid income countries.
  • PeaceGeeks Society - It can take up to ten years for the employment rate of recent immigrant cohorts to reach the equivalent rates for those born in Canada. With information provided in their native language, Services Advisor is an application aimed at welcoming new Canadians to our shores, making it easier for newcomers to access immigrant services like mentorship and employment skills.
  • Growing North - In Nunavut, nearly 70% of adults are food insecure - meaning they lack reliable access to a sufficient quantity of affordable, nutritious food. Growing North addresses food insecurity issues by building greenhouses that will provide fresh produce all year round in latitudes above the Arctic Circle at about half of the present cost.
  • Canadian Red Cross - The Register Educate Deliver System (REDS) system will take a pilot project developed in the days following the Fort McMurray Wildfire and scale it so it's ready for the next big disaster. The program registers those affected, shares critical information about how to respond, and quickly delivers financial assistance into the hands of Canadians when they need it most.


Visit for more details about the Challenge and finalists.

About Impact Challenge
The Impact Challenge is an opportunity for registered nonprofits and charities to share their vision for using technology to change the world. Winning organizations will share $5 million CAD in grant funding, as well as mentorship from Google and our challenge support partner, the LEAP Centre for Social Impact.

About Google Canada
Google's mission is to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful.  As a global technology leader, Google's innovations in web search and advertising have made its website a top internet property and its brand one of the most recognized in the world. Google Canada has offices in Waterloo, Toronto, Montreal, and Ottawa with nearly 1,000 'Canooglers' working on teams across Engineering, Sales, Marketing, PR, Policy, and HR.

SOURCE Google Canada

For further information: Nicole Bell, Google Canada,

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