Socially Focused Start-ups Enter Innovation Hub

Published on Friday, January 17, 2014


Five socially focused start-ups enter Sauder’s Coast Capital Savings Innovation Hub business accelerator

Skipper Otto’s Community Supported Fishery is one of five Vancouver social ventures – start-ups focusing on making social and environmental change while building a viable business – selected to receive financial support, communal workspace, expert mentorship and student interns at Sauder’s Coast Capital Savings Innovation Hub. Support for each venture is valued at $60,000.

“There is tremendous momentum in Vancouver’s entrepreneurial community to use business to find solutions for the world’s most pressing challenges,” says Associate Professor James Tansey, executive director of Sauder’s ISIS Research Centre, which runs the CSS iHub. “Our program harnesses this energy and helps early stage social ventures grow to the next level with the vision of establishing the city as a world leader for social venture development.”

This is the second cohort of social ventures to enter the business accelerator, founded with a $1-million contribution from British Columbia credit union Coast Capital Savings.

The ventures include:

  • Skipper Otto’s Community Supported Fishery, which sells fresh seafood directly to pre-paying shareholders, mirroring the “farm-to-plate movement” with “boat-to-fork.” Read a feature story on the project.
  • Mealshare, a venture that allows restaurant-goers to provide a meal to someone in need by choosing items bearing the Mealshare logo from menus at participating restaurants.
  • Fresh Roots Urban Farm Society, which transforms underused urban spaces into commercially productive farms, bringing diverse members of the community together to grow sustainable food.
  • Natural Source Vending, a company that designs, builds and manages free-to-staff food stations stocked with locally sourced all-natural snacks.
  • Shifting Growth Garden Society, an organization that creates temporary community gardens on vacant lands, increasing access to Vancouver’s community garden programs.

Link to full media release.