MaRS Discovery District (MaRS) has partnered with MIT on the 4th annual Inclusive Innovation Challenge (IIC) whose mission is to drive the growing global movement of entrepreneurs focused on creating viable, scalable solutions that generate valuable jobs and which contribute to the advancement of society through alignment with UN Sustainable Development Goals.

The IIC plays a unique and singular role in the innovation ecosystem by directly providing funding, visibility, and support to organizations that are applying innovative technologies to achieve real outcomes in the areas of:

  1. income growth and job creation
  2. skills development and opportunity matching
  3. financial inclusion, and
  4. technology access.

    This means bold and visionary innovators that have engaged underrepresented peoples and viewpoints in order to develop technology that can empower people to work and prosper in the digital economy.

As a truly global challenge, IIC starts with a series of 5 regional challenges in Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, and North America, each resulting in the selection of 4 regional challenge finalists. All 20 regional finalists then compete in a global competition where 4 are selected as IIC Global Grand Prize Winners. Since its inception in 2016, this initiative has celebrated 110 winners and has awarded over $3.5M to support their growth.

As MIT’s lead North American partner for the 2019 competition, MaRS will work together with other public and private partners to demonstrate the strength, diversity and scalability of Canada and the US’ innovation ecosystem while ensuring that entrepreneurs are able to foster inclusive innovation among North American communities and scale their solutions globally. Key dates for this year’s challenge include:

  1. March 2019 – North American Regional challenge live
  2. July 2019 – North American Regional finalists selected
  3. September 2019 – Regional Event and finalist announcement (MaRS, Toronto)
  4. November 2019 – Global challenge winners announced at Grand Prize Gala (MIT, Boston)

More information is available online at