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The Emerging Leaders Network city-building pitch contest allows Toronto’s best new ideas to shine

Written by Kaitlyn Kochany
Published in Yonge Street Media 

“Tonight, we’re putting wind in the sails of great civic ideas.” No small claim from Alexandra Stewart, the host of the Emerging Leaders Network’s ELNshowcase. April 9 saw the second edition of the annual pitch contest for civic improvements, which pits community-minded Torontonians against each other in a friendly competition for funding and resources. This year, five teams competed to win the showcase’s top prize: one thousand dollars and a hotdesk at the Centre for Social Innovation. Each team was allowed 12 minutes to explain their city-changing idea, then faced scrutiny from the judges, Dragon’s Den-style.

The teams presented to a full audience and a judges table that included Ian Black from Uber; the Centre for Social Innovation’s Adil Dhalla; and CP24 reporter Arda Zakarian. They were friendly and buoyant—the Hon. Michael Chan, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and International Trade, broke into a soft-shoe shuffle when he was introduced—but their questions, about neighbourhood buy-in, corporate partners, marketing plans, and bottom lines, were designed to dig deeper into how each program would work in real-life Toronto.

Read the full article here.