By: Stephanie Porfiris, July 27 2020
Today Elevate announced that it is partnering with the Design Exchange (DX) to launch the Elevate Social Innovation Exchange (Elevate SIX). This year-round social innovation hub will empower the tech and innovation community to tackle the complex social, economic, and environmental challenges facing our region and the world.
DX, a historical meeting place in Toronto’s Financial District, has served as a critical hub for commerce, design, and innovation since 1986. In September 2019, DX was named as Canada’s Headquarters for the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs), a title that will be fully embodied by its new partnership with Elevate SIX.
Elevate SIX will offer year-round programming to the Canadian innovation ecosystem, including an accelerator program for ventures addressing issues related to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs). It will also serve as a state of the art community collaboration hub, and provide startups with a digital media lab, empowering small businesses to produce top-tier content to remain competitive in a digital-first world.
The initiative, which was founded with a vision of helping Canada to emerge more robust and inclusive post-COVID-19, will grow ventures’ capacity to move the needle on complex social programs, foster strong connections in the social innovation community, and develop training, mentorship and support networks.
“Global leaders around the world have embraced the idea of stakeholder capitalism; that today companies must do well and do good,” commented Elevate CEO & CoFounder Razor Suleman. “Elevate SIX is a space for entrepreneurs, corporate innovators, youth, and underrepresented communities to come together to solve the world’s most critical challenges.
Of the partnership, Design Exchange Board Chair Christopher Wein said, “bringing these two organizations together to launch Elevate SIX will give us more reach, allow us to deliver more programs, and ultimately, have greater impact. It’s a natural fit for Design Exchange to leverage design-thinking and technology to create actionable solutions to solve the 17 UN SDGs.”
- Elevate SIX will operate out of 234 Bay Street, which features over 40,000 square feet of historic space in the heart of Toronto’s financial district. Through a combination of digital and live programming and initiatives, Elevate SIX will support over 100,000 social innovators each year.
- Over $5 million in funding has been secured from the City of Toronto and corporate partners to launch Elevate SIX
- Elevate continues to partner with over 100 organizations in the tech, innovation, and sustainability communities.
- Elevate SIX will also serve as a premium event space for every style of event whether a business meeting, conference, product launch, gala, wedding, social event or film shoot
“Entrepreneurs need support to turn their ideas into successful businesses that improve people’s lives and make the world a better place,” commented The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry. “With Elevate’s phenomenal track record of success, I fully support the launch of a global hub that equips social innovators with the tools and network they need to tackle the complex challenges we’re seeing today.”
All in-person programming and resources will align with the most current government social distancing regulations. They will also be optimized for digital distribution if in-person gatherings continue to be prohibited.