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Game Changer - Manitoba's Idea Competition

Phase one of Game Changer has begun

$20,000 up for grabs in Manitoba’s idea competition

August 29, 2017 — 

Harnessing one’s imagination to create value is a basic principle of innovation. A simple idea has the potential to change the world. The University of Manitoba wants to capture this spirit and reward winning participants with $20,000 in prizes.

Game Changer is a two-part competition that rewards out-of-the-box thinkers and problem solvers who can identify problems with a global reach and find tangible solutions for them. For the competition’s third year it has expanded significantly.

The challenge was first started by the U of M in 2015 and was open only to U of M students. Last year it grew, allowing any post-secondary student to enter. This year, Game Changer is open to any Manitoban.

“We want to increase the collaborations between the academic institutions and the rest of the province, so this year we opened the competition to all Manitobans who can submit problems in the identification phase and can partner with students in the solution phase,” said Digvir Jayas, Vice-President (Research and International) and Distinguished Professor at the University of Manitoba.

Phase one of the competition started Aug. 21. Manitobans 16 and older are encouraged to simply submit an idea – one that identifies practical, real-world challenges and has potential to bring about positive change if a solution was found. Individuals or groups can submit a maximum of two problems each. A committee will choose the five best single problems, which will go on to the next round of competition. Up to five winning problems will each receive a $500 prize.

Examples of last year’s problems – and solutions – addressed access to education in Indigenous communities, reducing e-waste, improving financial literacy, improving women’s inequality in the workforce, and encouraging pro-active health outcomes.

For phase two of the Game Changer competition, entrants will form cross-functional teams to develop viable, practical solutions for any of the winning problems from the first phase. Up to 10 teams will move on to the finale event on November 14 where they will present their solutions to a team of judges. The grand-prize winning team will receive $10,000.

The contest aims to increase awareness of entrepreneurship and showcases the creativity and the intellect of post-secondary students and people all over Manitoba

“The previous two years’ of competition have been building to this year,” says Jayas. “This year we wanted to expand the collaboration and showcase the skill and expertise we know is present across the Province.”

The Phase 1 deadline for submitting problems is Sep. 20.

For more information, visit

Research at the University of Manitoba is partially supported by funding from the Government of Canada Research Support Fund.

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