About BC Ideas
BC Ideas is an innovation community and problem-solving marketplace that grew out of the prize-based contest Solutions for Strong Communities. The original contest accepted a wide range of submissions in a number of topic areas and provided a total of $270,000 in grants.
The competition was launched on the Ashoka Changemakers platform on May 16, 2012 by a partnership including: ArtsBC, Ashoka Canada, Ashoka Changemakers, British Columbia Association of Aboriginal Friendship Centres, BC Social Innovation Council, BC Sport Agency, Capilano University, Columbia Basin Trust, Community Council, Community Living BC, Community Living Innovation Venture, Decoda Literacy Solutions, Enterprising Non-Profits, Federation of Community Social Services of BC, ISIS at the Sauder School of Business, The J.W. McConnell Foundation, LIFT Philanthropy Partners, Planned Lifetime Advocacy Network, Province of British Columbia, Selkirk College, The Land Conservancy of BC, United Way of the Lower Mainland, Urban Systems, Vancity and Vancouver Foundation. The judges panel included: Andy Broderick, Vancity; Dan George, Four Directions Management Services Ltd.; Nicole Rycroft, Canopy; Stephen Huddart, J.W. McConnell Family Foundation and Yuri Fulmer, FDC Capital.
While the BC Ideas community continues to thrive—115 innovations are currently posted in the “Marketplace,” seeking to gain collaborators and funding—the actual contests have concluded, and there is no mention of a second iteration being in the works.
By accepting submissions at every stage, including the idea stage, the Solutions for Stronger Communities competition lowered the barrier for engagement for those with potential solutions who lacked the capital or expertise to put their solutions into action. However, this low barrier to entry could also delay the impact of contest winners, since entries could take a significant amount of time and capital to operationalize.