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Press Start, a bold social impact initiative from nowly Insurance, launches its Press Start CoLab program, Canada's newest solutions-driven innovation accelerator

·4 min read

The first-ever CoLab will empower the next generation of activists, innovators and entrepreneurs to problem-solve on some of Canada's most pressing social issues through community, mentorship, collaboration and seed-funding.

TORONTO, June 23, 2022 /CNW/ - Press Start, a social impact program from nowly Insurance, is on a mission to connect and empower youth to drive positive changes through innovation, entrepreneurship, philanthropy and activism. Now, with its inaugural program launching this summer, Press Start CoLab gears up to tackle three of the most pressing and intersectional issues facing Canadians today: climate change grief, misinformation and cultural sensitivities around youth mental health.


Press Start is accessible through a free online platform, open to all Canadian social-preneurs – entrepreneurs who are fundamentally committed to giving back. Since its official launch in February 2022, the program has been supporting social-preneurs through its resource hub, offering free access to business tools, industry discounts, micro-grants, mentorships and more.

In CoLab's first year, it will bring together a diverse group of next-generation thought leaders to disrupt social-impact solutioning and collaborate on viable ideas to help solve some of today's most pressing social issues with a key focus on intersectionality and diversity.

"The challenges we all face as a society – and especially CoLab's three challenge areas – are irrefutably interconnected and require diverse groups to find effective, holistic solutions that consider all lived experiences. We wanted to provide a collaborative, safe space and offer tangible support for young innovators and problem-solvers – thus Press Start CoLab was born," explains Martha Turner Osborne, Chief Marketing & Social Innovation Officer of nowly Insurance, a division of Teachers Life. "We want to empower young Canadians who are facing these issues to lean into their ideas, generate systemic change and lead the way for generations to come."

CoLab's participant group will consist of 50 aspiring and established Canadian social-preneurs and activists, ages 18 to 29, all from diverse backgrounds, skill levels and personal experiences. The 7-week program, kicking off July 7, will facilitate collaboration among participants and guidance from experienced mentors to find innovative, creative and boundary pushing solutions to the challenge brief. More than a dozen CoLab mentors are on deck for this year, including Cheesan Chew, Chief Strategy Officer at Manifest Climate; Devin Golets, Founder & CEO of Tailwind and Startup Advisor at TechAlliance; Emma Aiken-Klar PhD, Consultant & Lecturer on Human Centred Innovation and Design; and Deval Pandya, Director of AI at Vector Institute.

CoLab will also feature seven prominent Canadians to inspire and reframe participants' thinking in two virtual summits, hosted in July and August. These sessions, emceed by Founder-CEO of Gonez Media Inc., Brandon Gonez, will feature the following speakers:

CoLab has allocated a pool of $50,000 in grant money and seed-funding to help participants get their ideas off the ground. All participants will receive an honorarium upon completion of the program.

"Our goal is that CoLab, and Press Start as a whole, will make substantial progress in empowering the next-generation of leaders to find and implement actionable, scalable solutions," continues Turner Osborne. "By connecting like-minded innovators and cultivating purpose-driven communities, we can collaborate towards a healthier, more equitable future for all Canadians."

For more information on Press Start, including Press Start Hub resources and more details on Press Start CoLab, visit www.nowly.ca/pressstart.

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About nowly

nowly is a new way of thinking about insurance, offering Canadians affordable and accessible insurance on an innovative and streamlined platform, instantly. Backed by over 80 years of industry experience, nowly members will receive instant coverage and world class health and wellness benefits. As a nowly member, you are eligible for healthy living benefits powered by global leader Virgin Pulse and an annual 50-dollar Living Healthy rebate on any health and wellness app or membership. You can feel confident knowing you are joining a company committed to investing in lasting social impact through their new, innovative give back program called Press Start. nowly is a trademark of Teachers Life Insurance Society (Fraternal) "Teachers Life". Find out more at www.nowly.ca.

About Teachers Life

Teachers Life is a fraternal insurer with a mandate to give back to our Members. Since 2010, through innovation, they've been able to significantly streamline their process to generate more than $3.6 million for reinvestment back to the community and their Members including investing more than $450,000 in scholarships and bursaries for the families of policyholders. Dedicated to those who work in education, these awards are a flagship program of the insurance company's fraternal mandate. Find out more at www.teacherslife.com.

SOURCE nowly


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