June 14, 2021 – Student Company UpCyc is the recipient of JA British Columbia’s 2021 Celebrate Entrepreneurship Award. This $3,000 award is sponsored by the B.C. Ministry of Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation and recognizes the JA student company that best demonstrates innovation.
UpCyc is an app that allows users to engage in upcycling, giving old products a new life by turning them into new creations. Consumers capture an image of their unwanted item on their phone and UpCyc provides creative and useful projects for these objects that would normally be discarded into the landfill. Users can also post the upcycled products to inspire others and receive rewards and discounts to local sustainable businesses.
“Congratulations to Upcyc,” said Paulina Cameron, CEO of The Forum, member of the Small Business Roundtable and award judge. “The team’s idea was very creative, with a unique model and the kind of innovative approach we need to address the pressing environmental challenges we face.”
“The team at UpCyc has shown the power of innovation and creativity and what that can accomplish,” said Ravi Kahlon, Minister of Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation. “This project is precisely the kind of technology we need to spur economic growth, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and sustain the environment for future generations. Congratulations to the UpCyc team for their accomplishments.”
UpCyc was part of the 16-week JA Company Program that encourages high school students to build their own start-up. In the 2020-21 school year, the program was virtual, and teams met weekly via video conferencing to develop their product. The UpCyc team, comprised of students from Metro Vancouver and Kelowna, was also the winner of JABC’s Battle of the Ads, a 30-second ad competition, and a finalist in the investor pitch competition, Discovery Foundation’s Discover your Pitch.