Posted Thursday May 7, 2020

Innovative Design

Recipient announced for Recovery & Rebuilding the Region Design Challenge One

London-based Go Fog It, founded by Diana House and Melissa McInerney, has been announced as the recipient of the first Recovery & Rebuilding the Region Design Challenge.

Go Fog It, which offers disinfectant fogging to make spaces safer, has two main components to helping southwestern Ontario recover from COVID-19. The first one is safety and health, with a goal to help stop the spread of the coronavirus. The second is helping open up the economy and supporting business owners with their disinfecting challenges so they are able to focus on their business.

The successful recipient was chosen from over 100 applicants and will receive $20,000 of seed funding and a personalized suite of business advisory, financial coaching and community impact services presented by Libro Credit Union, Pillar Nonprofit Network and TechAlliance.

This women-led, environmentally friendly startup will use the seed funding to hire operations staff, purchase equipment and continue to scale quickly. Advisors from Libro, Pillar and TechAlliance will provide expertise on connecting with new networks and leveraging available resources in order to effectively combat the issue at hand. In times of crisis, innovation can’t wait.

“Winning the Design Challenge has meant the world to us. Over the past few months, we have poured blood, sweat and tears into Go Fog It,” said Diana House, President, Go Fog It. “But we didn’t do it alone. It takes a team of brilliant people with different skill sets, mentors, advisors and early believers.”

She continued, “we really think that navigating the post-COVID-19 economy is going to be a huge challenge. As experts in what we do, we are confident that we can provide a cost-effective and accessible solution to residents and businesses on a global scale.”

Last week marked the launch of the first Recovery & Rebuilding the Region Design Challenge. Design Challenge One, co-presented by Communitech, in Waterloo Region, and WEtech Alliance, in Windsor-Essex, was an open call for innovative solutions centred on responding to the immediate health and social issues of COVID-19.

The application period for Design Challenge One ended on Saturday, May 2, and adjudication closed on the evening of Tuesday, May 5.

Applicants across southwestern Ontario had three days to submit their ideas, products, services or solutions for consideration, with the intent to accelerate and scale solution delivery to make an impact in our community.

The second stage of the Design Challenges will focus on recovery and rebuilding and revitalizing the community, post-COVID-19. The timeline for Challenge Two will be announced in May 2020. Interested applicants can sign up to be notified via email when the application period begins.

Melissa McInerney, CEO, Go Fog It, said:
“We strongly believe the perspective of ‘cleaning’ is forever changed – focused now more than ever on essential health requirements. It’s not simply enough to wipe a surface, but instead, to disinfect it, and Go Fog It uses disinfectants on Health Canada's COVID-19 list that have been found effective in killing viruses and bacteria (including Coronavirus). Our 360° Fogging Disinfection Protocol is the most thorough, effective and affordable process to keeping spaces safe.”

Christina Fox, Chief Executive Officer, TechAlliance, said:

“Fierce founders Diana House and Melissa McInerney captured the spirit of the Design Challenge and presented a vital solution to the uncertainty that we are all facing as we look towards re-entering our public spaces. Go Fog It is an incredible example of harnessing innovation utilizing existing technologies in order to apply new solutions to emerging issues. TechAlliance is inspired by Diana and Melissa’s bold pivot and lightning speed action to bring this technology to our region.”

Jill Brush, Libro Credit Union Regional Agriculture and Commercial Manager, said:

“It was truly inspiring to see the creativity and innovation of all the projects submitted. We are excited to begin financial coaching and support to Diana and Melissa of Go Fog It, whose essential service can help combat COVID-19. Their made in southwestern Ontario solution will help everyone get back to business.

“It has been wonderful to collaborate with all of these organizations that share Libro’s passion for growing prosperity in southwestern Ontario.

“Libro welcomes the opportunity to support any of the applicants and we look forward to the next phase of the Design Challenge.”

Michelle Baldwin, Executive Director of Pillar Nonprofit Network, said:

“Having two wickedly smart women entrepreneurs as the Co-Founders for a product that is environmentally friendly hits the mark for purpose driven businesses that care for both our people and planet. The collaborative wrap around support from all the partners on the Design Challenge for breakthrough innovations like this will maximize its reach and impact.”

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