Communities Building Youth Futures (CBYF) is working alongside Red River College Polytechnic (RRC) to provide a place for youth to innovate.

Program Coordinator with CBYF Morag Morison says they’ve been working on getting a space for Portagers ages 15-30 to innovate for about nine months. The idea was kickstarted after they were given a grant to allow youth to explore entrepreneurial ideas.

“We've been very slowly working to put the space together, paint the space, so we're going to have a couple of rooms set up,” notes Morison. “Three office spaces for young people, as well as a reception area and a meeting area too.”

She adds the concept sparked from focus groups when they heard that they didn’t have a space like this in the community. She notes that once the space is ready to go, they’ll be running the program for the foreseeable future.

They’re also going to be running a competition which will have their version of  “Dragon’s Den” which will see Portagers pitch their ideas, with the best concepts taking home a $1,000 prize.

“The top three winners also get a free office space there for a year,” explains Morison. “We also are going to have a lab room, which is going to have a 3D printer and an industrial sewing machine and an industrial copy printer. Even if people don't win that or if they don't enter this contest, they can still come and use that space, which is going to be neat.”

The Dragon’s Den competition will start next Thursday the 22nd with innovation tips, leading to each team giving their pitch in the afternoon of Saturday, September 24th. Applications are still being accepted here.