Media Release: SFU’s RADIUS Slingshot program to boost B.C.’s sustainable food industry

November 19, 2015
Simon Fraser University
University Communications
Donovan Woollard, RADIUS, 604.720.4223,
Maggie Knight, RADIUS, 604.329.0679,
Jean-Philippe Nadeau, BDC, 514.283.4369,
Vancity, 778.837.0394,
Paula Amiama, Zero Waste Market, +49.1.575.883.0727,
Lia Padgett, Thirsty Whale Elixirs, 604.657.9871,
Neil Thomson, Naked Snacks, 778.994.9659,
Tegan Woo, Amoda Tea, 604.368.6332,
Ross MacDonald-Allan, SFU Beedie, 778.782.9492,
Note to photo editors: HIGH QUALITY IMAGES AVAILABLE – available for download here
SFU’s RADIUS Slingshot program to boost B.C.’s sustainable food industry
Insect-based protein powder, First Nations tea blends, and home-delivered healthy snack boxes are just some of the local food-related ventures that will receive a jump-start from their inclusion in SFU’s third annual RADIUS Ventures Slingshot Accelerator.
The intense six-month cohort program for high impact ventures is run by RADIUS, a social innovation lab and venture incubator based at Simon Fraser University’s Beedie School of Business.
There is no requirement that the participating ventures have any previous connection to SFU.
Designed to take growth-ready social ventures to the next level, members of the 2014-15 Slingshot cohort have already achieved 50% revenue growth relative to their pre-RADIUS baseline.
This year’s cohort, supported by program partners Vancity credit union and the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC), will focus solely on B.C.’s sustainable food sector.
“The 2015 RADIUS Ventures Slingshot cohort for the first time represents innovative solutions to societal problems focusing on one specific industry,” says Donovan Woollard, Director of RADIUS Ventures.
“Every one of these ventures represents a radical transformation of our food system towards local ownership and positive impact.”
Ventures participating in the 2015-16 Slingshot cohort include:

  • Amoda Tea, an e-commerce venture that delivers monthly tea boxes consisting of natural teas, organic matcha, and super food blends from small-batch tea makers across North America.
  • The Capilano Tea House and Botanical Soda Company infuses traditional local First Nations blends with traditional global tea varietals.
  • Coast Protein uses modern sustainable processes to cultivate crickets – an ancient staple protein source – for use in flour- and protein powder-based products.
  • Heilu, an inexpensive, nutritious, and sustainable powdered protein made from black soldier fly larvae.
  • Naked Snacks, an e-commerce company that delivers nutritious, affordable, and delicious snack creations across Canada.
  • Thirsty Whale Elixers, offering shrub syrups made from local ingredients for homemade sodas and cocktails.
  • Zero Waste Market, Canada’s first package-free grocery store designed to tackle all aspects of food-related waste.

“Vancity’s work with RADIUS has produced some impressive solutions to social and environmental challenges over the last two years, and we are excited to see the fruits of this year’s sustainable food-focused cohort’s labours,” says William Azaroff, Vice-President of Community Investment at Vancity.
“We are delighted to support the entrepreneurs who have created these innovative businesses in the local, sustainable food sector, and look forward to continuing to work with RADIUS on similar radical ideas in the future,” says Craig Ryan, Director of Corporate Social Responsibility at BDC.
Over the next six months the cohort will be immersed in design thinking, lean start-up methodology, and hands-on mentorship and collaboration in order to prepare their ventures for growth and investment.
RADIUS is an integral component of SFU Innovates, Simon Fraser’s recently launched innovation and entrepreneurship strategy.
“SFU devotes considerable energy, knowledge and resources to support local ventures in delivering benefits to British Columbians – innovative products and technologies, sustainable companies and jobs, and ultimately a stronger, more diverse economy,” says Joy Johnson, SFU’s vice-president, research.
“We all stand to gain from the collision of talent, technology, and transformative ideas that results from extending SFU Innovates programs to outside entrepreneurs.”
About Simon Fraser University
As Canada’s engaged university, SFU is defined by its dynamic integration of innovative education, cutting-edge research and far-reaching community engagement. SFU was founded 50 years ago with a mission to be a different kind of university—to bring an interdisciplinary approach to learning, embrace bold initiatives, and engage with communities near and far. Today, SFU is Canada’s leading comprehensive research university and is ranked one of the top universities in the world. With campuses in British Columbia’s three largest cities – Vancouver, Burnaby and Surrey – SFU has eight faculties, delivers almost 150 programs to over 35,000 students, and boasts more than 135,000 alumni in 130 countries around the world.
RADIUS (RADical Ideas, Useful to Society) is a social innovation lab and venture incubator based at the Beedie School of Business, Simon Fraser University. A “place for radical doers”, we develop the emerging leaders and solutions needed for a sustainable, just and healthy economy.
About BDC
BDC is the only bank dedicated exclusively to entrepreneurs. With more than 100 business centres and over 32,000 clients across Canada, it offers loans, investments and advisory services. BDC’s purpose is to support Canadian entrepreneurship with a focus on small and medium‑sized businesses.
About Vancity
Vancity is a values-based financial co-operative serving the needs of its more than 509,000 member-owners and their communities through 59 branches in Metro Vancouver, the Fraser Valley, Victoria, Squamish and Alert Bay. As Canada’s largest community credit union, Vancity uses its $18.6 billion in assets to help improve the financial well-being of its members while at the same time helping to develop healthy communities that are socially, economically and environmentally sustainable.
About SFU Innovates
The SFU Innovates strategy embeds entrepreneurship and innovation across the University. It fuels SFU’s vision to be Canada’s ‘leading engaged university’ and its goals of engaging students, engaging research and engaging communities.
RADIUS Ventures Slingshot program:
RADIUS Ventures:
RADIUS’ Slingshot 3 cohort launch:
SFU Innovates:
Business Development Bank of Canada:


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