2017 Spirit Award Recipients, Entrepreneurship & Innovation

Sponsored by:

Recipient Entrepreneurship & Innovation: Ryan Rodrigs, All Saints Catholic High School

From very young age Ryan has shown his brilliance, creativity and attention to fine details. Ryan, a grade seven student at All Saints Catholic High School, has always excelled in academics. At the age of eleven, Ryan co-founded a software company to end distracted driving due to cell phone use.

During a routine carpool trip to a local soccer practice, Ryan’s driver got into an accident due to texting and driving. Days following, Ryan grew very distraught over what had occurred. He struggled to sleep and function due to what he had endured. Determined to find a solution to this problem, Ryan began thinking about technological solutions to the issue of distracted driving. Ryan approached his dad with both simple and more complex technological ideas that he had come up with. Together they filed a patent and began to develop the software. The software is designed to automatically lock a driver’s phone screen while operating a vehicle and allows all functionalities for the passengers. Ryan aspires to make a difference in the world at a very young age.

Quote: “As an inventor I like to meet the problem head on rather than running away from it.”


Recipient Entrepreneurship & Innovation: Sanchit Gupta, McGill University

Sanchit is a cofounder of MealCare. Founded in April 2016, now with a team of 50 volunteers in both Montreal and Ottawa, MealCare redirects surplus food to people facing daily hunger and educates people by bringing food issues to light. The MealCare awareness committee has created an educational portfolio to inform communities about local and global food waste crises. The organization bridges the gap between underprivileged and privileged communities. They are not only reducing food and energy waste, but also feeding the less fortunate members of our society. He plans on expanding the project throughout Canada and creating a long-lasting solution to the problem. For Sanchit, MealCare meant putting thoughts into words, words into collective action, and action into sustainable improvement.

Quote: “Food is essential and should be available to everyone, especially when we have an abundance of it.”