Last weekend, four teams of Conrad students took home major prizes at entrepreneurship competitions in Halifax, Manitoba, and Toronto. Enterprise Co-op teams pitched and won at the National Business and Technology Conference (NBTC) and the Ted Rogers Management Conference Startup Summit in Toronto. Meanwhile, on opposite sides of the country, Master of Business Entrepreneurship and Technology (MBET) teams pitched and won at the Stu Clark Investment Competition in Manitoba and the Canada’s Business Model Competition in Halifax.
Landmine Boys awarded first place on the East Coast
MBET student Richard Yim and E Co-op alumnus Christian Lee are the co-founders of Landmine Boys, a startup dedicated to eradicating landmine casualties worldwide. Landmine Boys has built a machine to safely excavate and neutralize landmines without danger to human operators. Their novel solution to this far-reaching problem has attracted the attention of media and government alike, and on Saturday, it was awarded the top prize of $25K at the Canada’s Business Model Competition (CBMC) in Halifax.
CBMC challenges competitors to explain how their business model has been shaped by customer validation and lean startup principles. In his pitch, Richard referenced his extensive investigation of the problems faced by current deminers, including time spent in Cambodia training with NGOs who work on this issue.
Landmine Boys will advance to the International Business Model Competition later this year.
E Co-op startups take top prizes in Toronto
The same weekend, a group of E Co-op students attended NBTC in Toronto to take part in two days of workshops, networking, and competitions. E Co-op students Daisy Shi and Siobhan Allman, both Waterloo architecture students, advanced to the finals in the Entrepreneurship Newcomer category.
Daisy took home the first prize of $750. Her company, Pixls 3D Graphics & Visualizations, provides 3D graphics and rendering services to businesses. Three dimensional renders are computer-generated photorealistic images that are used to design, build, and market products—often before the product exists.
Elsewhere in Toronto at the Ted Rogers Management Conference’s Startup Summit, another E Co-op startup pitched and won first place. Frank Nguyen and Andre Bertram received $4K in funding for their startup, HelpWear, which is developing a smart watch that provides 24/7 at-home heart monitoring with an embedded emergency contact system, for better prevention and treatment of heart-related illness.
Both Frank and Andre are Waterloo engineering students, who founded the startup when they were high school students, inspired by Frank’s concern for his mother’s heart condition.
Health tech startup Curiato wins in western Canada
Meanwhile in Manitoba, MBET students Moazam Khan and Zied Etleb received the $10K second place prize at the Stu Clark Investment Competition, an annual graduate student business plan competition held at the University of Manitoba. Their startup, Curiato, is leveraging Cloud and IoT technologies to create a smart mattress that will eliminate a serious but often overlooked health issue: bedsores. They were also recognized as the top Canadian business plan at the competition.