Four companies founded by University of Waterloo alumni have been named to the Kairos Society’s annual list of the top 50 global entrepreneurs under the age of 25.
The Kairos Society is an international non-profit organization dedicated to supporting young entrepreneurs across the world. The society selected the top 50 from among 550 nominations put forth by members of Kairos’ regional chapters. All companies were required to have a finished product or working prototype, and were assessed based on the feasibility of their vision and potential for industry disruption.
Here’s a quick look at the four Waterloo companies on the list:
EyeCheck is building a handheld vision screening tool and mobile app that enables quick and cost-effective vision testing for the developing world. EyeCheck is co-founded by Daxal Desai and Ashutosh Syal, systems design engineering graduates, and Rachel Friesen, international development and business student.
The company is based in the Velocity Foundry, and co-founder Rachel Friesen is an alumna of several Business, Entrepreneurship and Technology courses at the Conrad Business, Entrepreneurship and Technology Centre. In fall 2014, EyeCheck was awarded $35,000 at the Velocity Fund Finals.
ExVivo Labs has developed a non-invasive skin patch for simple, safe, and certain allergy detection. It is co-founded by Moufeed Kaddoura, a science student, and Eric Blondeel, a chemical engineering PhD student. The company is is part of Velocity Science and was the focus of Kaddoura's Enterprise Co-op term at the Conrad Centre. In spring 2014, ExVivo Labs was awarded $25,000 at the Velocity Fund Finals.
Voltera is developing a printer that enables low-cost circuit boards to be prototyped within minutes, eliminating the frustrations of the traditional circuit board fabrication process.
Voltera is co-founded by Alroy Almeida, Jesus Zozaya, and James Pickard (all mechatronics engineering graduates) and Katarina Ilic (nanotechnology engineering graduate). The company is based out of the Velocity Foundry and was awarded $25,000 at the winter 2013 Velocity Fund Finals.
Suncayr has developed an easy-to-use, visible colour changing product that allows parents to determine when their children are exposed to dangerous UV radiation. Co-founders Rachel Pautler, Derek Jouppi, Andrew Martinko, and Chad Sweeting are all nanotechnology engineering graduates.
The team is a member of Velocity Science. They have previously taken Conrad’s BET 300 course and Enterprise Co-op, and COO Andrew Martinko is part of the Master of Business, Entrepreneurship and Technology (MBET) class of 2016. In winter 2015, the team was awarded $25,000 at the Velocity Fund Finals.
All 50 entrepreneurs on the list have been invited to demo their companies at the upcoming Kairos Global Summit where they will have the opportunity to secure up to $50,000 in investment from investment capital firm Obvious Ventures.