Norman Esch Award winners: Where are they now?

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Each term, students from the Faculty of Engineering who are completing an Enterprise Co-op (E Co-op) term have the opportunity to win a Norman Esch Enterprise Co-op Award. To win, students pitch their startups, for a chance at $4,000, to their E Co-op peers and instructor.

The Conrad Centre reached out to some of the 2013-2014 winners to check in on their progress since winning the award. Read on to learn some of the amazing work these young startups have been able to accomplish since their win.

September 2013 winners November 2013 winners January 2014 winners
uIntuition MAJiK Systems SparkGig
Appstruments Hydrated World Rocket

MAJiK Systems

Since winning a Norman Esch award in November 2013, the young entrepreneurs behind MAJiK Systems have:

  • Traveled to Chicago to demonstrate their prototype for a client;
  • Traveled to Plymouth, Michigan to connect their product to their first end user's machine;
  • Purchased development and project management tools;
  • Developed their initial website, majiksystems.com; and
  • Conducted further market research.

The funding really helped us cross the gap from E Co-op to rolling out a functioning startup by the end of our last school term.

- Michael Tatham, CEO, MAJiK Systems

M

MAJiK Systems' machine monitoring interface.

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Appstruments

The Wub Machine and Forever.fm logos

Peter Sobot won a Norman Esch Award in September 2013 for Appstruments. Since then Peter has:

  • Launched 2 music apps for mobile devices on Android and iOS, the Wub Machine and forever.fm;
  • Had over 140,000 unique users in 175 countries experience their web products; and
  • Seen over 14,000 mobile app downloads.

Peter used his award funding for marketing, advertising, and digital infrastructure (such as server costs).

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Hydrated World

Since winning the Norman Esch award in November 2013, Hydrated World has:

  • Partnered with the Safe Water Project to provide bio-filters to communities in Africa;
  • Provided 50 people with access to sustainable clean drinking water projects, which last 25 to 30 years; and
  • Participated in speaking engagements at St. Paul's GreenHouse and a Conestoga College leadership class.

Hydrated World T-shirtsHydrated World primarily used their funding towards:

  • Incorporation;
  • Product inventory (t-shirts, v-necks, long sleeve shirts, and sweatshirts);
  • Custom product tags; and
  • Promotional items such as signs and stickers.

Spencer, Aleks and friends wearing Hydrated World T-shirts

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uIntuition

Michal Ulman won a Norman Esch Award for uIntuition in September 2013, and since then the company has:

  • Built a web-based project management system;
  • Built a private server; and
  • Started to develop an automated customer-student matching system.

uIntuition sold more than  $12,000 worth of services in 2013.

Michal Ulman

We have been moving heavily towards being more scalable, which the Norman Esch Award really helped us with."

- Michal Ulman,
Executive Vice President & Co-Founder, uIntuition

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SparkGig                                     

Since winning their Norman Esch award in January 2014, SparkGig has:

  • Booked close to 10 events/week;
  • Started to develop a promotional video; and
  • Worked on the design of their full website based on early adopter feedback.

 SparkGig recently travelled to New Brunswick to compete in the BMO Financial Group Apex Business Plan Competition. The team won the Entrepreneurial Powerhouse Award for best overall performance from a university.
 

Michael Reid, Samual Yuan and Desmond Choi with their Entrepreneurial Powerhouse Award.

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Rocket                                        

Rocket won a Norman Esch Award in January 2014, and has since:

  • Secured restaurants in the Galt community to purchase their produce;
  • Worked on their initial growing system, a commercial hydroponic unit; and
  • Continued to develop their website.

For the coming weeks, Rocket is focusing on marketing their produce to restaurants. They will be located at the School of Architecture in the summer and are hoping to grow enough to sell subscriptions to students and others in the community.

A library with bookshelves on the left, computer workstations in the middle, and vertical hydroponic gardens on the right; Rcoket's vision for a community space.

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It was Norman Esch's wish that his foundation directly support the development of students receiving training within the interdisciplinary applications of Engineering Sciences.

 
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