We acknowledge that we live and work on the traditional territory of the Neutral, Anishinaabeg and Haudenosaunee peoples. The University of Waterloo is situated on the Haldimand Tract, the land promised to the Six Nations that includes six miles on each side of the Grand River.
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|
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
MAJiK Systems creates software platforms that provide equipment owners with a comprehensive view of their customers and products. Through the collection and analysis of real-time operational data, MAJiK Systems provides the next evolution of machine monitoring and product service manuals.
Michael Tatham and Kamal Aman are 4B Management Engineering students; they have two other team members from their program, Adam Singer and Jared Evans.
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).
Appstruments creates music-making software that can be used by people of all skill levels.
Appstruments turns music consumers into music producers with a variety of products for iOS, Android, and the web that all promote interactivity and creativity without required training or musical knowledge.
Peter Sobot is a fourth year Software Engineering student that has worked in San Francisco, Vancouver and Toronto. He founded Appstruments as a fusion of his passions for music and software.
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 primarily used their funding towards:
- Product inventory (t-shirts, v-necks, long sleeve shirts, and sweatshirts);
- Custom product tags; and
- Promotional items such as signs and stickers.
Hydrated World is an apparel company helping eliminate the water crisis. Every five items sold provides one person with access to a sustainable clean water project in a developing nation. Through a partnership with The Safe Water Project, Hydrated World provides bio-filters and knowledge of how to build, maintain and use these bio-filters to create sustainable businesses.
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.
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
uIntuition is a platform for connecting customers with the best young talent in areas such as graphic design, web design, photography, performance, and tutoring.
Customers receive industry standard quality work at affordable prices, while students build their resumes and portfolios, expand their networks, and work according to their own schedules while earning money.
Michal Ulman is a Systems Design Engineering student and co-founded uIntuition with Melissa Morgan, a Global Business and Digital Arts student. Their team also includes two Arts and Business students, Nicole Papp and Aqsa Zubair.
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.
SparkGig is an online marketplace that seamlessly connects talented performers with event planners.
Anyone organizing a corporate event, wedding or private party can use SparkGig to quickly and easily find the perfect entertainment for their event.
Michael Reid, an engineering student, and Adrian Wong, a third year Accounting and Financial Management student, are currently on E Co-op terms for SparkGig.
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.
Rocket hopes to turn under-utilized urban real estate into productive agriculture space that is accessible for community members to learn about and purchase locally-grown food.
It was Norman Esch's wish that his foundation directly support the development of students receiving training within the interdisciplinary applications of Engineering Sciences.