Engineering startups win top awards in California Pitch Alumni Event

Monday, April 18, 2016

Three companies launched by Waterloo Engineering students were the winners of the California Pitch Alumni Event held April 14 at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California.

Lumotune, Varden Labs and Voltera each won $5,000 at the event attended by hundreds of University of Waterloo alumni, students, and guests to provide insight into how Waterloo brings innovative and world-changing ideas to the global marketplace.

A total of 10 teams from Velocity Garage pitched their innovative products or services.

Lumotune was started by three nanotechnology engineering students (now alumni) Hooman Safaee, Matin Esfahani and Shafi Siddiqi as their Capstone Design project. The company uses nanomaterials to create unique digital displays.

Varden Labs, co-founded by mechatronics engineering students Alex Rodrigues and Michael Skupien, uses self-driving technology for a shuttle system designed for resorts, gated communities, and large campuses.

Voltera was created by Alroy Almeida, Katarina Ilic, James Pickard, and Jesús Zozaya as their Capstone Design project. The Voltera V-One is a printer that enables circuit boards to be prototyped within minutes.

The following companies founded or co-founded by Waterloo Engineering students also participated in the event:

Medella Health is building a wearable technology solution that continuously and non-invasively monitors blood glucose levels so patients can better manage their diabetes.

Palette, a modular hardware interface to control your favourite software. Snap together sliders, dials and buttons to create a personalized interface for the way you work.

Pitstop, a cloud based diagnostic platform that uses engine data to run machine learning algorithms for predictive maintenance.

Vertical is developing technology to enable robots to visually perceive their environment. 

Vitameter, a personal handheld device that determines vitamin levels within minutes. Each test is inexpensive and provides the information needed to manage diet and supplements.