Dean Pearl Sullivan awarded nine student design teams over $30,000 in a first round of funding from the Engineer of the Future Trust, a pool of discretionary micro-seed funding for budding entrepreneurs at Waterloo Engineering.
Established by Waterloo Engineering alumni, the Engineer of the Future Trust provides the dean with flexible, short turnaround funding for student project development. In addition to bridge financing, the EFT may be disbursed to assist students with their Capstone design projects – moving ideas from concept to full scale prototype. It may be accessed by Waterloo Engineering student teams who are competing for international prizes.
The first round of funding was awarded to:
Wearability (winner of the Esch Entrepreneurship Award for Capstone Design and the Sedra People’s Choice Award) received funding for the development of an electromyographic (EMG) shirt to measure electrical activation in muscles and reduce work-related musculoskeletal disorders (MSD), including lower back and neck sprains and strains. The company founders are systems design engineering students Marc-Andre Simard, Adam Thagard, Pratik Konnur and Chris Menezes.
Bridges to Prosperity, founded by civil engineering student Dilan Badshah along with a team comprised of 19 students, mainly in civil engineering, received funding to build a footbridge to span the gap between communities and necessities.
Pulse Punching Bags, founded by mechatronics engineering students Fiona Chui, Saluka Amarasinghe, Adam Craig and Filipp Demenschonok, received funding for an exercise device for people learning the basics of martial arts. The Pulse system, an interactive smart punching bag with an online ecosystem, provides cardio workouts and improves the user fighting technique safely, without the need for a personal trainer.
NanoLite Technology, founded by nanotechnology engineering students Omer Mullick, Saleh Jiddawi, Firas El-Hamed and Mehmet Murat Kiy, received funding for the development of an ideal dress shirt – a shirt that integrates heat management, moisture management and antibacterial properties.
DraftingSpace, founded by School of Architecture students Elizabeth Nenniger and Laura Austin, received funding for their software platform that automatically generates customized floor plans for interior space.
Rocket, founded by architecture students Victoria Suen and Chi-Ling (Carrie) Cheng, received funding to build scalable infrastructure to grow and sell food to communities on commercial and institutional rooftops year round.
Suncayr, founded by nanotechnology students, Rachel Pautler, Andrew Martinko, Chad Sweeting, Derek Jouppi and Hayden Soboleski, received funding for their sunscreen, a product that changes colour when its UV radiation protection wears off.
Counterintuitive, founded by Christopher Sharp of mechanical engineering, received funding for a solution for manufacturing glass countertops on a large scale to fulfill orders in March 2014.
Sierra, founded by nanotechnology engineering students Alison Lee, Chelsea Marr and Krishna Iyer, received funding for a patent application for their innovative GoldProbeTM sensor, to simplify costly biochemical analysis into a product that is handheld, smartphone-ready, low-cost, and versatile.
A second round of funding will open May 1 and close May 30. Students must present a business plan that clearly outlines their business strategy, intellectual property plan, market potential and financial forecast. Criteria are posted on the engineering website and applications should be submitted to the Engineering Student Relations Officer.