Velocity Science entrepreneurs meet with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Minister Navdeep Bains

Thursday, January 14, 2016
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau visits Velocity Science

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Navdeep Bains the Honourable Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development met with Velocity Science student entrepreneurs to learn more about their inventions.

Along with Feridun Hamdullahpur, president and vice-chancellor of the University, and Dean of Science Bob Lemieux, Trudeau and Bains met with Velocity Science companies Acorn CryoTechMedella HealthNicoya LifesciencesThalo and Vitameter to learn more about their ideas and prototypes.

It’s always a pleasure to see so many innovative, enthusiastic young people and extraordinarily aspiring faculty members," said Trudeau. "Thank you so much for showing me some of the great work at this amazing institution".

Waterloo’s Velocity Science program, a joint program between the Faculty of Science and Velocity, is a discovery space where world-renowned scientists mentor entrepreneurs who are creating startups in the life and physical sciences.

All of us in the Faculty of Science were extremely proud to watch our students shine today. Their ideas will shape the future of science and technology," said Dean of Science Bob Lemieux. "I think he [Justin Trudeau ] got a real sense that this is the way to innovate and Velocity Science is a unique opportunity for students.”

The company, Acorn Cryotech, developed from Waterloo's undergraduate synthetic biology design team (iGEM) recently won $25,000 at the Fall Velocity Fund Finals. The Fund Finals are a pitch competition where $125,000 in prizes is awarded through the Velocity Fund $25K and Velocity Fund $5K programs.

Acorn Cryotech is preserving the cells of youthful people today as a resource to draw from for personalized medical therapy in the future. From growing new immune-compatible organs, to genetic therapies able to revert damage and mutations that accumulate with age, a bank of youthful cells will be an incredibly valuable healthcare asset.

  

​Medella Health, founded by Science and Business student Harry Gandhi (right), is developing the next generation of wearable technology to help patients better manage their diabetes.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Harry Gandhi

Using their technology, patients will be able to manage their blood glucose levels continuously and non-invasively in addition to receiving detailed data analytics and timely feedback.

Gandhi, one of the founders of Velocity Science, was recently awarded the prestigious Thiel Fellowship.

His company was named one of 50 Emerging Global Entrepreneurs to Watch by Inc.com, an online partner publication of Inc. magazine.

Several of the [Velocity Science] companies are biology-related with participation from the Biology Department. It’s a great angle and pretty unique to Waterloo and the Faculty of Science to have something like this,” said David Rose, Chair for the Department of Biology.

Prime Mininster Justin Trudeau and Thalo

Nicoya Lifesciences uses nanotechnology to create revolutionary sensor products that will change the world of biotechnology, lifesciences, and healthcare.

Their first product, OpenSPR, reduces the cost of biointeraction testing by 90 per cent, allowing rapid development of new pharmaceuticals, therapeutics, and diagnostics.

Thalo is building a new display technology to increase the battery life and daylight visibility of mobile devices. Their technology will revolutionize smartwatches, smartphones and tablets. Thalo recently won $25,000 as well as an additional $10K for being the most innovative hardware startup at the Fall Velocity Fund Finals.

At the heart of our technology, we’re working on a completely new system. We’re re-imagining the pixel from the ground up and building a completely new display," said one of Thalo's entrepreneurs.

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

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