This was originally written by Stefan Kollenberg and published in the Varsity, University of Toronto’s Student Newspaper.
UofT has a thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem and this past week it was on full display. As the capstone event to an exciting week of entrepreneurship, we explored the Startup Showcase to highlight emerging companies, hear Arlene Dickinson of Dragons’ Den share her journey, and watch the RBC Pitch Competition.
“Our vision for Entrepreneurship@UofT Week was to amplify and accelerate the impact of entrepreneurship at U of T. By bringing together the greater community of students, startups, incubators, and the partner organizations who support them, we are creating connections across the community that are needed to accelerate our startups’ growth and create the game-changing ventures of the future.” She went on to talk about the importance being placed on attracting students with non-traditional backgrounds and encouraging students to pursue social entrepreneurship.
With the startup showcase highlighting artificial intelligence, regenerative medicine, health sciences, clean tech, and advanced manufacturing there were over 70 startups to meet, so I narrowed it down for you to five of the most exciting. Many of them are also hiring if you’re a student looking to gain valuable career experience.
Imagine your grandmother, who doesn’t speak a word of English, fell down and broke her hip. You’re able to call an ambulance to her house, but can’t get there to translate for the medical staff in time and she is stuck without the ability to clearly communicate with anyone. This is the situation Health-Bridge, is made for.
Haman Mamdouhi, Founder of Health-Bridge, and his team are working to eliminate the language barrier in healthcare by providing an image based diagnostic tool for non-English speaking patients. Originally based out of the Entrepreneurship Hatchery, they placed first at UofT’s Healthy Generation Fund and Next Canada Startup Sprint. Most recently they were announced as one of 12 finalists for Enactus Canada’s student entrepreneurship competition.
As they are growing quickly, they’re looking to bring on students with a background in computer science, mobile development and graphic design who are passionate about making the healthcare system accessible for people who don’t speak English.
Have you ever left the hospital unclear about how to take care of yourself? Well, you’re not alone. This happened to Dash MD Co-founder Zach Fisch-Rothbart after he broke his leg in two places. He was handed a stack of pamphlets while leaving but was unclear on exactly what he needed to do to get better. Just 3 weeks later he ended up back in the ER with compartment syndrome from his cast being too tight.
Dash MD is here to help other patients avoid falling through the cracks of the health-care system by providing resources to help them manage their self-care journey.
They’re also excited to partner with a big player in the Ontario health space in the upcoming month. If you’re interested in working for Dash MD, they’re hiring front-end, back-end, iOS, and Android developers, as well as designers.
When choreographers are creating a dance routine, they draw up ideas on paper and then meet up with dancers for long, expensive practice sessions. StageKeep is here to make the process more efficient by digitizing the planning and communication of these routines. This allows dancers to come to rehearsals better prepared while saving choreographers time and show directors’ money.
StageKeep was founded by William Mak and Axel Villamil a year ago and has been growing quickly. Villamil spoke about his experience as a dancer and how it was hard to get together with their full team for extended periods of time and expensive to book these studio hours, so he wanted to find a solution that filled that need.
In the last decade, a lot of biomedical labs have adopted what is called high content screening, a method of using automated microscopes to image cells exposed to thousands of different drugs. The problem is that it can take months of work by highly skilled computer & data scientists to sift through the data and analyze it. Phenomic.ai was created to automate this lengthy and expensive process for researchers in academia and pharmaceutical companies by developing a deep-learning based platform for analyzing all their imaging data.
They’re currently growing their data science and software team if you are interested in working with them.
Have you ever tried growing your own vegetables inside a condo with no balcony? Well, it’s not easy to do; it takes up a lot of space, is difficult to get consistent sunlight, and requires regular watering. This is the problem that Just Vertical is solving. They provide a vertical hydroponic growing system that can be easily stored, supplies its own light, and is 95-99% more water efficient than regular soil-based growing techniques.
While talking with Co-Founder Conner Tidd, he also mentioned some exciting news. They’ve got a new product launching next month where they’ve replaced all the plastic with a more environmentally friendly bamboo composite and cut the price in half. They will be hiring students to help with this launch so keep your eyes peeled for their job openings.
Also a special congratulations goes out to the Hatchery Alumnus XPAN for winning the RBC Prize for Innovation and Entrepreneurship and Hatchery NEST 2018 team VECO for winning the people’s choice award.
Congratulations Hatchery Alumnus XPAN (@Zee_Force ) for winning @RBC Prize for Innovation and Entrepreneurship and Hatchery NEST 2018 team VECO for winning the people's choice award at @UofTStartup Showcase. #UofTHatchery #EntWeekUofT pic.twitter.com/nUHpqFwndB
— UofT Hatchery (@UofTHatchery) March 1, 2018