A new accelerator program at Dalhousie is helping to launch student-led businesses while teaching innovation and entrepreneurial skills.
Ready2Launch is Dalhousie’s capstone entrepreneurial experience for students, recent graduates (within two years) and researchers at Dalhousie and other Atlantic Canadian universities.
The program helps participants learn to transform new ideas into innovations — effectively, efficiently and expediently through the commercialization of research. It consists of three “sprints” over three months, June, July and August 2020. Each month has a focus, including customer or user problem, product value, and overall economics and business model. Throughout the entire program teams will define and refine their target market, conduct primary market research and build knowledge about their customers and users.
“The Ready2Launch accelerator has selected eight of the most promising student led teams in Atlantic Canada, who, over the summer will be completing three sprints around customer or user problem, product value, and business model to get them ready to launch their business,” says Spencer Giffin, associate director of Commercialization and Start-ups. “This program helps build capacity to develop the next generation of Atlantic Canadian entrepreneurs and innovation driven ventures to solve global problems.”
Meet the Participants
The Team: 3DBiofibR
The Product: A plug and play solution to 3D cell culture that will be consistent from batch to batch. By creating different product lines, the demands of most life scientists who wish to start using 3D cell culture in their research will be met. There are no products currently available on the market that simultaneously solve problems associated with ease-of-use, batch-to-batch variability and customization.
The Team: Caldi Controls
The Product: There are a significant number of homes which are heated by multiple sources: oil, natural gas, electric, heat pumps, woodfire, and solar to name a few. The cost per heating unit of each of these varies greatly over time with the price of fuels. Electricity costs can change more frequently with the introduction of time of day rates and dynamic pricing. Heat pumps have a dramatically reduced performance based on outdoor temperature and humidity conditions. The team at Caldi Controls wants to make a thermostat to connect multiple systems together and decide which is best to run.
The Team: MyPaq
The Product: A service that provides its members with access to refill stations for their personal care products. Members will no longer have to throw out their empty bottles or have to go to the store to get their products any longer. The refill stations are intended for locations of high population density such as university residences and military barracks. Members would register an account where they could load funds on to, similar to a Tim Horton’s card balance. This enables parents to fund their child's hygiene by loading the account with money so the child can use the refill stations. The refill station would have a touch screen that lets users select their desired product, scent/flavour, and amount. Data would be collected to analyze product favourites and to optimize the refill experience. Learn more at mypaq.ca
The Team: Clean Valley CIC
The Product: Clean Valley research and develops nature based solutions for industry problems. Their first product was a solution that involved bio-mimicry to clarify effluence from aquaculture systems. They had researched the coagulant ability of algae and coupled it with the siphoning ability of bivalves to create an ecosystem within a mechanical apparatus that provided clarification of nitrogenous waste among other hazardous chemicals. The bio-filter would be placed at the end of the water pipeline catching an on-shore flow-through facilities waste and converting it into a new revenue stream. Learn more at cleanvalleycic.com
The Team: Remote Energy Systems
The Product: Remote Energy Systems implements cutting edge, light-weight solar panel technology to enhance tents of all kinds. This includes electrifying event canopy tents to power coolers and displays, personal tents to run coolers. Lights, fans, and charge phones.
The Team: Smart Design Systems
The Product: A software package that helps engineers to achieve a safer and more optimized design in a shorter time span. A machine learning algorithm will be developed throughout this research whose goal is to let the computer choose increasingly optimal designs based on its trained experience. The learning strategy developed by Dr. Fenton’s research group will lead to the creation of a supervised deep learning algorithm using neural networks to provide a reinforced deep learning environment. A database of risk-assessed optimal solutions for various design scenarios will be generated and used to train the neural networks and teach the software how to find the best possible solution for various design problems. The training database will be generated by running a multitude of very fast finite element analyses (thanks to our GPU parallelization algorithms) with optimal design solutions initially selected by human review. Learn more at SmartDesignSystems.ca
The Team: Haligone
The Product: The concept behind Haligone’s technology is to develop and implement several technologies such as React.js, Express.js, Node.js, MongoDB and building micro-services for local businesses to have their own customized online store, to post unlimited products, receive digital transactions and most importantly to better interact with their customers. This technology will also expand to meet the logistic needs of their partnered businesses by providing a local delivery of their products to the door-steps of their customers. Learn more at haligone.com
The Team: Donaid
The Product: A tier based membership platform that provides business tools for charities and non-profits to run a subscription service. This allows them to earn a monthly income and provide engaging content to their donors.
“We are able to supporting teams to de-risk their solutions, build their capacity, and take the next step in launching their businesses through specialized workshops and up to $10,000 in funding,” says Giffin.
“I’m looking forward to seeing how they advance in the program over the next 3 months, and over the coming years given the current once in a generation shift we are seeing from the pandemic.”
Dal News will check-in with the teams at the halfway point, and provide an update on how they are doing. Stay tuned!
For more information about the Ready2Launch program, visitready2launch.ca
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