Student entrepreneurs are celebrated by the local business community

Posted 2019-07-04

More than 100 people gathered for the 5th Annual Entrepreneurship Luncheon at the Fairmont Waterfront Hotel to celebrate the creativity of UBC’s most outstanding student entrepreneurs.

The May 13th event hosted by Sauder’s W. Maurice Young Entrepreneurship and Venture Capital Research Centre provided student teams the chance to present their business start-ups, many of which were developed in Sauder classes, to leading members of Vancouver’s entrepreneurial community.

“Universities and their business schools have an important role to play in the entrepreneurship ecosystem,” said Robert Helsley, Dean of the Sauder School of Business in his speech which opened the event. This is why we have created an environment for learning and mentorship at Sauder that empowers students to transform ideas into enterprises.”

A number of the student teams presenting were founded in the innovative undergraduate course New Venture Design or graduate course Technology Entrepreneurship, which pair Sauder and UBC  applied science students to invent new products, develop prototypes and file for patents.

The student start-ups included:

  • Agile Monitoring Equipment - which utilizes laser-based technology to detect and reduce the impact of pinhole leaks in oil pipelines. The oil industry currently has no solution to these leak problems.
  • Torracell Energy - is developing a next generation fuel cell that significantly reduces weight, cost, environmental footprint - and increases continuous run-time and durability compared to other fuel cells and batteries.
  • Aasith Quick-Dry Bag - which uses a mineral agent to quickly and effectively dry professional sports equipment like hi-tech racing swimsuits, without the need for external heat or power source.
  • MTT innovation - whose product, MTT LEAP is set to drastically improve image quality and luminance in cinema (and other light-projection environments) using energy efficient laser technology.
  • VanAir Design - who have developed an enhanced door solution that provides a simple, easy, and cost-effective ventilation pathway for enclosed spaces like offices. Good airflow is crucial for health and productivity of office workers.
  • TechB - which has developed a mobile application, TechBESS that helps to detect and manage concussion. This app uses the same methods as the industry standard SCAT2 but features an improved and reliable tool to assess patients’ balance.
  • Mountain Biotech - whose product BIOgen combines microfluidic technology with precision 3D patterning to create computer-designed biological tissues. Using this product for drug discovery should reduce unnecessary animal testing and clinical trials and create huge cost savings per drug.

Dr. John MacDonald, Co-founder of MacDonald Dettwiler and Associates and former CEO of Day4 Energy Inc. was the keynote speaker at the event. He drew on his distinguished career in Canada’s technology community to provide advice for budding entrepreneurs.

“Do what you want to do in life,” he said. “It will make you excited to get up every morning and seize the day.” He also encouraged start-up CEOs to pick their teams wisely and to be unafraid of hiring employees that might outshine them. “Star employees will make heroes of you,” he added.