Entrepreneurs at UBCO competed this week in the 'MNP Quick Pitch Competition' judged by the Valhalla Angels investor group for $75,000 in prizes.
The annual fast-paced competition is the culmination of an intensive six-month fall/winter accelerator program for UBCO students as well as faculty, recent alumni and staff.
The challenge is designed to showcase talented UBCO entrepreneurs to the business and investor community and the media. The best ranked innovation teams face-off in several highly-competitive rounds.
This school year 14 teams were accepted into the intensive now-virtual six-month program. They have been receiving one-on-one mentoring from volunteer business leaders, as well as attending live cases with top innovation experts, and participating in mentor feedback and practice sessions.
Key focus areas of the Entrepreneurship at UBCO program include customer discovery, development of a minimum viable product and business model and pitch practice.
The top three winning teams are:
First Prize: GAPSS – Gravity Assisted Particle Separate System – a revolutionary stormwater decontamination system founded by second year UBCO students Jacob Sol (Civil Engineering), Cole White-Robinson (Mechanical Engineering), Jayden Wong (Electrical Engineering), Graeme Kumagai (Electrical Engineering) and second year UBC Vancouver student Rudransh Kumar (Engineering Physics).
Second Prize: CloudTrack – a theft-prevention system for motorcycles and other on and off road vehicles – founded by UBCO fourth year student Connor Scott (Electrical Engineering) and alumnus David Rojas, BBA.
Third Prize: Agronome – an smart agtech platform targeting farmers in Africa founded by Michael Oyatsi, a UBCO Mechanical Engineering alumnus and Kennedy Wafula.
The following venture founders won student Entrepreneur of the Year awards:
- Pala Kovacs, UBCO business management, third year – founder Captured Experiences, a photography business process platform
- Ehab Ghanem, UBCO PhD candidate, electrical/geomatics engineering, multi-sensor fusion for autonomous vehicles – co-founder VegMaps, an agtech monitoring platform utilizing drones.
- Mahmoud Sakr, UBCO PhD candidate, mechanical engineering – co-founder ResearchTube – an online AI platform to convert executive summaries of research papers into short videos.
- Jacob Sol, civil engineering and Cole White-Robinson, mechanical engineering, both second year students – two of five co-founders of GAPSS – Gravity Assisted Particle Separate System – a revolutionary stormwater decontamination system.
- Gavin Saini and Keyvan Kahadem, civil engineering, both third year students – two of four co-founders of Elite A2Z, a cost effective household water filtration system utilizing bio-composite materials.
The following founders won alumni Entrepreneur of the Year awards:
- Arpan Kandola, a civil engineering graduate and one of three co-founders of Proximy, a platform to easily bring community members together for events focused around common interests.
- Mohamed Gamal, PhD, engineering, and one of two co-founders of GelMa, an innovative biomaterial company.
- Pouria Mehrabi - masters in science, mechanical engineering and founder of Tutor Me, a university-level tutoring software platform.
- Michael Oyatsi – a mechanical engineering graduate and one of the two co-founders of Agronome, a smart agtech platform targeting farmers in Africa.