Announcing the Forge@MAC Student Startup Competition 2017 Winners

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Congratulations to this year’s Forge@MAC Student Startup Competition 2017 finalists and winners!
The third annual Forge@MAC Student Startup Competition 2017 was attended by over 200 guests including students and individuals interested in the Hamilton entrepreneurial ecosystem. Ten McMaster University youth entrepreneurs were finalists in the competition. Their startup ideas ranged from a website overlay startup that optimizes websites to a new and improved eye drop that helps keep active ingredients in your eye for more effective treatment.
Finalists pitched in front of a distinguished panel of judges, including Dan Sinai, Senior Executive, Innovation Ecosystems, IBM; Lynn McNeil, COO, ChipCare; Marc Gibson, Operations Manager, JLABS; and Stuart Wheldon, Technology Investor and Entrepreneur.
The big winner of the night was 20/20 OptimEyes, a biotechnology start-up developing a transformative drug delivery platform for ocular diseases normally controlled with eye drops. They have developed an improved eye drop, targeted initially for dry eye disease, that allows patients to put in drops painlessly and less frequently, thus improving patient compliance and increasing clinical outcomes to improve their vision. 20/20 OptimEyes took home $30,000 to further accelerate their startup to success.
Our Forge@MAC Student Startup Competition 2017 was graciously sponsored by the McMaster University Faculty of Engineering, Nix Sensor Ltd., Fresh 95.3, Clausehound, School Digital. We were also supported by our partners McMaster University, Innovation Factory, W Booth School of Engineering Practice and Bruha.
A full list of winners can be found below:
  • The Faculty of Engineering Award $20,000: Frances Lasowski, 20/20 OptimEyes
  • Forge@MAC Student Startup Competition Award $20,000: Sarosha Imtiaz, Aiva Labs
  • Forge@MAC Student Startup Competition Award $20,000: Anthony Gatti, NeuralSeg
  • Forge@MAC Student Startup Competition Award $20,000: Alex Ianovski, CataList
  • People’s Choice Award $5,000: Rotimi Fadiya, The sKan
  • Emerging Leader Award $5,000: Rotimi Fadiya, The sKan
  • The Faculty of Engineering Innovation Award $10,000: Frances Lasowski, 20/20 OptimEyes