On May 4, 2021, Lianna Genovese, CEO & founder of the Hamilton-based startup and The Forge client, ImaginAble Solutions, brought home the Innovation Award at the 2021 Global Student Entrepreneur Awards (GSEA). The premier global competition, aimed at university and college student entrepreneurs, is hosted by the Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO), a high-quality support network of over 15,000 like-minded leaders across 61 countries who recognize exceptional student entrepreneurs around the world. Genovese is a passionate student entrepreneur and the inventor of the company’s patent-pending product, Guided Hands™, an assistive device that enables people with limited hand mobility to write, draw, paint and use a touch-screen device. Genovese represented Canada in the GSEA Finals, where 38 students, each from a different country, competed.
Guided Hands™ derived from her first-year engineering project, at McMaster University, where she is studying biomedical and mechanical engineering. Genovese is hopeful that Guided Hands™ will improve the quality of life for people living with Cerebral Palsy, Huntington’s Disease, ALS, arthritis, stroke complications, or restricted hand mobility. The startup has launched healthcare pilots across North America and will be launching Guided Hands into the market for sale in late June.
Genovese competed in the local GSEA Toronto finals on November 26, 2020, impressing the judges with her convincing pitch and passion to develop supportive devices of those with limited fine motor controls, qualifying her to compete in the Canadian Finals. Genovese competed against the top six student entrepreneurs across Canada who won in their respective cities. On January 21 Genovese came out on top as Canada’s national winner advancing her to the GSEA Finals, winning the Innovation Award.
The Global Innovation Award recognizes a student entrepreneur who has truly thought outside the box by building a business that creatively improves a process, product, method, or system. Whether that idea is big or small, these ideas change the way we experience the world.
“I am beyond thankful and honored to bring my country home a Global Innovation Award!” said Genovese. “It was an invaluable experience competing in the GSEA, not only did I have the incredible opportunity to learn through training and coaching, but I also connected and created life-long friendships with student entrepreneurs across the world!”
Watch the announcement of the winners and Imaginable Solutions’ pitch:
Imaginable Solutions joined The Forge in 2019 and has excelled in the Startup School and Business Incubator programs, as well as won second place in The Forge Student Startup Competition in 2020, a pitch competition aimed at McMaster student entrepreneurs with novel and scalable business ideas. As well as being a student and entrepreneur, Genovese is a talented public speaker who is inspiring women entrepreneurs and students in engineering and STEM programs.
Learn more about Imaginable Solutions.