Welcome back to Startup Survivor!

Startup Survivor

The sun is out, and the beaches are calling! The second ever Startup Survivor Program presented by The Forge is now open for the season! The Forge’s Startup Survivor Challenge and Pitch Competition is one of two programs offered by the incubator. Ten eager student startups are put to the test facing all sorts of challenges, setbacks, and adversaries to determine the Startup Survivor Champion. The program is aimed at adventurous McMaster students and recent alumni with innovative business ideas that are yet awaiting to take off. The Summer program will run from May till August 2022 and will wrap up with a pitch competition in the Fall awarding up to $75,000 to the participating startups.

Our ten competitors were chosen from an intense pool of over 65 student startups, all eager to get their hands on the grand prize! The process of narrowing down such a competitive application cohort took weeks for The Forge team to hand-pick the most innovative, scalable, and creative ideas. All applicants were asked to conduct potential customer interviews, gaining insight on problems the team wanted to address and solve. All teams showed incredible grit and initiative, backing their startups with immense amounts of research. In the end, only ten could be selected. The cream of the crop, the best of the best, the lions of the pack.

These ten teams will spend the next four months fighting for their spot in the Startup Survivor spotlight. They will be challenged with all sorts of tests measuring innovation, validation, and business development and will receive cash prizes to further advance their startup. They will compete head-to-head, earning points to top the leaderboard every week. Which teams will survive?

By the end of the summer the top 5 teams in terms of points will advance, leaving their competitors behind. These five teams that have amassed the most points through each challenge will then face the hardest challenge yet, a behemoth waiting to be overtaken: The Pitch Competition. Our teams will be put to the test in front of tenured judges and long-time entrepreneurs. As our teams pitch against each other, they will be well aware of the circumstances. There can only be one winner. Who will rise to the top, and find the grand prize, to be crowned our Startup Survivor Champion 2022?

Meet the 10 teams selected to participate in this year’s program:  

AccessAble 

AccessAble is a streamlined platform for workplace accommodations that empowers greater accessibility for people through learning, requesting, procuring, and helping others with the same process.  

InterVesta  

At InterVesta, we aim to support international and out-of-province students with the resources needed to comfortably settle near their university. This includes easing the stress of finding affordable housing, decreasing the possibility of being scammed and attempting to reduce the gap of opportunities that local students have in terms of finding housing over international and out-of-province students. Our team is dedicated to delivering excellent service and we understand the importance of taking customers’ experience into consideration. 

MedX: Smart Medication Solutions 

It is incredibly difficult for physicians to monitor patient compliance in an intuitive and time effective manner, at the same time existing tools for gauging medication response are extremely limited. Our solution is a highly cohesive medication compliance and response tracking dashboard for physicians to be able to monitor patient compliance and be informed of additional symptomatic data which can be used to refine diagnostic and treatment decisions. Given the rise of telemedicine, as well as general trends accelerated by Covid for at home care, we believe it is the right time to implement such a solution in the market. 

UniverSole Fit 

Our shoes tell a story, shedding light on what we do. Are you a runner, construction worker, business associate, fashion icon? The wear marks on the sole tell us about the ground covered on the journey to get where you are today. So, we should be asking ourselves why we are still using the century old technique of length and width measurements to specify fit? The transition to online shoe sales not only means the current specialized fitting methods by experts are inaccessible but drives a larger need for shoe fit guidance as there is no opportunity to try on a product. We propose a tool that combines convenience for online shoppers, expert opinions and advanced recommendation algorithms to revolutionize the shoe fitting process. A smartphone camera will be used to record videos and images to generate a 3D model of the foot when standing and walking. Using expert opinions to train the tool, in combination with machine learning to extrapolate the trends, customers will have an at home tool for recommendations on shoe size and model. This will give customers confidence in their purchases. 

PrecisionEHR

Primary care physicians are frustrated by electronic health record technology that is currently available due to there being too much administrative effort required to maintain the record, as well as organizational and interoperability problems which impede their ability to engage with patients. Additionally, these physicians feel that the current EHR systems that are available have poor usability and do not provide options to utilize new computational techniques in their practice, seamlessly, without having to enter redundant information into multiple systems. Our product is the Precision Medical Clinics application. Using the application, which captures inputs to the system in an analyzable format, data acquired during the patient visit can be harnessed to provide automate processes, give decision support, and integrate precision medicine insights into a physician’s practice. Our application will reduce physician overhead costs, reduce time spent on administrative tasks, improve the physician user experience, and improve the patient experience with their provider. 

SetraAI 

SetraAI is a pre-revenue business focused on developing an automated fitness analysis suite for dynamic weightlifting exercises. Leveraging the power of pose-estimated biomechanics machine learning algorithms, the Setra AI application provides users with advanced performance analytics and a scientifically backed review of each exercise and repetition. SetraAI features customizable social profiles and automated workout logs. Users can engage and compete with others over the platform through Setra AI’s built-in social community features. 

Smart Bra 

Among the 3.7 billion women around the world, 80% of them wear the wrong bra size, and most of them find bra shopping destressing. My solution is Smart Bra, which provides customers with accurate bra size and their desired style. Smart Bra 3D scans each customer breasts and through consultation with the customer, delivers the bra that is only made for them. 

StemImage Technologies 

StemImage is trying to solve problems found in many research labs that use conventional phenotypic screening in drug discovery projects. Phenotypic screening is often very costly and time-consuming. The main concerns for many research labs are the expensive antibodies needed for cell staining or lineage tracking and time-consuming as well as labor-intense drug screening experiments. In addition, the conventional phenotypic screening processes involve fixing and staining the cells with immunofluorescent antibodies. However, cell fixation is a step that kills the cells by permeabilizing the cell membrane to allow antibodies to enter the cells. Therefore, it is needed to find an alternative computational approach to replace the expensive antibody staining method with a more robust computational approach for image classification.   

ThunderVolt 

Having an EV with fewer hardships and being less time-consuming to charge is a must for its owner and this cannot be addressed with the current infrastructures unless by having a private charging outlet at home rather than going to the public stations. Condo residents in GTA do not have access to EV charging outlets inside their parking spots which makes it a hassle for them to commute for a public charging station nearby and wait there for a relatively long duration. In addition, placing EV charging outlets in condo parking is a huge burden for the condo residents, because they need to obtain multiple permissions and meet multiple standards yet they may not become eligible for having an EV charging outlet in their parking after all. Therefore, we offer easy-to-navigate, motorized, and portable suitcases shaped with battery modules for the daily amount of charge that EV owners need to commute. By subscribing to our platform, users do not need to get any kinds of permits to install EV outlets, they can charge their EVs on-demand, and consequently, their range anxiety will be eliminated. 

Tression 

Compression stockings are a standard and medically effective solution for preventing progression of varicose and spider veins in the legs. However, reports show that only about 10-30% of those that need compression stockings actually wear them regularly. Studies on patient preferences show that non-compliance is due to discomfort, impracticality, and lack of fashionable style offered by compression stockings. At Tression – or in other words Trendy Compression – we aim to simply develop compression therapy garments in the form of normal tight clothing that allow individuals make healthy choices without sacrificing their comfort or style.