Forging Futures: Meet the Finalists of Startup Survivor 2024!

May 16, 2024

The newest cohort of McMaster startups is making waves in the world of entrepreneurship and innovation. These bold and visionary entrepreneurs are ready to tackle the thrilling challenges of the four-month Startup Survivor program!

After reviewing a record-breaking number of applications, we’ve handpicked the top 10 innovative ideas. This summer, we’re diving in with these trailblazers, guiding them through every step of the process from ideation and validation to full-fledged growth.

By the end of August, the top five teams will advance to the next stage of the Startup Survivor Program where they’ll face their toughest challenge: The Pitch Competition. Here, our standout student entrepreneurs will battle it out for cash prizes, presenting their ideas to a panel of expert judges with a live audience cheering them on.

Which team will make it out on top? Follow us on our social media to stay updated and cheer on your favourites as they journey towards being crowned the Startup Survivor Champion of 2024!

AcCellerate

Founders: Irenaeus Wong (Faculty of Engineering), Kevin Armah Mensah (Faculty of Engineering), Sarah Gonder (Faculty of Engineering)

By hybridizing machine learning, physics, and alternative models, AcCellerate is unlocking unseen lithium-ion battery degradation phenomena from cyclic voltammetry. They are developing a B2B web-based application for battery developers and integrators to live-monitor their cycling batteries and insights from our predictive models. Their products will give a physics-informed window to accelerate workflows and high-level decision making to validate new materials, chemistries, and processes for improving battery capacity, safety, and degradation mitigation.

AcCellerate is one of two startups who will receive an additional $5,000 in funding from CITM. This financial boost will support their growth and help accelerate their innovative projects, positioning them at the forefront of the industry’s future.

Chives

Founders: Asad Irfan (Faculty of Engineering), Sangjun Joung (Faculty of Engineering), Hanjun Kim

Chives envisions a society where our food can be easily sourced from fully automated systems. Many plant growing technologies have risen, but have a limited plant catalogue to choose from, coupled with high cost barriers and low functionality. They believe the current form factor is too rigid to be applicable for different use cases and environments. Chives aims to tackle this with personalized technology, planned and built only after robust client consultations. This enables us to fine tune our system to cater to different needs.

They empower their clients with the ability to efficiently produce whatever plant they desire, wherever, by devising custom automated systems. With the most current and reliable sensors and plant care delivery systems, they ensure full automation from seed to harvest with minimal resources.

Dinomometer

Founders: Alexis Moutfafis-Tymcio (Faculty of Engineering & Health Sciences), Claire Patterson (Faculty of Engineering & Health Sciences), Aimee Laperriere (Faculty of Engineering & Health Sciences), Deena Al-Sammak (Faculty of Engineering & Health Sciences), Rooaa Shanshal (Faculty of Engineering & Health Sciences)

The Dinomometer is making grip strength testing more accessible for pediatric patients. This all-female founder team has created a small and lightweight grip strength measurement tool, designed to provide children with auditory and visual feedback during a grip strength test to encourage maximal results. Their product stands out from the competition as it is the only grip strength measurement tool created specifically for children.

Local Reach

Founders: Evan Ferreira, Hussein Tahan (Faculty of Engineering), Emmet Gibbens, Joseph Liao

Local Reach opens the door to a new advertising stream that has never been effectively exploited before. Their goal is to enable small local businesses to use the TVs of their local restaurants and bars as an advertising avenue to attract more local customers. By creating a device that can detect when live advertisement breaks occur on TV, Local Reach plans to replace the original commercial advertisements with the advertisements of partnered businesses. This allows them to separate themselves from the rest of the competition by being the only solution that doesn’t disrupt the live entertainment content being displayed on the TV. This allows businesses to seamlessly integrate Local Reach’s technology into their venues, without the fear of having to shut down any of their TVs for advertising purposes.

Maze Dynamics

Founders: Muhammad Haashim Rehan (Faculty of Engineering), Jimmy Yan (Faculty of Engineering).

Maze Dynamics are pioneering a transformative approach to material transportation across manufacturing, logistics, and healthcare sectors. They’ve identified a pervasive challenge: manual labor reliance leading to inefficiencies, labor-intensive processes, and operational bottlenecks during production runs. This issue impacts industries ranging from automotive to electronics, as well as healthcare institutions like hospitals and retirement homes, resulting in significant productivity losses, escalated labor costs, and the looming threat of stock-outs or line stoppages, potentially costing hundreds of thousands of dollars per hour of downtime.

Their solution is driven by intelligence and safety. Through extensive customer discovery, they’re developing a proprietary transportation robot system equipped with advanced sensors, including LIDAR and depth sensors, ensuring safety in all environments. Their robots navigate with precision through lidar-based mapping, minimizing accidents and disruptions. Complementing their hardware, they’re crafting a user-friendly software portal for easy robot allocation and management within facilities.

What sets them apart is their unwavering commitment to reliability and autonomy. Recognizing the need for systems requiring minimal human intervention, especially in environments lacking trained personnel, we prioritize reliability and autonomy. This ensures their solution delivers consistent performance over years of operation.

Maze Dynamics is one of two startups who will receive an additional $5,000 in funding from CITM. This financial boost will support their growth and help accelerate their innovative projects, positioning them at the forefront of the industry’s future.

Medium AI

Founders: Edward (Zeyi) Yu (Faculty of Engineering), Pega (Jianqing) Liu (Faculty of Engineering), Justin Lin (Faculty of Engineering), Kino Song (Faculty of Engineering)

Medium AI is a powerful multi-lingual medical scribe assistant for hospitals, clinics, and family doctors who speak different languages. They have developed the most advanced English-Mandarin dual language scribe model in Canada and have created a huge structured Mandarin Medical Conversation dataset. This provides them with significant advantages when training multilingual medical scribe models compared to their competitors.

MiON Forest

Founders: Naharin Sultana Anni (Faculty of Health Sciences), Sanghyun Kim

MiON Forest is transforming the landscape of forest restoration. They have developed the tree planting drone equipped with soil microbiome activator to plant tree seedlings, making reforestation more efficient and scalable. This technology not only surpasses traditional planting techniques but also enhances survival rates and promotes healthier forest ecosystems. Holding their innovative drone and microbiome activation technology, MiON Forest stands distinct in the reforestation industry and has achieved considerable growth since its inception. The company employs a dedicated team of experts in drone and ecological restoration.

Profind

Founders: Rondon Tahal (Faculty of Engineering), Joe Peric, Kyle Wyndham-West (Faculty of Humanities), Parker Langlois

Introducing Profind, the e-commerce platform that finally acknowledges the challenges faced in modern electronics hardware sourcing. Profind aims to overhaul and improve existing online hardware sourcing standards and give users a more flexible, responsive and streamlined inventory cataloging service. Their goal at Profind is to increase hardware sourcing accuracy, reduce time spent searching, provide realistic alternatives for out of stock items, offer compatibility services, help manufacturers ship unsold hardware, reduce waste, mitigate erroneous shipments, and implement a variety of other quality of life improvements. Existing platforms feel like a chore to use, and Profind sees this as an opportunity to create a more positive and accessible user experience.

Respyra Technologies

Lily Shengjia Zhong (Faculty of Engineering & Health Sciences), Hunter Csetri (Faculty of Engineering & Health Sciences), Emnpreet Kaur Bahra (Faculty of Engineering & Health Sciences), Esa Ahmad (Faculty of Engineering & Health Sciences, Continuing Education)

Respyra Technologies is a medical device company specializing in innovative solutions for airway management. Many intubations performed outside of the operating room are unsuccessful on their first attempt. Re-intubation can increase the incidence of adverse events and cost valuable time for clinicians. Respyra Technologies is developing a novel intubation aid to enable smooth intubation of difficult airways on the first attempt. Unlocking the power of simplicity in critical care, Respyra Technologies fills a market gap for low-cost, high-efficacy devices in the airway management space.

Winged Wheelchairs

Founders: Bohdan Mozharivsky (Faculty of Engineering), Mary England (Faculty of Engineering), Patrick Clarkin (Faculty of Health Science), Troy Gonidis (Faculty of Engineering)

Winged Wheelchairs creates assistive technology to improve the quality of life for wheelchair users across the world. Our product is a wheelchair mobility aid for manual wheelchair users with limited hand mobility. The technology uses a simple push-lever and knob design which enables them to propel a manual wheelchair without continuously needing to grasp and release the push wheel. By providing an alternative and less strenuous form of propulsion, Winged Wheelchairs enables manual wheelchairs to regain independence of mobility and restore personal agency while avoiding the costly transition to an electric wheelchair.