Recently, the City of Brampton hosted Startup Weekend to showcase new business ideas and getting feedback from experienced entrepreneurs.
Techstars Startup Weekend is a 54-hour event where attendees learn how to build a company in a weekend. Since 2007, the event has taken place in over 150 countries with more than 200,000 alumni.
Participants take their product or business idea to the next level and join in a huge worldwide network of entrepreneurs.
For this year, a major highlight was when Nicole Verkindt, Founder of Offset Market Exchange (OMX) and the newest “Dragon” on CBC’s Dragon’s Den spoke about the importance of innovation on pitch night.
Verkindt was joined by Financial Services Executive and Advisor for Startups Preeti Malik, Founder and Catalyst Bryan Li and Founder of Purposeful Selling Jean Nickerson to judge the business concepts generated over the weekend.
Winners received cash prizes totaling $10,000 to help launch their businesses, packages of goods and services including business coaching, print services, memberships and gift cards to support business launch and growth.
Three winning pitches were selected and here are the final three:
First place: beep
Several Brampton residents were part of the winning team that built a fully operational smart alarm clock prototype that utilizes IoT technology. The goal? To physically wake the sleeper and get them out of bed, ensuring you wake up on time, the first time, every time.
The team included Parmveer Bola, Priyadarshini Saha, Jacqueline Truong, Muqeeth Khan and Rome Ramos. Two of these five team members are under 14 years old.
Second place: Ü-track
Building on the popularity of on-demand services, Ü-track is an app that gives transit users the power to track and be notified of transit information in real-time. That includes the whereabouts, and capacity of specific buses. The app aims to empower transit users to make more informed decisions when it comes their commute.
The group included Abhay Randhawa, Aaraya Aad, Edmond Lam, Jacob Meksavanh and Nathan Coulas.
Third place: StoAR
Building on the popularity of virtual and augmented reality, StoAR is a simple tool for small- and medium-sized businesses to showcase their products via an augmented reality platform. Similar to a personal shopper, the app uses augmented reality to provide shoppers with information about products they might want to purchase while virtually browsing the shelves of a retail store or restaurant menu.
Team members included Martina Simmonds, Param Thakkar, Chris Ujimoto, Kaarthick Rameskumar, Shangheethan Prabaharan and Emad Ali.
With such great ideas coming forward from the growing startup community in Brampton, it looks like the future of entrepreneurship in the city is looking bright.