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Future entrepreneurs take on Cambrian’s Innovation Challenge

Students ‘really come up with some great ideas’
VanGuardian, a system to detect potential in-home falls by seniors and people with disabilities, is the grand prize winner of this year’s Cambrian College Student Innovation Challenge powered by RBC Future Launch.

Future entrepreneurs in Sudbury were front and centre last week at the annual Cambrian R&D Student Innovation Challenge.

Five teams of Cambrian College students pitched ideas for new products and services to a panel of judges.

The competition was the final major event of Research and Innovation Week at Cambrian College, which ran from April 8-12.

“The students really come up with some great ideas, and this is a fun, creative way to encourage students to be innovative and entrepreneurial,” said Mike Commito, director of Cambrian R&D, the applied research department of Cambrian College, in a press release. “I always look forward to what ideas they are going to pitch.”

Students took part in a series of workshops to help refine their business proposals before making a presentation to the panel of judges. They were competing for a total of $6,500 in prize money.

“Students can come up with amazing ideas, and when given the right nudge and support, those ideas can blossom into products, services, and businesses that can change the local community, and even the world,” said Cambrian College President Kristine Morrissey. 

Here are this year’s winners:

  • 1st place ($3,000): VanGuardian, a home-based system that detects potential falls for seniors or people with disabilities.
  • 2nd place ($2,000): Gala Gateway, an online event planning mobile app that connects people and resources from ticketing to post-event processing.
  • 3rd place ($1,000): Plant Buddy, a smart pot that monitors plant health.
  • Best Use of Technology ($500): Baily Bot, a robot developed to help perform daily tasks to help individuals with disabilities and seniors live independently.

The challenge was supported by RBC Future Launch.