Entrepreneurship

When the SpaceX rocket blew up his experiment, this U of T engineer saw it on Facebook

Author: 
Alan Christie

Aaron Persad was on a teleconference call June 28 with his employer, a company that does contract work for NASA, when he saw the news on his phone – it was about NASA, and it wasn’t good.

Persad, a post-doctoral fellow in U of T’s Thermal Dynamics and Kinetics Lab, learned from a Facebook posting by a friend that an unmanned SpaceX spacecraft carrying supplies to the International Space Station had blown apart two and a half minutes after liftoff from Cape Canaveral, Fla. 

Supergreen: turning renewable natural gas waste into fertilizer with U of T startup, CHAR Technologies

Sub-title: 
Company wins $750,000 in first investment from Sustainable Development Technology Canada’s Natural Gas Fund
Author: 
Brianna Goldberg

The problem with ‘green energy’ solutions is that some of them aren’t so much ‘green’ as they are ‘green-ish’ or ‘green-er’ than alternatives. 

Take renewable natural gas. It’s seen as a clean and carbon-neutral alternative to fossil fuels. But as a form of energy rising from decomposing organic materials in landfills, natural gas starts out quite dirty.

Improving kids’ literacy with singing stickers: U of T social startup goes global

Sub-title: 
Attollo Social Enterprise vies for US $1 million Hult Prize after pilots in Kenya, India
Author: 
Jamie Hunter

A child-friendly handheld device that makes inanimate objects talk and sing is part of a University of Toronto startup’s strategy to improve vocabulary and communication skills for young children in impoverished communities.

“We wanted to create something that was play-based,” said U of T alumna Aisha Bukhari, a co-founder of Attollo Social Enterprise, the team behind the innovation. “We wanted it to be affordable, scalable and loved by children.”

Twitter buys Whetlab, artificial intelligence and machine learning startup

Sub-title: 
Researchers behind startup include former students of Google’s AI expert, U of T professor Geoffrey Hinton
Author: 
Brianna Goldberg and Nina Haikara

Twitter has scooped up a machine-learning startup called Whetlab, launched by several alumni and a PhD student from the University of Toronto.

Twitter announced the acquisition June 17, 2015. 

Want to ace your dentistry or medical school application? Check out these startups from a new grad

Sub-title: 
Helping applicants excel in medical and dentistry school interviews, online testing
Author: 
Erin Vollick
 
Joel Meyerson takes education seriously – so seriously, in fact, that he’s launched two startups from his experiences in U of T’s Faculty of Dentistry to help others become dentists, too.
 
“We have a mission,” says Meyerson, who graduates this spring, “to be a student service first and a business second.”
 

New tech to watch: three products improving lung transplants, seizure prevention, nanoprobing

Sub-title: 
Commercializing graduate research into market-ready products
Author: 
Tyler Irving

Watching a lung transplant at Toronto General Hospital five years ago, alumnus Geoff Frost noticed a problem: keeping lungs alive outside the body requires large, cumbersome machinery that monopolizes hospital space.

“It takes up an entire operating room,” says Frost, an alumnus from both U of T's Institute of Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering and Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering.

U of T alumni startup Atomwise raises $6 million to leverage artificial intelligence for drug discovery

Sub-title: 
Developed through Silicon Valley’s Y Combinator and U of T’s Impact Centre
Author: 
Scott McAuley and Brianna Goldberg
 
Atomwise, an alumni startup harnessing artificial intelligence for drug discovery in diseases ranging from malaria to multiple sclerosis, has raised US$6 million in seed funding.
 

How to build a startup that succeeds: 6 tips from DemoCamp at U of T’s Creative Destruction Lab

Sub-title: 
Advice from the investors, founders and experts at the annual startup showcase
Author: 
Brianna Goldberg
 
Entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and industry analysts from across the country gathered at the University of Toronto May 12 for the DemoCamp showcase hosted by Creative Destruction Lab. 
 

The art and science of entrepreneurship: this PhD in classics is bringing wearable tech to kids

Sub-title: 
Chief learning officer with Linkitz combines interest in kid-tech with lessons from the ancient world
Author: 
Brianna Goldberg

Launching a startup that teaches kids to code by creating magic wands or bracelets may seem an unlikely career move for a PhD in classics - but for University of Toronto alumnus Christopher Wallace, it’s a perfect fit.

Wallace recently translated his scholarly interest in social tumult from the ancient world into a role as chief learning officer at Linkitz. The startup is developing wearable toys that teach kids – especially girls – to code.

Startup world: U of T entrepreneurs take their companies to OCE Discovery conference

Author: 
Brianna Goldberg

University of Toronto entrepreneurs, innovators and inventors showed off their startups at the Ontario Centres of Excellence Discovery conference April 27 and 28 – making connections and sharing best practices for Toronto-based companies in the global economy.

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