Fable takes home Cassels Brock pitch competition prize

Pitch competition winner, Abid Virani, receives prize cheque from Cassels Brock’s Aly Somani. Photo courtesy, Valerie Poon.
Friday, November 9, 2018

OCAD University’s newest entrepreneurs from the Imagination Catalyst squared off at the Cassels Brock Pitch Competition on September 27, competing for $5000 in start-up funding.  Abid Virani, co-founder & COO of Fable Tech Labs, took the top prize, out-pitching their colleagues from OCAD U’s business incubator.

The Cassels Brock annual pitch competition was sponsored by Cassels Brock, City of Toronto, StartUp HERE Toronto, and Steam Whistle.

Fable is a startup that helps companies and development teams build accessible digital products by engaging people living with a disability in user testing. Fable is founded by two OCAD U Inclusive Design graduates Alwar Pillai and Abid Virani.

Other Imagination Catalyst startups that took part:

  • Pathways, founded by Dane Carlsen (Industrial Design ’18): an online platform that interactively maps out career pathways for university students
  • Play Ball, founded by Hugo Voss (Industrial Design ’18): a startup that’s re-imagining the cross-section of traditional sports balls
  •  Prosthetics of Mind, founded by Wendy Whaley (MFA ’18): a biometric XR content studio that creates immersive experiences to empower, inspire, motivate and connect

The judging panel comprised of four Imagination Catalyst Advisory Board members:

  • Aly Somani  ̶  Lawyer, Cassels Brock
  • Jeannette Wiltse  ̶   Operating Partner and CFO, Relay Ventures
  • Nancy Jain – President, G&N Developments
  • Paul Rowan – Co-founder, Umbra

Imagination Catalyst is a creative industries, design and social innovations ecosystem at OCAD University. The IC business incubator supports highly diverse group of companies and entrepreneurs all committed to design-driven innovation.

Imagination Catalyst is funded and supported by OCE’s Campus-Linked Accelerator program along with Relay Ventures, Gobalive Capital and Cassels Brock, among other public and private partners.

 

Poster: 
Judges and entrepreneurs at Imagination Catalyst’s annual Cassels Brock Pitch Competition. Photo courtesy, Valerie Poon.

Primo Runner-up for 2017 James Dyson Award

The legs of a person standing on a skateboard
Monday, September 11, 2017

Once again an Imagination Catalyst company makes it to the finals of the James Dyson Award. Primo, the project of Richard Revie and partner Victor Lam, is the Canadian runner-up in the Lifestyle category of the award. Its goal is to help would-be skateboarders learn the skill faster and safer than previously possible.

One third of skate board injuries happen in the first week of use. Primo is a product that replaces the nut at the end of the truck (the part that attaches the wheels to the skateboard deck). Primo applies pressure to the wheel, slowing it down so the rider can focus on their mind/body control and learn tricks faster. As the rider progresses, the tension on the wheel is released, eventually allowing the wheel to be completely free. The shape of Primo stops the rider from landing on the board sideways when learning flip tricks.

By 2020, when skateboarders will compete at the Olympic Games for the first time, it is expected that interest in learning to skateboard will increase dramatically. The Primo team knows they can reduce injuries as the sport grows.

From Primo’s site:

“Through the connection between the body and mind, skateboarding tests our capabilities against our will to push ourselves through constant re-evaluation to achieve our desires. To some, it’s just a toy but to others, it’s a way of expressing ourselves.”

The James Dyson Award is an international design award for emerging design engineers. The Award is open to current and recent students. It is run by the James Dyson Foundation, James Dyson’s charitable trust, as part of its mission to get young people excited about design engineering.

In 2015 another Imagination Catalyst company came in first in the national award:  Drumi, the foot-powered washing machine designed by Yi Jiang (BDes, Industrial Design, 2013).

Earlier this year Revie and Lam took the top prize at the Cassels Brock Pitch Competition at OCAD University, taking home $5000 in start-up funds.

Primo takes top prize at Cassels Brock pitch competition

Richard Revie and Victor Lam
Friday, June 16, 2017 - 3:45pm

OCAD University’s newest entrepreneurs from the Imagination Catalyst squared off at the Cassels Brock Pitch Competition on June 15, competing for $5000 in start-up funding.  Richard Revie and Victor Lam, founders of Primo, took the top prize, out-pitching their colleagues from OCAD U’s business incubator.

Primo is a company that tailors to the initial fears behind skateboarding. The company has created a skateboard tool and a social platform to help people safely learn the sport.

Other Imagination Catalyst companies that took part:

  • SHIFT  ̶   Donovan Jesse and Graeme Anderson
  • The Dunya Project ̶   Tania De Gasperis and Sugeevan Shan
  • Thousand Stars Studio  ̶   Sally Luc, Anth Rodi and Parth Soni

The judges panel comprised:

  • Aly Somani  ̶  Lawyer, Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP
  • Jeannette Wiltse  ̶   Operating Partner and CFO, Relay Ventures
  • Valerie Fox  ̶  Chief Innovation Consultant, The Pivotal Point

Imagination Catalyst is a creative industries, design and social innovation ecosystem at OCAD University that supports design-driven entrepreneurs from all sectors with learning, business incubation and talent solutions.

Poster: 
Victor Lam