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The 10th Startup Weekend in Ottawa is well under way! This is the largest startup weekend Ottawa has ever had with 110 participants and 17 teams. This event has worked several years to bridge enthusiastic and outspoken youth with resources such as developers, marketing specialists, and mentors to assist in actualizing their entrepreneurial goals. As you may know, four categories entitle these bright minds to what their idea may entail; assisting vulnerable communities, general, product making, and the internet of things. These categories asked a lot from the competitors, and the contestants sure did bring it!

Of the 110 participants, 17 groups were devised with the intention to create and develop an idea that would catapult their team into lateral success. From a program which would implement virtual reality audiences to assist people who have difficulty with public speaking, to databasing health records of those receiving medical treatment to facilitate the process of diagnosis and providing prescriptions, the ideas brought forth this weekend are quite impressive. Each having their own impassioned idea, a group of people determined to make a difference in the lives of others, and the support and advice of experienced startup attendees, our hope is that every initiative planted this weekend will bear fruit.

Below are details of the seventeen fantastic Startup initiatives:

VirtuaLens

Problem: “Many people fear the act of speaking in front of an audience. Some may consider this to be a huge  impediment to their success, but have no outlet to harbour this skill without risk of humiliation.”
Goal: “Using VR technology, we would like to provide a real audience experience for people to practice speaking in public without pressure. The program would also include speech analysis.”
Currently working on: Creating the MVP and business model.
Flowerly

Problem: “There is currently no way to conveniently link local florists and potential clients in order to interact for pleasant and convenient customer experience.”
Goal: “Allow florists to access a larger consumer base in an efficient manner while providing better access for customers who want flowers through our central platform.”
Currently working on: Researching this particular market, building web-application, validating idea, and formulating the pitch.
Colour Guru

Problem: “Individuals who are visually impaired are not able to independently distinguish objects by their colour. This may cause means for frustration in daily affairs, such as shopping.”
Goal: “Help the visually impaired distinguish between colours of objects, like clothes, or produce.”
Currently working on: Creating an app which can detect object colour and relay that information to an individual through audio.
SafetyNet

Problem: “The amount of preventable deaths in emergency rooms due to staff neglect.”
Goal: “To develop an IOT-based smart service that passively monitors all patients waiting in the ER.”
Currently working on: Marketing strategy, developing the means for long-term sustainability.
Patient Outcome Measurement and Management (POMM)

Problem: “The inefficient, multidisciplinary care of complex patients.”
Goal: “To allow for rapid identification and prioritization of patient issues.”
Currently working on: Creating a collaborative e-health app.
Tutorat

Problem: “No means of acquiring immediate access to a tutor anywhere, at any time.”
Goal: “Create a mobile app that will deliver a nearby tutor to a student in need by request.”
Currently working on: Developing official prototype.
MYcity:

Problem: “Citizens and cities have poor dialogue when it comes to issues which affect everybody in the constituency.”
Goal: “Utilize citizen-created data to facilitate problem identification, location, and resolution while enhancing both civic engagement and bilateral communication.”
Currently working on: Designing an app to connect citizens and community stakeholders in order to implement changes in the city.
u-Gamify

Problem: “Institutionalized education (reading textbooks, attending lectures) is boring.”
Goal: “Empower students by making learning fun, engaging, and conducive to an increased passion for knowledge.”
Currently working on: Market penetration.
Fishery

Problem: “People who have experienced setbacks are not able to find meaningful employment”.
Goal: “Help low-income or marginalized people get back on their feet by teaching them valuable skills.”
Currently working on: Revamping business model after a recent pivot.
LineBuddy

Problem: “Firms with wait lines that require a ticket/queue system force you to waste time in a waiting room, possibly while in adverse conditions to receive attention.”
Goal: “Implement a solution where you can track your queue online or the the convenience of a mobile app.”
Currently working on: Business model, prototype.
DUEYE

Problem: “Distracted, impaired, drunk or drowsy drivers.”
Goal: “Make roads safer for everyone through monitoring driver’s level of focus, with the feature of warning a driver when they are not remaining within lines, or becoming distracted.”
Currently working on: Customer validation & design.
SkillSwap

Problem: “Skill development through formal means is costly, difficult to find, impersonable.”
Goal: “Building relationships through an exchange of skills.”
Currently working on: An application that matches skilled people willing to teach or hoping to learn.
E-Connect

Problem: “Mental health deficiencies cause people to stop seeking the help they need, not allowing them to receive proper emotional support.”
Goal: Connect patients with each other to harbour
Currently working on: building a strong business plan.
Nomadic Turk

Problem: ”Homeless and unemployed people lack access to proper employment.”
Goal: “Providing a platform for low-committment employment at easy
Currently working on: Building mvp and working on validation.
Personalized Medicine

Problem: “Current software to 3D print MRI scans is too difficult to use for doctors.”
Goal: “Build a better software product that simplifies the process.”
Currently working on: Customer Validation, software prototype.
HopeFund

Problem: “People with the most knowledge on a crisis situation are also those with the least opportunity to implement positive change for it.”
Goal: “Provide hope for people within conflict zones who may have a skillset that is unharboured or feel hopeless due to the condition of their environment through funding and sponsorship.”
Currently working on: seeking refugee entrepreneurs to put on our peer-to-peer mobile payment platform.
Sonora

Problem: “Lack of available and sustainable fresh food in refugee camps.”
Goal: “Create a social enterprise that focuses on building a community around accessibility of fresh food through the means of hydroponics.”
Currently working on: Validating and looking for NGOs to partner with.

AUTHOR:

Hayan Imadi

Renee Tavares