Winners Announced: Sheldon and Tracy Levy Fellows Program
Thank you to all of those who attended this pitch competition – the caliber of effort that went into all contestants’ pitches was an impressive showing of innovation here at Ryerson. Ryerson Zone Learning and Brookfield Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship are both pleased to announce our five individual Sheldon and Tracy Levy Fellows Program winners and the projects that they are working on!
- Dara Jarallah of Shoppinglee
Dara is a Ryerson University graduate of commerce and entrepreneurship, member of the SocialVentures Zone, and founder of Shoppinglee. Shoppinglee is currently working with 35 marginalized Palestinian women to create Shoppinglee’s collection; they have partnered with Project Haiti, empowering Haitian artisans; and they also have an upcoming Syrian refugee collection. The objective of Dara’s venture is to “spread love through art from one human to another. We empower marginalized women by selling their art and products on our website. We also assists the women in their journey to launch their own businesses.”
- Mark Zaidi of Aerogel
Mark is a 2nd year Biology student at Ryerson university, Co-Founder of Aerogel, and a part time researcher at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre. His fascination with unique chemicals led him and his business partner, Leslie Capobianco, to Aerogel. Aerogel is a material originally invented by NASA due to its low density and high heat resistance, making it an ideal material for coating spacecrafts. Recently, it was even used to collect comet dust. Gram-for-gram this material costs more than gold, making this material unavailable to the public for experimentation and innovation since it was too expensive. One of Mark’s projects in collaboration with Dr. Umberto Berardi is to develop aerogel windows, to prevent heat lost in buildings and to decrease energy expenditure. Mark and his business partner are enrolled in the Science Discovery Zone to further develop and investigate more cost-effective and inclusive uses for Aerogel.
- Lucas Bruno of GIMME360
Lucas is a spirited Ryerson University student, currently enrolled in a Bachelor of Commerce while developing GIMME360 with his team at the DMZ. Driven by a passion for tech and an undeniable go-get-em energy, GIMME360° is an augmented and virtual reality solutions firm. They build custom experiences for each organization they work with, all of which are done by the best quality that technology can provide. GIMME360° is also disrupting the digital media revolution by entering the mobile augmented reality market with its revolutionary applications.
- Lakshmi Menon of Stack Farm
Lakshmi, a current Ryerson student, is majoring in Biomedical Sciences with minors in Health Services Management and French. She is also a Startup User Experience Assistant at the Biomedical Zone, where she streamlined their collection of startup metrics and expanded the set of data being collected. Lakshmi co-founded StackFarm with her team (Chris Bright, Revant Kumar, Sofia Ahmed, and Ron Zhou) for the 2017 Ryerson Global Innovations Challenge. StackFarm is a vertical, modular and soil-less food production system for leafy greens, with focus on productivity and efficiency through space and water conservation.
- Lisa Cumming of Radio ReBoot
Lisa is currently a student within Ryerson’s Faculty of Communication and Design and a member of the Transmedia Zone with her project, Radio ReBoot. Radio ReBoot was a labour of love that Lisa dreamed up one day in a radio class at Ryerson. She was fed-up with how the status quo for radio reporting has remain relatively unchallenged. Sound is extremely evocative, there’s no reason why radio can’t bring someone to tears from joy or sadness. With Radio ReBoot Lisa has successfully developed a system of microphones – all from the EDC at the Rogers Communication Centre – that will record sound in 3D. The listener is surrounded by sound instead of talked at, like most traditional radio reporting.
We extend our thanks to our esteemed judges Sean Mullin, Executive Director of Brookfield Institute for Innovation + Entrepreneurship (BII+E); Valerie Fox, co-founder and former executive director of Ryerson’s DMZ and current Chief Innovation Consultant at The Pivotal Point; and Natasha Campagna, Manager of Sandbox by DMZ.
The Levy Fellows Program will award each fellow with $5,000 and provide them with access to the Basecamp program, an opportunity for lunch with Sheldon and Tracy Levy as well as VIP engagements and alumni activities through the Zone Learning Network.
Huge thanks to Brookfield Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship for this fellowship and funding opportunity offered to our Zone Learning members! This annual award will be open for new nominations in early 2018.