SingularityU’s Global Impact Challenge (GIC)
SingularityU’s Global Impact Challenge (GIC) Live Pitch event was a huge success here at i-onCONNECT in Burnaby, BC. #canadaGIC The five finalists were well supported by friends, family, and colleagues as they pitched their BIG ideas to the Judges and audience for their chance to represent Canada in the Global Startup Program (GSP).
What were the pitches about? What kinds of topics were covered?
There was a variety of topics from accessibility to whole body health. The finalists, Shelena Marsh Open World Access, Bo Simango Holocene, Dan McCann Kodisoft, Geoffrey Ching Augos, and Francis Vala H.E.A.T Academy, all had very unique presentations and approaches to solving some of the challenges that, not just Canadians, but the global community faces.
Shelena Marsh, Founder & Accessibility Specialist – Open World Access
In the information and tech markets, there are accessibility gaps that currently exist for diverse or disabled users. Open World Access aims to provide individuals with developmental, sensory and/or mobility issues greater use and access to products being developed in the areas of e-learning, apps, gaming, and virtual reality. Open World Access is doing this is by developing their own learning tool specifically for those using American Sign Language by extending reality (XR/VR/MR/AR) space to empower them with the use of AR to provide digital interpreters for American Sign Language users. Making use of digital interpreters not only saves money but helps normalize a deaf person’s communication needs and allows them to be more fully involved in the conversation taking place.
Bo Simango, Founder – Holocene
In the world we live in today, we hear of natural disasters almost daily; extreme weather, floods, earthquakes, wildfires, landslides, etc. have all become a regular part of our lives.
Beacon Intelligence is developing a real-time resource location tracking software that will assist disaster relief and response teams locate needed relief supplies and qualified people faster than the current and unreliable paper-based system.
Using a technology stack combining industrial sensors with IoT sensors resources or relief supplies such as food, medicine, shelter and even people (respondents and those affected) can be tracked.
Dan McCann, President – Kodisoft
Kodisoft is developing an innovative multifunctional device known as a Healthcare Cross Diagnostic Table to help radiologists and doctors offer best-in-class care
The smart table enables large-scale visualization of medical images from various diagnostic equipment for analyzing spatial reconstructions (2D, 3D, Dynamic 3D, MPR, MIP, etc) and enables collaborative, valuable functions like smooth zoom & pan or adjust the brightness & contrast of the image (+preset visualization window settings; the ability to rotate the image or mirror images horizontally & vertically; measuring the length of the segment; average, minimum & maximum values of parameters within a selected area; angle value).
Replacing traditional methods like paper or dry-erase boards in the patient consulting rooms with Kodisoft smart tables allows the display of critical information for both the patient and the staff. All parties can feel confident that the information is current because the smart tables are connected directly to EHR and other relevant systems to gather and display data. When smart technologies are correctly married together, the hospital can come alive, bridging the communication and safety gaps in the coordination of care that plague healthcare systems. It can also add value in surgical operating environments with the potential to improve patient outcomes across the entire healthcare spectrum.
Geoffrey Ching, Co-Founder – Augos
Currently, the world’s population is aging and there are many who are not covered by health insurance and still others live in impoverished and/or less affluent countries. Under these circumstances, early detection of eye diseases that can lead to permanent visual morbidity is severely limited. To assist individuals who find themselves in those situations, Augos is working on developing a teleophthalmology solution to improve patient independence and quality of life.
Around the world, more than 300 million people suffer visual acuity issues with many them being seniors and the impoverished. By providing early detection of preventable eye diseases and directing patients to affordable and accessible forms of care, we can reduce the number of people who experience a permanent loss of vision.
Francis Vala, Founder – H.E.A.T Academy
Distinctively combining an e-health platform with life coaching, Francis has produced an essential self-improvement program that is based on both science and evidence that encompasses the whole person; body, mind, soul and social aspects.
H.E.A.T. (Human Empowerment And Transformation) was designed to focus on preventing illness and at the same time maximizing the potential of individuals.
Funding and resources to find a cure for an illness is abundant, but what about prevention? There is a lack of not just resources, but tools for people to turn to in order to prevent illnesses from even happening. Instead of waiting for people to get sick to treat them, we should be educating people on how to take care of themselves in the best way possible to prevent illness.
Meet the Winner
This year Bo Simango, Founder of Holocene won the prize of a full scholarship to attend Singularity University’s Global Startup Program (GSP). The GSP helps future-focused entrepreneurs transform radical ideas into tangible impact on a global scale. It’s a structured, immersive program offering startup-focused educational resources and world-class mentorship from SU’s faculty, staff, and industry experts—in a safe, nurturing environment.
Events like this, and many others that take place across Canada, help take businesses from innovation to commercialization are crucial drivers that support our national exponential technology growth and our overall diversified economy.