Last week, on Wednesday, December 2, three of us had the opportunity to attend the InnoCité MTL and Founder’s Fuel Demo Day event at the beautiful Olympia Theatre on Ste. Catherine Street.There we watched a dozen or so pitches from local start-ups who were either working toward making Montreal a more “intelligent” city or strengthening the community. The products being presented ranged from ground-breaking earthquake sensors and an app to help you find parking to easy-to-use portals for citizens to communicate with their local governments and a 21st century tutoring over text service. The projects were all fascinating and extremely creative, yet also very well thought-out and thoroughly developed!
Now, you might be wondering what on earth three LCC students could possible gain from an experience such as this! We are all participating in LCC’s Design and Innovation Challenge, which is a co-curricular that students can apply to be part of in the fall. Then, over the course of the school year, the students have to invent something, and design it, build it, develop it–whatever it–to present to a panel at the end of May. This invention could be anything: a product, a service, an app, a proof of concept… the possibilities are endless! The point of the project is to learn about the process of designing something from start to finish, including keeping decent documentation, collaborating with mentors, and working in facilities such as LCC’s new Fab Lab, as well as self-growth and independent learning. To give you an idea, some inventions between the five of us in the group include a mirror that compliments like a human would, an app to take you to the nearest safe location no matter where you are, an interactive 3D surface and a hairbrush that removes static. Quite the variety!
Back to the Demo Day, the three of us got a chance to witness genuine start-ups who had to start from scratch, like we were doing, in order to build a product that would interest the general public. We learned about the kind of risks involved with starting start-ups, as well as some challenges when trying to get your feet off the ground as an organization with extremely limited funding. It takes true passion, dedication and grit to do so, but judging by the excitement in each of the presenters’ voices, it was all well worth it!
Ultimately, we learned a lot from our experience and were inspired by what the start-ups had to offer. We can’t wait to apply it to our projects in the months to come. Stay tuned!
– Adam Vandenbussche ’17, Abby Shine ’17 and Amy Qin ’16