14 U of T students, alumni named recipients of social impact fund financing


The University of Toronto has announced the 2020 winners of the Lo Social Venture Fund, which awards students and recent graduates that are working on companies with a significant social impact.

The fund awards innovations that have a social impact, with a specific focus on Asia.

The Lo Social Venture Fund was established this year through a $500,000 donation from Hong Kong businessman Kenneth Lo. A total of 14 University of Toronto students and recent alumni have been awarded up to $30,000 in funding, although how much funding each individual winner received was not disclosed.

The venture fund awards innovations that have a social impact on global communities, with a specific focus on Asia. The winners are solving problems in fields that include medical testing and logistics, tracking early childhood development through language, and the delivery of affordable electricity to energy-poor regions.

To be eligible for funding, applicants were required to demonstrate the viability of their project, market research, stage of development, resources required to advance the project, and must have relevant training and expertise. The award recipients are also required to provide a progress report six months and one year following receipt.

Undergraduate awards are up to $15,000 and graduate awards are up to $30,000.

The 2020 winners of the Lo Social Venture Fund include:

Aerlift (Ryan Tam): Aerlift’s drone delivery system and logistics management technology is aimed to help governments provide healthcare services to difficult-to-reach populations.

ALT TEX (Avneet Ghotra): ALT TEX is a biomaterials startup creating sustainable fabrics for eco-conscious fashion retailers.

Augmented Reporting (Santiago Luna): Augmented Reporting is a cloud virtual clinical assistant that provides automatic echo measurement analysis and reporting.

Babbly (Shane Saunderson): Babbly is an AI-powered platform that analyzes a baby’s voice to monitor their brain development during formative months.

BlockPaisa (Taaha Muhammad): BlockPaisa is specifically designed to meet the financial needs of small businesses with a business account, a mobile banking app, and a credit card.

Buoyancy (Clara Rebello): Buoyancy is being developed to help with self-empowerment and resilience enhancement to combat the mental health issues.

Flatten (Shrey Jain): Flatten is focused on developing a self-reporting participatory syndromic surveillance tool for the COVID-19 pandemic internationally.

Indus (Patrick Diep): Indus aims to grow food with engineered 3D-printed smart soil.

LSK Technologies (Seray Cicek): LSK Technologies had developed a device that can rapidly test for COVID-19 and other diseases at point-of-need such as doctor’s offices and workplaces.

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PickEasy (Cho Yin Yong): PickEasy is a mobile app that allows individuals, groups, and couples to explore local restaurants.

Reeddi (Olugbenga Olubanjo): Reeddi provides clean and affordable electricity to individuals, households, and businesses operating in the energy-poor regions of the world.

Swate (Jamie Lee): Swate is a mobile app that provides recipe and meal plan recommendations to users by using grocery inventory tracking, so individuals can decrease household food waste.

Vinci Labs (Zain Hasan): Vinci Labs aims to quality healthcare accessible through the use of technology.

YourTable (Yi Ru): YourTable connects people to eat and network together through their shared interests in the food and business industries.

Image source Unsplash. Photo by You X Ventures.

Isabelle Kirkwood

Isabelle Kirkwood

Isabelle is a Vancouver-based writer with 5+ years of experience in communications and journalism and a lifelong passion for telling stories. For over two years, she has reported on all sides of the Canadian startup ecosystem, from landmark venture deals to public policy, telling the stories of the founders putting Canadian tech on the map.

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