Finalists Named for University of Waterloo’s $60K Design Awards

The first annual Norman Esch Entrepreneurship Awards for Capstone Design is set to give out $60,000 in prizes on Friday. The event will award six winning teams from the 2014 Capstone Design Symposia, with prizes of $10,000 each.

Judges selected finalists for the awards from a field of applicants among 210 Capstone Design projects. Capstone Design gives Waterloo Engineering students an opportunity to conceptualize and design a project related to their chosen discipline. It’s also a requirement for the completion of their degrees.

Previous Capstone projects have given rise to groundbreaking ideas leading to the creation of companies such as Athos, BufferBox, Thalmic Labs’ Myo armband and the Pebble smartwatch.

Finalists will have 90 seconds to pitch their projects to a panel of judges and award trustees.


The 15 Esch Awards finalists are:

P2Z2 Systems – an automated robotic system that handles the logistics of storing, retrieving and organizing warehouse packages.

Flood Defender – an automated system to reduce the rate and intensity of water damage in apartment buildings.

Case-Sensitive – smart luggage that integrates built-in technology to protect and secure luggage from loss, damage, theft, and poor handling.

Sierra: The Next Generation Biosensor – a nano-probe to study biological and chemical molecules for use in environmental contaminant monitoring, explosives detection, or doping tests.

MAJiK Systems – a white label Customer Relationship Management [CRM] system that builds in real-time machine monitoring software for factories and machine manufacturers.

Meshlytics – creator of Intuch, a management platform for academic institutions.

On-the-Go – an easy-to-use mobile app that records and splits expenses between users while travelling.

PASCAL – a smart polymer film that changes colour upon application of external pressure or in water.

Pera – a smart wallet that consolidates all traditional financial cards into one system, with biometric security measures and tracking technology.

Loki DJ Controller – a digital DJ platform that uses gestures and hand inputs to control traditional mixer functions including stage lights.

Project Rhino – a music search engine that connects artists, concerts, lyrics and more, allowing users to ask complex questions about music in a way that is not currently possible

Mixbox – an iPad app that allows users to create new music from existing music with minimal skill or effort

Smart Match – a web app that applies behavioural science to create high-performing teams based on individual personalities.

Grey Scale Coatings – an innovative reflective roof coating that will cool in warm months and heat in cool months.

Wearability – an electromyography (EMG) shirt that measures electrical activity in muscles during gym workouts.

The awards are bring made possible by a donation from The Esch Foundation, which supports creative and entrepreneurial students in the pursuit of research and development and its commercialization for the benefit of Canada.

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