2024 Pitch Competition

This year's pitch competition took place on January 24, 2024 during the John D. Thompson Entrepreneurial Development Seminar

During the event, 5 TechIdea finalists pitched their ideas to a panel of judges from the business and technical community. The top 3 pitches won cash prizes of $500, $250 and $100. The audience also got the chance to select their favourite pitch and that winning team received $50.

The competition encourages McGill students, working in teams, to propose new technologically-based ideas/solutions in the form of new products, services and/or ventures to solve real-world problems.


Winning Teams

1st Place

Fulcra

Maria Calderbank, Emilie Davignon, Louis Tan, and Roseline Theroux (all Mechanical Engineering)Fulcra Team Picture

Lower back pain is the leading musculoskeletal issue affecting around 4 out of 5 individuals at least once in their lifetime. Fulcra uniquely targets chronic lower back pain. Our orthotic device is the first of its kind with its innovative ability to stabilize the spine, supporting the wearer during movement without developing dependencies. Heavy lifting and strenuous activities are common
risk factors that increase the development of lower back pain. Therefore, Fulcra’s orthosis is designed for labor-intensive jobs. It strikes the perfect balance between an ineffective, restrictive corset orthosis and a bulky, expensive exoskeleton.


2nd Place & Audience Favourite

MADAMMADAM Team Picture

Catherine Xu, Karina Carlson, Liv Toft, and Palmyra Mendoza Cabrer (all Bioengineering)

Chlamydia is the most common STI worldwide, affecting 130M new people every year. While easily treated, it is often asymptomatic and spreads easily. MADAM aims to overcome barriers to frequent chlamydia screening through menstrual blood-based chlamydia tests, called MAD pads (Menstrual Analyte Detection pads). These tests would be antibody-based single-use rapid tests that can be done within the privacy of a user’s home, on their own time. The innovation would not only increase the accessibility of diagnosis for such a personal and widespread issue, but also act as a proof-of-concept for diagnostics using menstrual blood, an under-researched and noninvasive source of blood.


3rd Place

EndocareEndocare Team Picture

Tanjin Sultana and Maria Delgopiatof (both Bioengineering)

Picture this: 176 million women worldwide silently battling endometriosis, a chronic disease often dismissed as menstrual pain. By providing women with an at-home, semi-invasive, and rapid testing process, Endocare is a game-changer in the early detection of this disease. . Endocare aims to facilitate the early detection of endometriosis to push women to get diagnosed and treated during the early stages of the disease. At Endocare, we strive to fill the gap in women’s healthcare and empower women one signal at a time!


Remaining TechIdea Finalists

AQDrainAQDrain Team Picture

Mark Tchinov, Adi Orlov, David Bettan, and Christopher Coluni (all Bioengineering)

AQDrain is a technologically-based product which serves to improve the lives of people suffering from glaucoma. This disease, currently affecting 80 million people worldwide and only expected to increase, is caused by fluid buildup within the eye. This increased fluid pressure, labeled intraocular pressure (IOP), is correlated with optic nerve damage, which ultimately leads to vision loss. Pressure reduction through eye drops, laser surgery and implants are common treatments. These methods of treating glaucoma lack in their effective regulation of this fluid pressure. Our product is designed to maintain an IOP within an optimal, healthy range. The regulation of IOP plays a vital role in preserving the shape of the eye, and therefore allowing for the proper functioning of the optic nerve and optimal visual acuity.


ClarityClarity Team Picture

James Darby and Alexander Mackenzie (Software Engineering and Math + Computer Science)

Clarity is a natural language input, user guided, content recommendation system; for more mindful, healthy & productive social media usage. Clarity will leverage semantic content classification and LLM’s to allow users to specify their conscious social media content experience preferences in natural language. This will redefine recommendation systems from algorithms that maximize user engagement and retention, stealing time and attention, to providing the most valuable content to the user while guarding against addiction and protecting their time.


TechIdea Judges

Stephen Hamelin Profile PictureStephen Hamelin, President and CEO, Vortex International

Stephen Hamelin graduated from McGill University with a Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering. In 1995, Mr. Hamelin founded Vortex International, a manufacturer of recreation equipment and amusement attractions. It started with the invention of the Splashpad®, an innovative aquatic play solution that redefined city park development and revitalized municipal swimming pools. Today, Vortex’s product line extends to include sustainable water management solutions and water-based attractions for the amusement and leisure markets. Vortex is headquartered in Montreal and has satellite operations in the United States and Europe. The Vortex’s products can be found in city parks, resorts, amusement parks and even cruise ships throughout the globe.


Christina Katsari Profile PictureDr. Christina Katsari, Mitacs Representative at McGill University

Mitacs is a national, not-for-profit organization that has designed and delivered research and training programs in Canada for more than 20 years. Working with over 100 academic institutions, 6,000 companies/ NGOs, hospitals, municipalities and both federal and provincial governments, they build partnerships that support industrial and social innovation in Canada. With her colleagues Noha Gerges (Faculty of Arts, Faculty of Law, Desautels Faculty of Management, Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences) and Prisca Bustamante (Faculty of Science, Faculty of Education, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences,Faculty of Dental Medicine and Oral Health Sciences), Christina (Faculty of Engineering,Schulich School of Music,Dobson Centre,Engine Centre) represents Mitacs at McGill University. Together, they are the official contacts for McGill students and faculty who are interested in Mitacs funding programs. All completed applications are submitted to them, reviewed and then forwarded to the Office of Innovation + Partnerships for final institutional signature and approval. Once the applications are approved, they are officially submitted to Mitacs where they will undergo an external peer review process.


Profile pic of Aleksandr KimAleksandr Kim, Vice-President Academic, Engineering Undergraduate Society (EUS)

Aleksandr Kim is a Mechanical Engineering student in McGill and is working as the Vice-President Academic for the Engineering Undergraduate Society (EUS) of McGill. He has a particular interest towards differential geometrical analysis, aerospace, and sustainability in Engineering. He was previously a member of the United Nations Regional Centre for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia (UNRCCA) Academy 2020 cohort.

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