media release

Coast Capital Savings Venture Prize Competition

February 05, 2014

Jesse Robson,
Marianne Meadahl, PAMR, 778.782.9017;


Five Simon Fraser University student ventures have made the cut for the third annual Venture Connection Coast Capital Savings Venture Prize Competition, to be held at SFU’s Segal Graduate School of Business in Vancouver on Feb. 12, 1-4 p.m.

The student entrepreneurs survived a semi-round “pitch-off” consisting of five-minute presentations and Q&As, with judging by representatives of SFU’s Venture Connection program, including its Mentors-in-Residence.

Their final pitches on Feb. 12 will include a 10-minute presentation before a panel of industry representatives. They must also supply executive summaries of their companies and show how they’ve progressed.

The winner receives $3,000, while another $1,000 goes to the runner up. This year, the competition will also introduce the Venture Idea Prize, valued at $1,000, to be awarded to an idea- or early- concept-phase team that shows great promise in developing an idea and bringing it closer to reality.

“There are some very good companies competing in the Venture Prize this year,” says Dave Thomas, a Venture Connection mentor-in-residence. “Many have incorporated new and innovative technologies from a number of different sectors. It really shows the breadth of innovation happening at SFU.”

The competition results will be announced at an evening reception immediately following the event, from 5-7 p.m. The keynote speaker is Terry Beech, an SFU and Venture Connection alumnus, adjunct professor and co-founder of HiretheWorld.

This year’s contenders include:

• Kody Baker, John Stonier, Jonathan Faille and Sean Boyd of VeloMetro. They’re developing a modern Velocar, a three-wheeled, fully enclosed, electric-assisted human-powered vehicle. Their plan is to introduce Velocar to the market by selling usage in a one-way, car-sharing network similar to Car2Go;

• Kevin Cruz and Ryan Lalonde, of SynAesthetix. They’ve created an integrated home system and accompanying mobile application that lets homeowners control the lighting, sound and smell of their living spaces, bringing personalized sensory experiences into homes;

• Ehsan Daneshi and Majid Shokoufi, of Enhanced Scientific. The company manufactures high-tech laboratory and medical devices and has started with manufacturing UV-Visible spectrophotometers, which are used for research and quality control in a wide range of fields, including pharmaceutical, cosmetics, environment, food industry and oil and gas;

• Siamack Grayli and Sasan Grayli, of IE-9 Technology Corp. They’re developing a new technique that uses nanotechnology and software to store information for security, authentication and advertising. Their goal is to create a specialized high-tech corporation in nano-optics and data-encoding solutions, with an applied focus on security and high-grade data preservation;

• Maryam Sadeghi, creator of MoleScope, which connects an affordable, tiny microscope to smartphones so people can monitor suspicious moles that may be cancerous. It also provides specialists with a patient archiving and communication system for faster diagnosis.

For background on last year’s contest see:

Competition details:

In partnership with Coast Capital Savings, SFU Venture Connection provides support for student ventures from initial idea to business validation. It offers an early-stage business incubator, mentorship, co-op terms, competitions, networking, speaker events, workshops, seminars, and other business resources. More than 3,000 students have participated since 2009 in its range of programs, with development services provided to more than 250 student venture teams. For more information visit

Simon Fraser University is consistently ranked among Canada's top comprehensive universities and is one of the top 50 universities in the world under 50 years old. With campuses in Vancouver, Burnaby and Surrey, B.C., SFU engages actively with the community in its research and teaching, delivers almost 150 programs to more than 30,000 students, and has more than 125,000 alumni in 130 countries.


Simon Fraser University: Engaging Students. Engaging Research. Engaging Communities.

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