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Student startups harness augmented reality and artificial intelligence at the Gina Cody School Innovation Fund Demo Day

QuoteNet and Ploomba win the coveted Judge’s Award and advance to next competition phase
June 26, 2024
A diverse group of people standing together on a stairwell and smiling for the camera.
Emad Shihab (far left): “It’s inspiring to see our students at the forefront of such transformative innovations.”

Two student startups stood out to the judges at the Gina Cody School Innovation Fund Demo Day on May 27. QuoteNet’s team is revolutionizing pricing in painting through augmented reality, while Ploomba’s crew is enhancing farming productivity with advanced robotics and artificial intelligence (AI).

The Gina Cody School Innovation Fund is supported by the school’s Research & Innovation Partnerships team and provides financial backing for student-led projects that show high potential for commercialization. The competitors in this phase were each awarded up to $10,000 over three months to complete Phase 1, which included technology development and market identification.

QuoteNet and Ploomba are part of a select group of five teams that completed the Seed Program. The teams showcased their startup projects to a panel of judges on the Innovation Fund Demo Day.

These innovative projects not only earned them the prestigious Judge’s Award but also a place in the upcoming Maturation program.

Two smiling young men wearing button down shirts and standing on a stairwell. Ploomba cofounders Nicolas Fortin and Andrew Kappert.

Ploomba’s team members are Andrew Kappert, Nicolas Fortin, Franco Moro, Jean-Philippe Forget and Caleb Kaufmann. They integrate robotics, cameras and AI to help farmers optimize yields while simplifying labour-intensive tasks.

“Sharing my vision with such a distinguished panel of judges and receiving their feedback was an incredible experience,” says Gina Cody School student and Ploomba co-founder Kappert. “I am deeply grateful for the support and encouragement from Concordia, and I am excited to continue on this entrepreneurial journey.”

“Demo day was an unforgettable experience,” adds Fortin. “With the $50,000 award, we can now bring our idea to reality.”

QuoteNet is led by Alexandre Tashdjian and Kevin Kazarian. Their approach leverages augmented reality to streamline the estimation process for painting contractors, ensuring quick and precise project assessments.

“I’m incredibly grateful to the Innovation Fund for this amazing opportunity,” says Tashdjian. “Their support and expertise have been invaluable, and I look forward to continuing this journey with their guidance.”

Two smiling young men wearing suits and standing on a stairwell. QuoteNet cofounders Alexandre Tashdjian and Kevin Kazarian.

‘Driving significant positive impacts’

Their progression to the Maturation phase signifies a critical next step: the teams will now further develop their startups over the coming year, with up to $50,000 each in funding. This phase focuses on refining their technologies and moving toward market readiness.

QuoteNet also took home the Public’s Choice award.

Abraider, featuring Aimée Nduwumwe, Divine Kayitare and Chelsea Bahenduzi, won the Most Innovative award. Abraider aims to transform the hair braiding industry by making braiding easy, affordable and accessible

Two other startups, HomeEatz and Lodavo, also impressed at the Demo Day.

The HomeEatz team, comprised of Harinder Partap Singh, Harmanvir Singh, Sukoon Tandon, Jashanbir Singh and Karanbir Singh, is looking to enhance culinary experiences by enabling users to easily prepare and share homemade meals through its user-friendly platform.

Lodavo, led by Benjamin Thomas, Killian Hedou and Luke Freund, is revitalizing personal finance by merging savings with the chance to win prizes, adding an element of excitement to financial management.

“By harnessing technologies such as augmented reality and AI, our students are not only advancing software capabilities but are also driving significant positive impacts in our community,” says Emad Shihab, associate dean of research and innovation at the Gina Cody School of Engineering and Computer Science.

“Projects like these could play a crucial role in promoting healthier lifestyles and sustainability. It’s inspiring to see our students at the forefront of such transformative innovations.”

Learn more about
Concordia’s Gina Cody School Innovation Fund.

Find out more about research and innovation partnerships at the Gina Cody School of Engineering and Computer Science.



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