Unleashing Innovation: Highlights from the Ideas Lab in Kanata North

Career and experiential learning 
Entrepreneurship Hub

By Kyle Thomas

Coordonnateur en chef, programme d'entrepreneuriat | Lead Coordinator, Entrepreneurship Program, Carrefour de l'entrepreneuriat | Entrepreneurship Hub

Group of students working with coach during Solutions Lab event.
Over two days during the February Reading Week, 46 students participated in the Ideas Lab at the University of Ottawa’s Kanata North campus.

The event aimed to foster innovation in smart mobility, robotics, smart cities technology and autonomous vehicles. It succeeded in bringing together budding minds eager to leave their mark on the future of the Kanata North Technology Park. 

The event kicked off with a group of students from various faculties, each armed with a passion for technology and a desire to make a difference. The Ideas Lab provided a platform for participants to collaborate, brainstorm and bring their ideas to life. The heart of the hackathon was the problem statement: “Design and propose a cutting-edge solution utilizing smart mobility, robotics, smart cities technologies or autonomous vehicles to enhance the overall functionality and sustainability of the Kanata North Tech Park.” It was a challenge that demanded a blend of technical knowledge, creativity, and an acute understanding of the evolving needs of the tech park. 

Working collaboratively with program sponsor Shabodi, students came up with some innovative ideas to use Shabodi’s application enablement platform (AEP). Shabodi’s AEP unleashes advanced network potential by empowering developers, engineers, and businesses to create and deploy high-performing, network-aware applications seamlessly, maximizing advanced network ROI and revenue streams.

The solutions presented ranged from autonomous snowplows to drone delivery of medical equipment. The pitch competition was won by KineStep, a group that offered customers a flooring platform that featured a series of tiles to capture kinetic energy and transform every footstep into renewable energy. Another impressive idea was NO-C-Transpod, which centered on improving transportation in Kanata North by using autonomous shuttles to transport people throughout the tech park.

The event provided a valuable networking opportunity for students to connect with industry professionals from Shabodi, Aurrigo, InDro Robotics, and the Kanata North Business Association. The professionals readily provided expert guidance and insights to bridge gaps between academic knowledge and real-world application.

As the hackathon concluded, the air buzzed with a sense of accomplishment and the promise of a brighter, technologically enhanced future for Kanata North. The innovative solutions presented during the event testified to the untapped potential of the next generation of tech enthusiasts.

The Ideas Lab series is brought to you by Experience Ventures funded by the Government of Canada.

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The Crew Chronicles series features unique and insightful contributions from the Entrepreneurship Hub team with respect to entrepreneurship and innovation.