U of T startup Kepler Communications raises US$60-million for aerospace venture
A rocket bearing one of Kepler Communications’ satellites launching in 2018. (Courtesy: Kepler Communications)
Kepler Communications, a startup founded by EngSci and UTIAS alumni that provides space-based telecom services, has raised US$60-million for its growing fleet of miniature satellites, according to the Globe & Mail.
Kepler’s founders Wen Cheng Chong (EngSci 1T3), Mark Michael (EngSci 1T2, MASc MIE 1T4, PhD 1T6), Mina Mitry (EngSci 1T2, AeroE MASc 1T4), and UTIAS graduate Jeffrey Osborne (AeroE PhD 1T6) first met as students. All four were part the U of T Aerospace Team (UTAT), a student-led design team with focuses on rocketry and satellites. Their startup was supported by U of T Engineering’s Entrepreneurship Hatchery and Start@UTIAS, and aims to build a global satellite network.
Company founded by EngSci alumni receives $3.8 million for nanosatellites
Kepler Communications recently became Canada’s largest satellite operator. (Image: Kepler Communications)
Kepler Communications, a satellite communications startup founded by EngSci and UTIAS alumni, has received $3.8 million of federal funding to create a nanosatellite manufacturing facility, according to the Toronto Star.
EngSci alumna Isi Caulder and her firm, Bereskin & Parr LLP, have been long-time supporters of U of T’s Entrepreneurship Hatchery.
A generous donation from law firm Bereskin & Parr LLP will support student teams in U of T’s Entrepreneurship Hatchery as they take their ideas from initial spark to viable startup.
Read the full story here.
EngSci alumna Isi Caulder (EngSci 8T9, ElecE MASc 9T1, LLB 9T5) is a Bereskin & Parr partner and has been an enthusiastic student team mentor for over five years. “More and more EngSci students are pursuing entrepreneurial opportunities,” says EngSci’s Interim Chair, Professor Will Cluett. “The Hatchery is a wonderful place for nurturing our students with this passion. Isi and her firm are providing the kind of support needed to make this possible.”
James Bateman launched MedChart after his father-in-law was diagnosed with cancer
EngSci alumnus James Bateman (1T3 Physics, ECE PhD candidate) knows a problem when he sees one. When his father-in-law underwent treatment for cancer, he saw firsthand the difficulty of coordinating his care across several medical facilities. The struggle of keeping track of medical records in many different formats from many different places added unnecessary stress to an already difficult difficult time.
Bateman and fellow EngSci alumnus Derrick Chow (1T3 Aerospace) decided to tackle this problem. Together they launched MedChart, a company that allows patients to pull records securely from multiple institutions to help caregivers more easily manage their care.
Team Xpan (left to right: Zaid Atto (EngSci 1T6 + PEY), Seray Cicek (EngSci 1T6+ PEY), Chevis Dilbert (MechE 1T6 + PEY)) has created an expandable tool to help with laparoscopic surgery.
EngSci students are behind two of the winning startups from this year’s Hatchery Demo Day, held September 6 at U of T Engineering.
Zaid Atto (EngSci 1T6 + PEY) is the founder of Xpan, a company developing improved devices for laparoscopic surgery to increase surgical efficiency and reduce patient risk. Team Xpan — consisting of Atto, Seray Cicek (EngSci 1T6 + PEY) and Chevis Dilbert (MechE 1T6 + PEY) — took home the $10,000 Lacavera Prize. Their work has also been recognized with awards within and outside of the university.
Aakash Goel (EngSci 1T6 + PEY), the driver behind enginehire, won the $2,500 Orozco Prize for his development of a career matchmaking system for young engineers. The system uses proprietary algorithms to match companies with their ideal candidates at a low cost.
EngSci students are behind two exciting startups that were incubated in the U of T Engineering’s Entrepreneurship Hatchery.
Rahul Goel (EngSci 1T6) is one of the co-founders of PheedLoop, a Hatchery startup from the 2014 cohort.
PheedLoop is a new user-friendly platform that allows presenters to get live, anonymous feedback from audiences. Rahul Goel and Phil Isaac (both 1T6) got the idea in class, where student presentations were usually evaluated only by a professor or teaching staff, even though many students were also in the room. Their platform takes advantage of the whole audience by making it easy for everyone to give constructive feedback. It’s a great tool for helping students, or even experienced presenters, to improve their skills. Goel and Isaac have turned their innovation into full-time jobs, now that they have graduated. Pheedloop has been used in conferences around the world and the team is adding new functions, such as live polling. Read more about where PheedLoop is heading.
Harris Chan, Fiona Gan, Annie Mao and Sherry Shi (all EngSci 1T5 + PEY) are helping physiotherapy patients get better results from their therapy with their new app called PhysioPhriend. The app uses a smartphone’s sensors to track a patient’s progress in range of movement and allows therapists to access the data and send messages. Read more about their plans for PhysioPhriend.
Annie Mao, Fiona Gan and Harris Chan (all EngSci 1T5 + PEY) of PhysioPhriend, a startup that is building an app to help improve outcomes for physiotherapy patients. (Photo: Tyler Irving)