WCVM faculty among finalists for tech award

Two Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) faculty members are part of a team that's aiming to win the $50,000 grand prize in the 2014 Tech Venture Challenge.

Life Form Rehab Systems is a start-up company that is proposing to develop computerized hoist and sling technology that can be used in diagnostics and for rehabilitation of large animals.

Its creative team includes WCVM medical imaging specialist Dr. James Montgomery and his wife, Dr. Julia Montgomery, a specialist in large animal internal medicine in the college's Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences. Other team members are Jim Boire, Harley Olsen and Lynda Haverstock.

Life Form Rehab Systems was one of 12 tech-based entrepreneur teams that were chosen from a field of 24 to advance to the next phase of the Tech Venture Challenge. The annual business start-up competition is presented through the University of Saskatchewan's Industry Liaison Office (ILO).

Over the next four months, the finalists will benefit from the business and advisory support from the ILO as they build out their idea. They will be professionally mentored and guided, leading to the selection of three finalists.

Three prizes are available: the ILO $50,000 first place prize, plus the Mariner $5,000 for second place and Affinity/Mercan $3,000 for third place. The grand prize package includes office space at Innovation Place, mentoring and professional services from Mariner Innovations and Deloitte and banking services from RBC to get their new venture off the ground. A new sponsorship this year from the U of S Grad Student Association — a $10,000 low interest loan — will also be awarded to the best grad student business.

This year's competition finalists represent a range of proposed technologies that can potentially solve problems or issues in engineering, computer science, biotech, environmental, and medical and educational business.

Drs. James and Julia Montgomery

"The workshops, presenters, connections and support have been invaluable in our start-up phase. The discipline to focus really helped us refine our business," said Michael Lockerbie, BitStrata Systems CEO and 2013 Tech Venture winner. "The ILO and the Saskatoon business community as a whole have been very nurturing and supportive. The prizes provided by the ILO, Deloitte, Innovation Place, and RBC will accelerate progress through to the next phase of our business."

The Montgomerys are no strangers to the world of entrepreneurship. The pair worked with a third partner to create a successful veterinary game called Veterinary Board Games that helps senior veterinary students prepare for the North American Veterinary Licensing Examination (NAVLE®).

2014 Tech Venture Challenge finalists:

    • Deliverify – Online platform promoting efficient delivery alternatives for restaurants - Joshua Simair, Chris Simair, Stephen Miazga, Jeff Adamson

    • Zipferral – Smartphone app for professional services to encourage and track referrals including a reward option - Jay Maharaj, Dale Lemke

    • Empower Mortgage – Online mortgage tool optimizing selection of need-specific lenders - Conrad Neufeldt

    • Bio Fabrication Systems – A multi-cell manipulation technology for tissue building - Daniel Chen, May Huang

    • Innocorps Research – A modular, self-contained water filtration technology for the mining industry - Aarya Shahsavar, Alexander Chan, Dawson James

    • Life Form Rehab Systems – A computerized hoist & sling technology used in diagnostics and rehabilitation of large animals - James Montgomery, Julia Montgomery, Jim Boire, Harley Olsen, Lynda Haverstock

    • Voice Education – An online interactive curriculum tool for multimedia files and First Nation story tellers - William Rowluck, Michael Mackey

    • Herbal Depilatory Gel - An herbal depilatory gel using a Saskatchewan-native plant extract - Azita Haddadi, Soodabeh Saeidnia, Ahmad Reza Goharikakhki

    • Just Move It – A mobile app that encourages physical activity to counter obesity in young adults - Tarun Katapally, Nazeen Muhajarine, Nate Osgood

    • Future of Coding App Makers – A crowdsourced study tool with a front end flash card app, aimed at university students - Jamie Wutke, Adam Barrett

    • Recrilo Technologies – A dispatch, driver and rider system with a web and mobile app for the taxi industry - Taylor Mills, Dylan Hergott, Rohit Nundy, Donovan Sotnikow

    • Red Finch Software – An Application Software Library for developers in the mobile gaming industry - Kevin Sookocheff
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