Established in 2020 through a generous $500K donation from Kenneth and Yvonne Lo and family, the Lo Family Social Venture Fund helps U of T students and recent graduates take the most promising, solutions-based social enterprises to the next level, providing support for student-driven ventures that will positively impact the global community – particularly in Asia.

A total of 18 U of T students and recent alumni have been awarded up to $30K in funding – please see details on the winners and their ventures below.

Award Winners

Yassine Bensaada
Alumni, Biotechnology
Affiliation: ICUBE (UTM)

Divebox is local resale marketplace that offers the convenience of local delivery and in-app payments making it the easiest and safest way to buy & sell secondhand goods.

Learn more.

Sofia Bonilla
Alumni, Chemical Engineering & Applied Chemistry
Affiliation: ICUBE (UTM)

HOPE Pet Food is a meat-free sustainable pet food. We are guided by science and kindness to provide superb nutrition for pets without breaking the planet. Our innovative formulas include ingredients across the tree of life such as insects, algae and yeast.

Learn more. 

Seray Cicek
Alumni, Pharmaceutical Sciences
Affiliation: Health Innovation Hub (H2i)

Today, most lab tests are shipped to large centralized labs and it takes days to get the results. At LSK Technologies, we make a small device that can rapidly test for COVID-19 and other diseases at point-of-need such as doctor’s offices and workplaces.

Learn more. Twitter: @LifeSciKey

Patrick Diep
Graduate Student, Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry
Affiliation: The Entrepreneurship Hatchery

Indus is a new start-up striving to grow the future of food with engineered 3D-printed smart soil. With access to proprietary software and 3D CAD design expertise, Indus smart soil could enable hydroponics operations to grow root vegetables closer to urban areas, thus opening a new market of hydroponic crops.

Twitter: @IndusSmartSoil

Jeffrey Fasegha
Alumni, Rotman Commerce
Affiliation: ICUBE (UTM)

Fyyne is a mobile-first platform that allows beauty artists to run their businesses more effectively and efficiently. We use our proprietary technology to connect relevant artists with customers, and simplify the entire booking process from discovery to payment.

Learn more. 

Avneet Ghotra
Alumni, Geography
Affiliation: ICUBE (UTM)

ALT TEX is a biomaterials startup, creating sustainable fabrics for eco-conscious fashion retailers. Through its closed-loop model, the company is re-engineering post-industrial food waste into carbon neutral and biodegradable fabrics. ALT TEX’s innovative material technology enables brands to create eco-conscious styles, without sacrifice to quality or cost.

Learn more. Twitter: @thealttex

Nancy Hamdy
Alumni, Physiology
Affiliation: ICUBE (UTM)

Axonaly is a startup venture revolutionizing mental health care. We are creating a mobile application along with an innovative sweat-sensing patch that tracks key biomarkers and calculates the onset of anxiety attacks. Our mobile application provides users with a range of programming to provide relief when an attack is detected. Axonaly places empirical mental health management in the hands of consumers.

Learn more. 

Zain Hasan
Graduate Student, Engineering
Affiliation: The Entrepreneurship Hatchery

Vinci Labs was founded with the simple but powerful vision of making quality healthcare accessible through the use of technology. Specifically, we’re a group of engineers, doctors, and computer scientists who believe we can leverage technical innovation to overcome barriers to quality healthcare access such as cost, lack of availability, geographical remoteness and social inequity.

Shrey Jain
Undergraduate Student, Engineering Science
Affiliation: UTEST

Flatten is a non-profit organization focused on developing agile, inexpensive and robust self-reporting participatory syndromic surveillance tool for the COVID-19 pandemic internationally. We aim to broaden epidemiological data-collection processes while informing healthcare policy formulation, and helping to refine healthcare efforts.

Learn more. Twitter: @flattenofficial

Jamie Lee
Alumni, Rotman Commerce
Affiliation: ICUBE (UTM)

Swate is a mobile app that provides recipe and meal plan recommendations to users by leveraging grocery inventory tracking so that individuals can use their groceries optimally and decrease household food waste.

Learn more.

Santiago Luna
Alumni, Dalla Lana School of Public Health
Affiliation: Health Innovation Hub (H2i)

Augmented Reporting is an economical and easy-to-use cloud virtual clinical assistant that provides automatic echo measurement analysis and reporting. Echo labs using AR will improve quality and efficiency leading to improved patient health outcomes, increased testing capacity and decreased health system costs.

Twitter: @AugReporting

Taaha Muhammad
Medical Student, Faculty of Medicine
Affiliation: Health Innovation Hub (H2i)

BlockPaisa is specifically designed to meet the financial needs of small businesses with three main services to offer: a business account, a mobile banking app, and a credit card which unlike other corporate cards, comes with no collateral requirements, no annual fees, zero interest, unlimited transactions, and many other perks.

Learn more. Twitter: @BlockPaisa

Olugbenga Olubanjo
Alumni, Civil and Mineral Engineering
Affiliation: Centre for Entrepreneurship

Reeddi innovatively provides clean, reliable and affordable electricity to individuals, households and businesses operating in the energy-poor regions of the world. Operating a hardware-as-a-service model through our proprietary energy generation & distribution system ensures customers pay an affordable rental fee to easily access clean electricity anytime and anywhere.

Reeddi was recently accepted into Third Derivatives as one of 47 startups from over 600+ startups that applied to this prestigious accelerator from across the globe.

Learn more. Twitter: @reeddi

Clara Rebello
Alumni, Psychology
Affiliation: The Hub (UTSC)

Currently, we are collectively living an emotionally distressing period. To combat the mental health issues to which we are all now vulnerable, Buoyancy is being developed to help with self-empowerment and resilience enhancement. Buoyancy is based on our belief that one should activate the strengths that they already possess.

Yi (Yvonne) Ru
Graduate Student, Mechanical and Industrial Engineering
Affiliation: ICUBE (UTM)

YourTable connects people to eat and network together through their shared interests in food and business industries. With a culturally diversified and passionate team, we aim to positively impact the global communities in Asia and beyond, helping to prevent loneliness, depression, and contribute to their overall work productivity and happiness.

Learn more. Twitter: @yourtableco

Shane Saunderson
Graduate Student, Mechanical & Industrial Engineering
Affiliation: Creative Destruction Lab (CDL)

Babbly is an AI-powered platform that analyzes a baby’s voice to monitor their brain development during formative months. By uploading video or audio of their child to our smartphone app, parents can get instant feedback and recommendations on how to positively promote their child’s growth.

Learn more. Twitter: @Get_Babbly

Ryan Tam
Alumni, Applied Science and Engineering
Affiliation: The Entrepreneurship Hatchery

Over 3B people globally live in rural areas where healthcare services are limited or highly inaccessible. Aerlift’s drone delivery system and logistics management technology enables governments to provide life-saving healthcare services to some of the hardest-to-reach populations around the world.

Learn more.

Cho Yin Yong
Alumni, Computer Science
Affiliation: The BRIDGE (UTSC)

PickEasy is a mobile app that allows individuals, groups and couples to explore local restaurants while not having to argue or disagree over where to dine. Our mission is to bring communities closer to their local restaurants to create a strong bond between businesses and their customers.

Learn more. Twitter: @pickeasy_inc