2020 Lo Family Social Venture Fund Award Winners

September 2020


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 14 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

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

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

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: Impact Centre

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.

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