Summer is in full swing; and so is online voting for the William G. Davis Innovation Fund – with five applicants from Niagara College vying for the grand prize.
The NC community is encouraged to support applicants from the College. View their ideas below and submit votes by July 31.
The William G. Davis Innovation called for students and alumni from colleges across Ontario to pitch creative projects and initiatives earlier this year. The fund was launched by Colleges Ontario help mark the 50th anniversary celebrations in 2017 and applications were accepted until the end of May.
The fund supports innovative thinking and initiatives from aspiring visionaries, artists, humanitarians or entrepreneurs who want to leverage their college education to ‘start something amazing,’ in keeping with Colleges Ontario’s 50th anniversary theme: ‘The Start of Something Amazing.’
Five ideas from Niagara College students are among this year’s 83 applications this year’s competition. Voting began June 1, yet these five NC students will have to wait until July 31 to know if one of their ideas has been selected to advance into the next stage of the competition.
Finalists will be announced on August 15. Final online voting will be held between August 15 and November 5 and the winners will be announced on November 10. The first-place winner will receive $15,000 to help fund the project and the second-place entry will receive $5,000.
Idea: ASD Community – Autism Tool Kit
Paul Boyoko graduated from NC’s Computer Programmer program in 2015 before returning to the College for Game Development – which he will graduate from in April 2018.
After his three-year-old daughter was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, Boyoko realized the tools used to assist people and their families with the disorder were dated, requiring individuals carry an assortment of cumbersome items everywhere they went. Boyoko began developing an idea for a user-focused digital tool that would allow individuals with autism and their families to thrive.
“The goal of the ASD Community – Autism Tool Kit is to take [Autism Spectrum Disorder] strategies and tools and update them for the digital era,” said Boyoko, “Winning this contest would allow me to take the skills I have gained at Niagara College and apply them in a way that would benefit one in 68 North American and their families, and enable every individual with a cellphone, tablet or computer to easily access a large range of tools to help individuals with Autism.”
Idea: My St. Catharines
Kevin Unger is a St. Catharines local who graduated from NC’s Sales and Marketing program. Unger was drawn to the competition after seeing how quickly the community around him was expanding. His idea centers around the concept of community building and seeing the Niagara region grow through the local economy by representing all styles of living within the community. Unger hopes that better representation of the community will help to further build it.
“I believe people can help grow their community more than they think,” said Unger. “This competition enables people to do just that. If we can humanize people through photo and video it can lead to people introducing themselves to each other which can lead to unlikely friendships and a phenomenal sense of community.”
Mathias Alan Boles
NC student Mathias Boles has focused his idea on the public perception surrounding bigotry against the LGBTQ+ community. Through educating society, Boles intends to encourage a system of inclusive thinking and understanding, creating a global ‘we the people.’ Through educating the public and encouraging them to re-examine their own beliefs, Boles hopes to eradicate these negative perceptions held against the LGBTQ+ community.
“The Al’s&Ane’s concept [aims] to teach people that we are all the same yet unique,” said Boles. “If my concepts were implemented into schools, maybe added to early sexual education then there may be more open minds.”
Idea: Biometric and Diabetic Screening Assessments
St Catharines local Kari Oravkin has earned two certificates and one degree from NC. She has completed the Personal Support Worker program (2008), Pre-health Science program (2010) and the Fitness and Health Promotion program (2012), and hopes to take that knowledge to the field to create an organization that will educate people about their full health status, taking into consideration their risk of diabetes, heart disease and obesity.
With her qualifications, this graduate was given the confidence to enroll this idea in the competition.
“Since completing my post-secondary education at Niagara College, I have had an idea about how to help others and that is to create a health awareness business,” said Oravkin. “Working in the health and fitness industry, I see lifestyle patterns that are leading generations to develop to serious health complications such as diabetes, heart disease and obesity to name a few. I want to be part of the solution.”
Idea by: Jawad Khattak
A3S: Aerial Smart Survey Solutions
Jawad Khattak graduated from NC’s Renewable Energies program which provided him with the inside knowledge and thought processes needed to identify key industries that would benefit from the latest UAV imaging technology. Khattak’s idea aims to combine those factors to assist in improved data collection. He hopes to provide a way to give accurate data collection services without the high cost typically associated with aerial surveys.
“Drone-based photogrammetry, popularly known as drone mapping, helps optimize insurance-related processes, speeding up and reducing the cost of surveys for risk assessment and claims management,” he said. “Drone-mapping also adds accuracy, at the same time, reduces the risk of fraud and even improves the customer experience, with tailored premiums and faster claim resolutions.”
For information on these ideas or to vote, visit the competition website here. Voting concludes on July 31.