Engineering Entrepreneurship Series 2017-2018 Speakers

Maxim Antipin & Saif Abid

Taking the G out of GUI: Engineering Invisible Solutions

Thursday, September 21, 2017, 5-6 p.m.
Sanford Fleming, room 1105

Abstract: In this talk we’re going to discuss how we started SwiftPad and spent hundreds of hours building rich mobile & web applications for healthcare until realizing the expensive lesson that the most powerful solutions are ones that are invisible to the user.

Bios: Maxim Antipin holds a BASc in Electrical Engineering with a Minor in Engineering Business from the University of Toronto. He is the co-founder of the healthcare technology company SwiftPad, which is an IBM Innovation Partner and 2016 UTEST alumni. Maxim also volunteers his time as an executive committee member at IEEE Toronto where he received the “Outstanding New Leader award in recognition of leadership in the first year. Maxim is passionate about the intersection of engineering and business in the healthcare industry. His capstone project “Indoor Auditory Navigation” was the recipient of the “2017 CNIB Hochhausen Prize”. He continues to strive for positive change in Canada’s healthcare system by empowering & connecting pharmacists with innovative technology.

Saif Abid is a Computer Engineer from the University of Toronto and CTO of SwiftPad – a healthcare company which is also an IBM Innovation Partner. Saif has a deep interest for Golang, distributed systems, data engineering and as of recent, functional programming. When he’s not reading research papers and textbooks for fun, you can find him in the gym or out on a jog. Saif is a big believer in solving problems which impact individuals on a global scale. For example, as his Capstone project, he helped build an “Indoor Auditory Navigation” system for the visually impaired. The project went on to receive the “2017 CNIB Hochhausen Prize”. Ultimately, Saif’s passion is to build novel engineering solutions to help those who need it the most.


Aditya Kapoor

Entrepreneurship- When you don’t know what you don’t know…

Thursday, October 12, 2017, 5-6 p.m.
Sandford Fleming, room 1105

Abstract: In this talk, I will go through my journey as an entrepreneur trying to organize an informal sector like astrology in the Indian market through a family venture (, the challenges of replicating the experience in digital healthcare with my start-up, and why not to build businesses for VCs and angel investors.

Bio: Aditya Kapoor is a second year full time MBA student at Rotman School of Management. He trained as a lawyer in India and briefly worked as an energy lawyer before quitting to join his family venture, astroYogi. astroYogi started as a content licensing company, tying up with MSN, Yahoo and Google, among others, and eventually transitioned into a service platform connecting astrologers/tarot readers to customers in a marketplace model. Using this experience, Aditya co-founded OyeHelp, a digital healthcare platform, aimed at connecting doctors to patients using video and cloud telephony.

Aditya also headed the digital marketing and technology initiatives for Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s campaign in 2014 and aims to be involved at the intersection of social media, technology and political campaign management.


Steve Cosman

Scaling from Zero to Millions: Lessons from growing a consumer startup

Thursday, October 26, 2017, 5-6 p.m.
Sandford Fleming, room 1105

Abstract: Steve founded Shoebox in 2012 and has grown it to millions of users. In this talk he’ll discuss various lessons learned about growing an early stage startup spanning technology, marketing, culture and more.

Bio: Steve is the co-founder and CEO of Shoebox. Shoebox is a consumer cloud service used by millions of users to help people relive their best moments everyday. Prior to Shoebox, Steve worked in computer vision and augmented reality at Microsoft.


Jerry Evans

3D Printing – Using Technology for a Higher Purpose

Thursday, January 25, 2018, 5-6 p.m.
Sandford Fleming, room 1105

Abstract: There are more than 30 million individuals in the world living with mobility challenges and only 1 in 10 have access to the prosthetic and orthotic (P&O) devices they need to allow them to walk.

Jerry will be discussing how Nia Technologies Inc. (Nia) is leveraging 3D printing to increase the efficiency of P&O device production in resource poor countries. The hope is that Nia’s innovations will allow existing orthopaedic workshops to help more people.

Starting four years ago as a simple proof-of-concept research/development collaboration between cbm Canada and U of T, Nia is now a stand-alone non-profit social enterprise. Nia continues to work with its partners to further develop its 3D digital tools for the P&O industry, known as 3D PrintAbility.

With the support of Grand Challenges Canada,, Autodesk Foundation and others, Nia has successfully completed the largest-ever clinical study of 3D printed prosthetics and orthotics (in Uganda, Tanzania and Cambodia) and is now scaling up and preparing to deploy 3D PrintAbility in a number of countries.

Bio: Jerry graduated from U of T with a BASc and a MASc in Civil Engineering.  He went on to get his MBA from UWO. Jerry has spent most of his professional career working in finance, corporate strategy and governance. Today he is CEO of Nia and travels extensively in support of Nia’s efforts.


Nelson WuNelson Wu

Using fear and weakness as fuel for progress

Thursday, March 1, 2018, 5-6 p.m.
Sandford Fleming, room 1105

Abstract: Nelson’s journey from being a student at the University of Toronto to building Massdrop in San Francisco. In this talk, we’ll discuss fear and weakness, and the role both play in our personal and professional life.

Bio: Nelson graduated from University of Toronto in 2008 and he is the co-founder of Massdrop. Massdrop is a community-driven commerce platform. We make products with input from our members and give them a place to connect, learn, and shop with people who share their interests.


Emily LonettoEmily Lonetto

What on earth is growth? (How to become a ‘growth’ minded leader)

Thursday, March 8, 2018, 5-6 p.m.
Sandford Fleming, room 1105

Abstract: From music to business, to high growth startups — in this talk, we’ll discuss the differences in between growth, product, and marketing and how new-age companies need to bake ‘growth’ directly into their user experience, no matter the industry. Afterward, we’ll go deep on how many high-growth startups like Tilt, Airbnb, and many other Y-Combinator startups are focusing on retention and technical empathy to build more versatile teams and structure their growth roadmap.

Bio: Prior to heading growth at GrowSumo (YC’15), Emily Lonetto helped grow Tilt (acquired by Airbnb) from an American micro-crowdfunding company to one of the fastest growing payments apps – ever. During her time at Tilt, Emily combined her background in business, product, and design to build new features and scale Tilt’s ambassador program internationally. Emily approaches growth in a scientific yet creative way and continues to push for rapid experimentation as the Head of Growth at GrowSumo: a marketplace, and platform that allows companies to scale through automated partnership channels. GrowSumo has since helped companies like Evernote, Intuit, and Samsung scale their community and reach their growth goals.


Jared Ross

Disrupting Dining – How technology is changing the restaurant industry

Thursday, March 8, 2018, 5-6 p.m.
Bahen Centre, room 1190

Abstract: For decades, the restaurant industry has remained relatively unchanged, with little innovation. Perhaps more than any other industry, new technologies are having the biggest impact in disrupting the traditional restaurant experience. These technologies range from the well-known customer-based delivery apps, to lesser known kitchen inventory ordering platforms, to fully integrated real-time backend sales tracking databases. In this discussion, Jared will talk about how technology has changed his business, and the need to remain current in an industry known to have among the highest failure rates.

Bio:  Jared founded Veda Healthy Indian Takeout in 2005 after completing is MBA at the Rotman School at U of T. He saw a hole in the market for Healthy Indian Fast Food, and wanted to create something that had not been done before. During his two-year MBA, Jared focused a majority of his studies on developing a sound business plan, constantly trying to disprove his concept. Since then he has successfully opened several restaurants, and now focuses on campus eateries, as well as a fast-growing campus catering business at the University of Toronto. With an expertise in both on- and off-campus food service, Jared was recently invited to Zhuhai, China — known for its abundance of high quality Universities — as a consultant to a major developer Chinese universities.

Prior to returning to school at U of T to obtain his MBA and subsequently launching Veda, Jared completed a Bachelor of Commerce (Honours) degree with a double-major in Finance and Marketing at the University of Manitoba. During his undergraduate studies, Jared worked nights at RBC at one of Canada’s first inbound banking call centres. This part-time job at RBC led Jared to move to Calgary with RBC, upon graduation, working in its high net worth discretionary wealth management division.