One of the five teams representing St. Lawrence College at this year’s Mayor’s Innovation Challenge has won the Smart Kingston Stream competition, providing them with $5,000 in seed funding to further their venture.
Team Co-Labs, comprised of Emma VandenAnker, Blake Hannaford, Bram Eliot-Wilson, and Jen Probert in the Community and Justice Services program won with their cloud-based storage system for vulnerable individuals to safely and securely store their essential documentation, including identification, bank cards, and other data that can be easily lost or stolen.
“What an experience to be a part of the 6th Annual Mayor's Innovation Challenge. Our team was excited to participate with the other teams and proud to be chosen as one of the winning teams. We were dedicated and passionate about sharing our plan, which paid off! We are grateful for the opportunity to bring Strive Storage to fruition,” said Jen. “We met as a group during our Community Capstone Project, and we were able to work well as a team and continue to build on the initial idea. One of our team members developed a solution while on placement by identifying a gap in the system.”
“Our group worked very hard to get to where we are now, with such a short period of time bringing this project together. This is a very exciting experience and it's going to take lots of work as we continue to produce,” said Emma.
“I’m so proud of this group of dedicated students, and of all the teams from SLC. Team Co-Labs definitely thought outside of the box while applying the design thinking model to come up with a thoughtful and innovative solution to a real-world problem,” Derek said. I also want to extend a very special thank you to all of those that helped this process to come to fruition: John Conrad, Director of Innovation and Business Engagement, Sherri Taylor of the User Experience Design program, John Gregory of Opencity Inc., and Candace O’Neill and team from Kingston Home Base Housing.