When 31-year-old Jason Deglint was completing his PhD in systems design engineering at University of Waterloo, he decided to tackle a problem that costs an estimated $2 billion in damages and losses in the aquaculture industry: the harmful algae blooms that kill fish.
Deglint dedicated his thesis research to developing a smart, low-cost prototype imaging system to analyze samples in the lab. With support from the Mitacs Accelerate Entrepreneur program, his efforts resulted in the creation of Blue Lion Labs, a new small business based in Waterloo, Ontario.
When your business relies on a natural habitat, your number one priority is protecting it. For John Grace and his family — owners and operators of the world-class Old Post Lodge on Northwestern Ontario’s Lake St. Joseph — conservation has been an important part of the corporate vision from day one.
Buddy is as old as maple syrup, and it’s not friendly. This burned-Tootsie-Roll taste can ruin syrup flavour and is undetectable until sap is processed — far too late for small producers to recoup costs.
The annual cost of buddy, which the Ontario Maple Syrup Producers Association (OMSPA) estimates can reach into the millions, is a lot of liquid gold for small producers who are forced to sell buddy product at highly reduced rates. To avoid the risk, some producers stop production too early in the season, missing the opportunity to make high-quality syrup.
That’s why Jess is on a mission to develop first-of-its-kind active workwear for women, creating an innovative, fire-retardant fabric with stretch that will form the basis for her first clothing line, set to launch in spring 2020 under her textile and clothing start-up, Jess Black Inc. Her target audience is the growing number of women choosing to work in the trades, currently pegged at four percent according to Statistics Canada’s most recent Labour Force Survey, accounting for 34,800 women.
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