Student wins $25,000 for developing anti-theft retail technology
May 25, 2012
Two Ryerson companies came up big winners at the Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) Discovery 12 conference last week.
Peytec, a Digital Media Zone company, won $25,000 in the Experiential Learning Competition and EidoSearch won $100,000 in the Backbone/Alpha Exchange Innovation Campaign contest. The contests are aimed at finding inspired Canadian technology ideas and helping entrepreneurs bring them to the marketplace.
Peytec co-founder, biomedical engineering student Peyman Moeini received the grand prize along with co-founder and CEO Alireza Moeini and Ted Rogers School of Management alumnus Taras Koulik, Peytec’s chief developing officer. Electrical and computer engineering professor Xiao-Ping Zhang accepted the $100,000 prize with his EidoSearch team.
The Experiential Learning Competition grew out of OCE’s Experiential Learning Program, which supports Ontario post-secondary institutions to manage and grow established project- and experience-based programs for young entrepreneurs that will accelerate and further enhance the quality of new ventures and industry collaborations arising from Ontario academic institutions.
Peytec has developed an innovative patent-pending RFID technology called Tamper-Aware RFID (TA-RFID) that is able to detect physical tampering and is integrated into a full retail security system response. The technology’s primary aim is to reduce theft. As part of the competition, Moeini had to present his business plan to a panel of judges, including a question and answer segment. Moeini says there’s no way to prepare for these types of competitions since questions can go either way, focusing on the product’s technology or business side of it.
“The key to winning competitions is to fully know your industry and your product,” Moeini said.
Moeini came up with the idea of a wireless-based solution for the retail industry after chatting with a friend who worked in retail. His friend said the store had a high shrinkage rate so Moeini started researching how to reduce retail theft. The $25,000 will be used for more research and development to accelerate commercialization.
“Ryerson, President Sheldon Levy and the DMZ are to be thanked for their constant support, guidance and advice in getting our product developed,” Moeini said.
Peytec was one of eight finalists to be shortlisted and one of three winners to receive the grand prize.
EidoSearch was the only winner out of 10 finalists to secure the $100,000 win. A Ryerson company based on technology developed by Zhang, EidoSearch develops and markets innovative financial analytical software. It’s an intuitive search platform that allows financial professionals to use example patterns (e.g., rising housing starts, spiking volatility, cyclical stock prices) as a query to perform sophisticated financial research with speed and flexibility, revealing profitable trade and investment opportunities in a fraction of the time of traditional data programming.
Ryerson’s presence at OCE Discovery 12 was strong this year. In addition to the competition winners, the Digital Media Zone had five booths at the trade show along and six Ryerson researchers and the Centre for Urban Energy showcased their projects.