UBC Innovation Grant Awarded to D.I Self-Composite Alloys Inc.

UBC Innovation Grant Awarded to D.I Self-Composite Alloys Inc.


Vancouver, B.C, Jun. 14, 2021 – The pioneering metal technology being developed by D.I. Self-Composite Alloys Inc., a Vancouver based startup in incubation both at Empowered Startups and [email protected], offers the potential to create lighter and tougher metal components and assemblies.

D.I. Self-Composite Alloys Inc. is founded by David Funes Rojas and Stefano Fregonese, both Mechanical Engineering Ph.D. candidates at UBC, and recent recipients of a $10,000 Innovation grant from UBC. This grant provides crucial support D.I. Self-Composite Alloys Inc. requires to realize their true innovation potential as it will fund continued research and the completion of mechanical tests on the primary self-composite alloy samples under development.

“We are proud to announce this important progress of our venture. Thanks to the funds received we will be able to complete an important milestone for our venture, the proof of concept of our self-composite alloys.” said Stefano Fregonese (Director at D.I. Self-Composite Alloys Inc.)

The additional funding will allow Rojas and Fregonese to complete the mechanical testing, and prove their thesis: ‘heterogeneous materials can be designed and manufactured using cold-spray additive manufacturing.’ Once proven, this mechanical testing will be a critical step of their innovation journey as the team believes heterogeneous materials have great potential that is yet to be explored and utilized. Heterogeneous materials allow for the combination of mutually exclusive properties in one material; for example an end product with a higher strength and increased pliability. Ultimately, this translates into lighter, safer, and more reliable materials.

About D.I. Self-Composite Alloys Inc.

D.I. Self-Composite Alloys Inc. develops, designs and manufactures self-composite alloys – highly optimized alloys with heterogeneous structure, designed and built from the microscopic level. They are developing a designing framework free from traditional constraints and assumptions. Their manufacturing approach is an innovative improvement based on thermal spraying additive manufacturing. The venture is focused on scalability, automation, and minimizing waste and energy consumption.

Disruptive Innovation Self-Compositing Alloys Inc

Contact Information

DI-Self Composite Alloys Inc.
Stefano Fregonese – Director
Email:              [email protected]
Phone: +1 778-251-2087

Website: https://www.diselfcompositealloys.com/

Photo Credit

Brett Sayles

Square Solar – Making solar energy accessible for everyone, anywhere

Square Solar – Making solar energy accessible for everyone, anywhere

Square Solar’s innovative modular solar tiles allow customers to build their own customized solar power system without high initial investments and complex installation.


Vancouver, B.C, June 9th, 2021 – The reaction to the pre-sales offer of Square Solar’s modular tile system has been overwhelmingly positive and in response the company is actively deploying the next R&D phase to meet the goal of shipping first products in the beginning of 2022.The company also plans to respond to the increasing demand by accelerating the product launch with a Kickstarter campaign by the end of the year.


Square Solar panels on an RV

Renewable energy is definitely here to stay. However, today’s solar power solutions are either space-consuming, expensive and difficult to install, or mainly focused on limited use scenarios. Square solar is a game-changer by making solar energy accessible to everyone and drastically lowering adoption barriers. The modular system allows people to build a customized solution according to their needs. It requires little space, can easily be installed on various surfaces of any size, and comes at an affordable price. The customer-centric, puzzle-like approach allows users to install the standardized tiles by themselves, saving them the hassle of hiring professionals for otherwise complex and expensive installation.


Square Solar panels on an RV.

“The solar tile is much smaller than tradition panels; it actually breaks the limitation on installation of existing solar panel”

— Kasey Chui

The product itself will be launched with a purchasable starter set of 26 tiles, however users can expand the system easily by purchasing additional tiles. A set of 26 solar tiles produces a maximum wattage of 120W, which is enough energy to power a laptop for a whole day. At less than 7″ x 7″ per time, Square Solar tiles are the most compact option available on the market. Its size and the strong suction cups allow users to install them onto limited or irregular spaces like balconies, windows or an RV roof. The hybrid plug also makes the use of the system simple and convenient. Square Solar also has more in the pipeline as it plans to add an innovative, stackable battery and monitoring software which will help support larger commercial setups in the future.


Square Solar panels backside

About Square Solar Inc.

Founded by Brigham Young University alumnus Derek Yu, Square Solar, Inc. aims to make clean, renewable energy more accessible to the public with a unique modularized system that can be configured in multiple ways whether at home or on the go.

Square Solar, Inc.’s innovative tile technology provides users with plenty of power and peace of mind. The solar tiles connect seamlessly with each other without extra wires, making them more stable than existing products. Equipped with converter modules, devices like LED lights, fans, and televisions can now also run on solar energy.

Moreover, this system is the first DIY model available in the market, eliminating the hassle and cost of installation.

With Square Solar, Inc., going green is easy— one tile at a time.

Square Solar

Contact Information

Derek Yu – Founder & CEO
Email:              [email protected]

Address:    7433 Humphries Ave,
Burnaby, BC V3N 1B1, Canada

Website: https://www.squaresolarinc.com/
Facebook: Join us on Facebook

V-Train Technologies Inc. announces milestone partnership to develop first VR curriculum for ethics and compliance

V-Train Technologies Inc. announces milestone partnership to develop first VR curriculum for ethics and compliance

Vancouver, B.C. V-Train Technologies Inc. is pleased to announce its international partnership with Singapore Financial Crime Compliance Association (SFCCA) to develop the first curriculum in its immersive compliance and ethics training (CET) program. Current CET practices in the financial services industry rely on passive learning experiences or box ticking online modules that are costly to deliver over a globally dispersed workforce, result in poor information retention, and do not deliver on insightful learning experiences and behavioural change. V-Trian seeks to revolutionize skill development through immersive learning experiences delivered through virtual reality (VR).

Partnership a collaboration of subject matter and technical expertise

V-TRAIN is excited to work in partnership with SFCAA on the initial “proof of concept” scenario in the field of Financial Crime Compliance (FCC). The scenario construction will cover a scripted interactive anti-money laundering simulation that will highlight prospective issues faced by front office relationship managers in private banking, also applicable to commercial banks and other financial institutions, in handling new client onboarding transactions or existing client transactions.

SFCCA is a compliance training firm experienced in delivering training to the global financial services industry. The primary content creator and founder, Dr Rohan Bedi, specializes in financial services compliance and has worked for over 25 years in the field, at firms including Euromoney Learning, Coutts Private Bank, JP Morgan and Bank of America.

“We were looking for a global perspective in addressing compliance and ethics issues in the financial services industry and we couldn’t be happier to find a partner in SFCCA that has that expertise in FCC training. We have some terrific Canadian technology partners lined up that we are going to be announcing shortly and over the next 6-months V-Train will have a proof of concept that will demonstrate how virtual reality can be used to create immersive learning experiences that can provide exponentially better outcomes for the end user. The partnership with SFCCA is a critical first piece.”

— Ranjeet Sibia, CEO of V-Train Technologies Inc.

The scenario developed in this partnership will then be converted into an interactive and immersive VR module, where employees in the financial services industry will get near real-word experience and feedback on the compliance and ethics challenges that they face while working in the industry.

Immersive learning experiences a game changer for financial services industry

Compliance and ethics are not easy to teach or learn. Textbooks, lectures, or multiple-choice questions do not convey the emotions, pressure, and implications that employees experience when faced with ethical dilemmas in their jobs. While some employees find compliance material dry and difficult information to retain. We can improve employee retention and decision making when faced with relevant situations by simulating scenarios employees are likely to face on the job using immersive technology and gamification.

“VR is the future of training and V-TRAIN is at the forefront of bringing these solutions to FCC training. SFCCA has always been interested in exploring next generation technologies that captivate user attention. V-TRAIN seeks to achieve precisely this through its focus on VR driven interactivity that creates strong user engagement and an “ownership” mindset. We are honoured to partner with V-TRAIN to achieve this evolutionary transformation as their content partner for this very important proof of concept.”

— Dr. Rohan Bedi, Executive Director of SFCCA

By developing employees and future leaders in the financial services industry using immersive technologies, firms will not only be able to protect themselves from compliance and ethics breaches and fines but also draw on employee “ownership mindset” as an organizational strength.

About V-Train Technologies Inc.

V-Train Technologies Inc, founded in 2020, is an innovator in delivering immersive training experiences for the global financial services industry. We ensure that the global financial services industry is a key pillar of growing economies by creating effective ethics and compliance training that use the latest in immersive technologies such as VR.

V-Train Logo

Contact Information

Ranjeet Sibia – CEO
Email:              [email protected]

Address:    420-744 West Hastings Street
Vancouver, BC, V6C 1A5, Canada

Website: https://v-train.co/
LinkedIn: V-Train LinkedIn

Innovative Wave Technology Supported by Mitacs Accelerate Program

Innovative Wave Technology Supported by Mitacs Accelerate Program


Vancouver, BC, April 20, 2021 — Oceanergy Technologies Ltd., a startup in incubation at Empowered Startups, has secured significant funding through Mitacs to support increased R&D efforts at SFU’s electromechanics Lab. The two-year project will design and validate proof of concepts to build technology components for basic Wave Energy Conversion (WEC) technology subsystem devices. The project’s goal is to bring significant technical improvements to WEC devices such that they become desirable to the market by making tidal energy affordable and accessible.

Undiscovered Opportunity

Research shows that Wave Energy Conversion devices (WEC) have the lowest contribution levels to CO2 global emissions compared to other energy generation devices [1]. Together with wind turbines, WEC presents a future solution for minimizing CO2 emissions while also keeping up with the global ever-growing energy demand.

Research is currently being done worldwide to figure out how to harness the abundance of available energy generated naturally by water waves, however a significant lack of innovation in ways to efficiently harness wave/tidal technology still exists. This venture’s ultimate goal is to align the cost of harnessing tidal energy with current wind/solar Levelized Cost of energy (LCOE) and this will be accomplished by bringing to market significant technical improvements and innovations that will make tidal energy more easily harnessed.

In 2019, only 10MW of energy was produced from ocean energy compared to a total of 2.1TW which is consumed worldwide [1]. This showcases the untapped potential that remains in the tidal/wave energy market. Currently, the high cost of harnessing wave energy drives up the price of such energy, leading to very high costs which is the biggest obstacle currently facing tidal/wave energy usage. The current Levelized Cost of Energy (LCOE) in tidal energy is around $0.25-$0.47/kWh, while wind energy and solar energy range from $0.04-$0.22/kWh to $0.06-$0.25/kWh respectively.

Figure 2: An illustration of how the system works - Mitacs application document

Figure 2: An illustration of how the system works – Mitacs application document

Mitac’s Support On Technology Development

The discussed Mitacs award has been granted to cover the direct costs of a feasibility Study of Wave Energy Conversion with Grid Connectivity. Dr. Mehrdad Moallem will oversee the project at Simon Fraser University, School of Mechatronic Systems Engineering, with two interns comprising the research team. Wave power is an untapped source of energy with great potential. Technological advances are needed to harness this enormous source of energy in the most efficient and economical manner. This project is a step  toward that goal,” says Dr Moallem.

About Oceanergy Technologies Ltd.

Oceanergy Technologies Ltd. is a startup enterprise that aims to advance the state of Wave Energy Conversion devices (WEC), which could be a significant contributor to delivering sustainable global energy to consumers. As stated by founder and CEO Dzung Hoang, “Our goal is to make contributions to bring DOWN greenhouse gas effects by developing economically competitive technology to harness the vast potential of wave/tidal energy.”

Contact Information

Oceanergy Technologies Ltd.
Dzung Hoang – CEO
Email:              [email protected]

Address:    420-744 West Hastings Street
Vancouver, BC, V6C 1A5, Canada


[1] V. Poenaru et al 2019 J. Phys.: Conf. Ser. 1297 012028, Journal of Physics, Conference series

Photo Credit

Daniel Torobekov Pexels

Dream Cantec’s DREAM Device Enters Testing Phase

Dream Cantec’s DREAM Device Enters Testing Phase


Vancouver, B.C, Apr. 9, 2021 – Dream Cantec Systems Inc. (DCS) is pleased to report that its collaborative research project with Simon Fraser University’s School of Mechatronics Systems Engineering has completed the test product for its DREAM device and will begin user testing. This is another major milestone in DCS’s journey to optimize sleep quality so that people feel well rested and live a full life.

DREAM Test Product Completed

The partnership between Dream Cantec Systems Inc. and SFU to develop the test product has been very much a team effort. DCS has focused on providing insights on end user experience, market research, and business model validation while the SFU team has provided technical expertise in product development.

“The completion of the test product and market research has marked one of the most important milestones for our product development. Our team has shown great commitment during the pandemic to actualize the goal of making a smarter room for better sleep. “

— Tuyen Do Nang, CEO of Dream Cantec Systems Inc.

The research team’s focus has been on developing a device that monitors user sleep quality and the sleep environment without interfering with sleep. We have been able to develop a convenient product that requires minimal setup and interaction so that the user can focus on getting to sleep. As we go through user testing, we will continue to optimize the overall design and sleep quality measurement.

Focus Shifts to User Testing

With the DREAM test product completed, we can now begin a phase of data collection and user testing to verify the reliability of sleep data and optimize for user comfort. A lot of the decisions in our development have been based on the tradeoffs between user comfort and reliability of data and by obtaining natural sleep data, we will understand how close we are to commercializing a revolutionary product that will enable people to create an optimized sleep environment.

Integration of data is the future of optimized living

Current consumer devices focus solely on either user sleep patterns or the sleep environment [1]. Dream Cantec’s DREAM device is the first to collect data from both to provide enhanced insights on how to create a unique sleep environment optimized for the user.

Depending on our bodies and upbringing, we are uniquely affected by different elements of the sleep environment such as light, sound, and temperature [2]. By analyzing sleep quality conveniently through a non-invasive method and relating it to the user’s bedroom environment, we can communicate how much sleep users need each night and how to optimize their bedroom for a better sleep. For example, a user can adjust the temperature or incorporate either noise or light therapy to help them fall asleep quicker for more rest each night.

“Sleep is an important part of human life and many people undervalue its importance. Technology has made assessing our health available to the public and as it continues to advance, it will only become better. This will lead to more awareness of one’s health needs so people can live a more engaging and active life while awake.”

— Dominic Jaworski, PhD Candidate, SFU School of Mechatronic Systems Engineering

Over the long term, Dream Cantec’s DREAM device will be one of a suite of integrated internet of things (IoT) solutions that users can use to monitor their health and live full lives.

About Dream Cantec Systems Inc.

Dream Cantec Systems Inc is focused on optimizing sleep quality so people can feel well rested and live a full life. As daily life becomes busier with work and hobbies, people are making less time for sleep and this could lead to unproductive days and health issues from not enough restful sleep. Dream Cantec Inc. is focused on using IoT technology to help people track their sleeping patterns and bring users a smarter bedroom for better sleep.

Dream CanTech

Contact Information

Tuyen Do Nang – CEO
Email:              [email protected]

Address:    420-744 West Hastings Street
Vancouver, BC, V6C 1A5, Canada

Website: https://www.dreamcantec.com/


[1] Sleep Gadgets.io, “Sleep Gadgets Product Guides”, Sleep Gadgets, https://sleepgadgets.io/product-guides/, Accessed April 2021.

[2] Healthwise Staff, “Sleep and Your Body Clock”, Healthlink BC, https://www.healthlinkbc.ca/health-topics/uz2304, May 28, 2019.

Photo Credit

Ketut Subiyanto from Pexels

Grow microgreens, leafy greens, and mushrooms at home with close to zero effort

Grow microgreens, leafy greens, and mushrooms at home with close to zero effort

No green thumb or balcony needed for Tek and Grow’s Smart In-Home garden that makes gardening in urban areas simple and convenient.

Vancouver, B.C, March 10, 2021, Tek and Grow launched its Smart In-Home Garden in December and already has a growing number of pre-sales. Customers are located all over the globe living in major cities within the U.S, Canada, Australia, Singapore, and Vietnam.

The trend of rapid urbanization creates more and more densely populated cities where space for gardening is hard to find. The UN predicts that over 68 percent of the world’s population will live in urban areas by 2050, with approximately 2.5 billion people living in cities (UN, 2018). In the U.S. and Canada, millions of people live in apartments and condominiums with limited gardening space. Urban planners and agricultural leaders have argued that with the growing population, increasing pollution, and rising food prices, cities need to produce food locally (Kheir Al-Kodmany, 2018). Vertical farming is one solution that will help society adjust to urbanization.

“Households in busy cities often have less time and space for gardening. Tek and Grow Smart In-Home Gardens will supply fresh and nutritious vegetables and mushrooms from “farm to table”. My company is able to offer a solution that uses less time, less space, and little to no effort at an efficient cost”

— Phong Thanh Thai, Founder

Tek and Grow has developed an affordable and fully automated garden system that make it effortless to grow plants 365 days a year, even in the busiest urban households. Watering, lighting, and nutrients are all auto-regulated, so all owners have to do is collect the fresh and nutritious harvest when it is ready. Input costs are low since the system is not dependent on smart-soil. Tek and Grow gardens are also suitable for growing cordyceps militaris, a popular mushroom that is often used in Asian dishes. There is currently no other solution on the market that is able to cultivate cordyceps militaris.

The reaction to the pre-sales offer of Tek and Grow’s convenient indoor garden has been overwhelmingly positive. In response to this high demand, Tek and Grow is actively hastening the final R&D phase of the product as to ship its first Smart In-Home Gardens in January 2022.

“I like the design concept of the garden. Besides its utilitarian functions, Tek and Grow’s Smart In-Home Gardens are also environmentally friendly and easy to operate at home according to the technical specifications posted on the website. I am looking forward to it in 2022!”

— Kai-Dong Zhang, Customer

About TT Vancouver Tek and Grow Inc.

Founded in 2019, TT Vancouver Tek and Grow Inc. is focusing on developing Smart In-Home Gardens, which allow busy urban households to grow their favourite fresh and nutritious green and mushrooms in the comfort of their own home with little to no effort.

Tek and Grow Logo

Contact Information

Phong Thanh Thai – Founder & CEO
Email:              [email protected]

Address:    420-744 West Hastings Street
Vancouver, BC, V6C 1A5, Canada

Website: https://www.tekandgrow.ca/