UW students win Ignition Pitch

Two tech startups spawned at uWaterloo win $1,000 each at the Ignition Pitch competition, held recently at Conestoga College. After giving a 90-second explanation of their business to the panel, WordBridge and Nalion Technologies came out on top of the field of 52 competitors, along with Conestoga student Gerald Reinink who won for an idea for a flooring product made with reclaimed wood. WordBridge, which emerged from UW incubator VeloCity, develops foreign-language translation software for smartphones. The software can translate words in a picture, and will be able to work in 30 languages, according to Niall Wingham, the UW student who pitched for the startup, allowing users to take a photo of words and have them “read” back in the language of their choosing. Balinder Ahluwalia made the pitch for Nalion Technologies, which is comprised of students in UW’s Masters of Business, Entrepreneurship and Technology program. Nalion hopes to market a revolutionary battery developed in the labs of UW chemistry professor Linda Nazar. The battery uses materials less costly and more readily available than the cobalt currently found in lithium batteries. Ignition Pitch is a preliminary challenge leading to the annual LaunchPad $50K Venture Competition, open to student entrepreneurs from Conestoga College, University of Guelph, uWaterloo, Wilfrid Laurier University and McMaster.

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