TotalPave, led by brothers Coady and Drew Cameron, won the grand prize at the New Brunswick Innovation Foundation Breakthru Competition on March 21, which brought them $100,000 of equity investment plus up to $60,000 in cash, and $32,000 of in-kind assistance from a number of sources. Drew is an MBA student and Coady is an MSE Civil Engineering student, both at UNB Fredericton. TotalPave has developed a smart phone technology that detects when paved roads are in need of repair before potholes start to form.
This represents significant savings to municipalities, commented Calvin Milbury, CEO of NBIF, “There is existing technology out there, but nothing as innovative as this. We thought it was a new, disruptive way of tackling the market.”
TotalPave is currently a team in UNB’s Activator Program, which is offered through the collaboration of the International Business and Entrepreneurship Centre (IBEC) within the faculty of business administration and the Dr. J. Herbert Smith Centre for Technology Management and Entrepreneurship in the faculty of engineering. Students in this program must take a series of business, technology management and entrepreneurship courses that give them the knowledge and skills they need to take a business idea from concept to launch.
The TotalPave team has been using an innovative method called the Lean Launch Pad to refine their vision and technology, and throughout the school year has been testing their prototype with different municipalities and using the feedback to perfect the product so that it will provide users with a more effective tool. This was certainly an advantage for the team during the Breakthru said Milbury.
The third place winner was Black Magic, a team led by Greg Bailey, Stephen Likely and Garrett Nelson, all UNB engineering students. Their product, a non-toxic industrial hand cleaner, brought in $50,000 of investment, plus $27,000 of in-kind assistance.
“The NBIF’s Breakthru Competition is a great opportunity for the commercialization of all the innovative research and student ideas at UNB,” commented Dhirendra Shukla, Chair of the Dr. J. Herbert Smith Centre for Technology Management and Entrepreneurship. “The continuous success of UNB at the Breakthru is a huge endorsement of UNB executing on its strategic objective to provide a transformative student experience and also foster a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship throughout the university.”
Rob Austin, Dean of the faculty of business administration said, “UNB’s success at the Breakthru was a great statement about the benefits of collaboration between the faculty of business administration and the faculty of engineering. I hope we’ll be able to build on this even more in the future.”