While perusing the howstuffworks.com website in Grade 10, Janelle Hinds stumbled on an article detailing how robots work.
“It was simply amazing and my first thought was that there are so many devices that people need that could solve a problem,” she said. “Physically, the body is made up of brain, muscle and sensory systems along with a power source to trigger the sensors and muscles. A robot has the same features which I find quite fascinating. I knew that I wanted to do something in that field as a career and I started looking at McMaster University to see if they had a program that would actually teach me the skills I needed to build products like that.
A fourth-year biomedical and electrical engineering student at McMaster, Hinds was selected from 630 applicants nationally for The Next 36 fifth cohort. The candidates competed for a spot at the recent annual National Selection Weekend.
“The weekend was one of the most intense experiences in my life,” said Hinds. “I was competing against the best in Canada for a spot in the program and access to the best mentors, professors, networks and capital for entrepreneurial-minded students. We all got to learn important life lessons and reflect upon ourselves. Now the real hard work begins.”
Supported by Canada’s leading entrepreneurs, The Next 36 provides world-class academic instruction, business mentorship and venture building to the country’s most promising business people.
“To be selected is a dream come true and amazing because this is one of the best entrepreneurship programs around,” said Hinds. “So many people do research and end up doing nothing with it. My aim is to figure out how we can take that research and bring it to life. I hope to make an impact in the health care industry by using my skills and the knowledge I acquire from this program.”
Hinds and other candidates will spend the next seven months building their companies with the support of their mentors, a unique academic program and a pool of business investors.
“I am looking to grow a company or join a start-up one dedicated to health care,” said the former Ryerson University research assistant, who has been developing Android and BlackBerry 10 apps for the last two years. “I have an interest in building an educational platform for students to understand the human body and how it works.”