Design for Startups

Fall 2023

Over the course of 12 weeks, ten student designers will work directly with the technical and business leads of nine companies to explore and develop a new methodology for connecting design to Internet startups as part of Design for Startups.

Student designers will consider existing design gaps, perform user interface/usability studies, and develop design strategies for the companies in residence.

Fall 2023 company-student partnerships are:


A&K Robotics is an autonomous micro mobility company, based in Vancouver. It designs electric micro mobility platforms and self-driving robots to help improve quality of life and positively impact the environment. Its autonomous robots empower people with limited mobility to travel and navigate long distances in places such as airports, malls and museums. Its unique platform is environmentally friendly and designed with diversity in mind.

Joshita (Jo) Nagaraj and Jocelyn Qiao will work with A&K Robotics.


Adwow gives small-and-medium-sized businesses the creative firepower of a world-class advertising agency at a fraction of the cost.

Diego Hernandez will work with Adwow.

Analytic Labs – We help retailers solve their data problems. Using our Eclipse software platform, and our experienced team, we line up retailers Finance, Sales and Inventory team’s data to accelerate help all stakeholders pull in the same direction.

Sadaf Asl Soleimani will work with Analytic Labs.


Appara is a platform with Corporate, Real Estate, and Estate Planning specific productivity solutions. We are the only product on the market that allows you to simultaneously complete complex work that spans all of these practice areas.

Lody Gwon will work with Appara.


Minivillage is on a mission to create the best experience platform for property managers, renters and residents across Canada. We serve affordable housing, co-op, strata, market housing, and municipalities. Minivillage empowers building operators to increase property value through community engagement. Our innovative solution optimizes tenant experience, streamlines communication, and drives long-term value creation. We connect tenants and operators in multi-unit buildings across Canada.

Neha Adinamozhi will work with Minivillage.


Panevo develops innovative software to minimize energy consumption, reduce cost and enhance performance of industrial facilities.

Liyang Zha will work with Panevo.

Simplebooklet convert marketing collateral into interactive, digitally distributable content.

Stuti Gulati will work with Simplebooklet.


Tickit Health is an innovative and profitable firm, transforming healthcare communication through Digital Empathy. Our solution focuses on increasing response rates, enhancing data quality, and streamlining clinical workflows for better patient care. As the mental health software market is projected to grow from $4.5B to $18.3B by 2030, Tickit Health empowers organizations to offer essential mental health support alongside physical health services.

Violet Zhang will work with Tickit Health.


Withe is an on-demand video interview and virtual hiring event platform designed to be the fastest way to connect qualified candidates with volume-hiring teams. We make it simple for hiring teams to create and host virtual hiring events at scale and share them with prospective candidates—all the hiring team has to do is show up to interview. Withe does all the work, including qualification, scheduling, facilitating, queueing, and hosting video interviews with candidates.

Faizaan Siddiqui will work with Withe.


This project is generously supported by the National Research Council of Canada’s Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC-IRAP) Fall 2022 – Spring 2024.