Testimonial by Connor Loughlean
The first engagement I had with Benjamin was during the inaugural "Catalyst Challenge" which was organized by my team at the Brilliant Catalyst, Ontario Tech's on-campus incubator and experiential learning hub. Benjamin joined the Catalyst Challenge with some of his colleagues to solve issues faced by Canadians living in rural settings, particularly in the areas of talent retention, healthcare, and education. Coming from a rural community himself, Benjamin was able to integrate his unique perspective and lived experiences to shape an inventive idea to tackle the problem of mobility in rural communities. Although Benjamin's team was not chosen was the winners of the Catalyst Challenge, the judges were so impressed with the energy and innovative spirit of Benjamin and his team that they were offered 12-months of incubation with the Brilliant Catalyst. In the months to follow, Benjamin continued to impress the Brilliant Catalyst team with his entrepreneurial spirit, creative perspective, and his ability to inspire those around him.
In November of 2021, the Brilliant Catalyst was approached by a partner organization called "AutoGuardian by SmartCone" with a potential project for our Brilliant Developer Studio program. AutoGuardian was conducting a test of their intelligent crosswalk which utilizes sensors and artificial intelligence to create safer crosswalks for pedestrians, cyclists and the broader community. AutoGuardian approached the Brilliant Catalyst with a project to conduct an analysis of the data and create a summary document to demonstrate the value of the intelligent crosswalk technology. Given their familiarity with intelligent mobility solutions and data analysis, the Brilliant Catalyst recruitd Benjamin and another student from his team to work on the project with AutoGuardian. Over the course of 3 months, Benjmain worked closely with our partners at AutoGuardian to analyze the project data and create a business case to support AutoGuardian's solution to community safety. Benjamin's work on this project is a great example of his ability to implement innovative solutions to improve the lives of others in his community.
Benjamin has been a fantastic member of the Brilliant Catalyst community over the last year and is a great example of the innovation, leadership, and creativity tha can be found from the Students at Ontario Tech University. Benjamin's influence has also stretched beyond Ontario Tech, as he was featured in an interview iwth the CBC about his participation in the Catalyst Challenge. Benjamin is also to be featured in an upcoming story about student innovation, his vision for rural Canada, and the Experience Ventures program, a grant which helped support the Catalyst Challenge.
Overall, Benjamin has been an exemplary member of the Brilliant Catalyst community and is a great representation of the student talent that is coming out of Ontario Tech University.
Written by Connor Loughlean
Manager, Creativity, Brilliant Catalyst at Ontario Tech University