A restful idea wins Paul and Tom Kinnear Business Plan Competition

Posted on April 10, 2018

Ushpreet Mehta, Comm'19, part of the Dream Again team.
Ushpreet Mehta, Comm'19, part of the Dream Again team.

Kingston, ON — A student team that aims to solve a vexing problem for people with sleep apnea has won top prize at the annual Paul and Tom Kinnear Business Plan Competition.

The team, called Dream Again, consists of: Ushpreet Mehta, Comm’19; Florian Ntibarigobeka, BComp’17; Emily Gervais, Sc’18; Henry Von Schroeter, Sc’17; and Matthew Bell, HBA’17, Ivey Business School.

Their product helps sleep apnea sufferers rest better at night.

Many with sleep apnea wear CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) masks to bed. But the masks tend to come in generic sizes that are not perfectly fitted to a person’s unique facial structure. As a result, they can leak.

Dream Again’s mask is custom-made for each individual, so it’s leak-free and more comfortable to wear all night. “Our masks pick up every little facial contour,” Ushpreet said.

Obstructive sleep apnea is a sleep disorder in which breathing repeatedly starts and stops. It affects millions of North Americas. Sufferers can experience fatigue, high-blood pressure and can have higher chances of a heart attack.

Ushpreet says her team will put the competition’s $5,000 in prize money toward a 3-D printer and printing materials to further develop their product.

“The competition gives us a chance to focus on really growing our business. We have had unrestricted access to a makerspace facility at Queen’s, but with the school year coming to a close, it affects our access to the lab and the printers we use for prototyping,” she said.

The Paul and Tom Kinnear Business Plan Competition promotes entrepreneurship among Commerce students. It was established in 2008 by Dr. Tom Kinnear, BCom’66, LLD’02. Teams must have at least one Queen’s Commerce student as a member.

The final phase of this year’s competition took place March 29 at Goodes Hall and saw four teams vie for the top prize. The other three finalists were:

Bitscreen, a business-to-business platform that acts as a digital-out-of-home marketplace for advertisers: Jenny Kim, Comm’18; and students from the University of Toronto, University of Calgary and University of Lethbridge.

Lukabox, a device that functions like a traditional pillbox, but has built-in sensors to keep track of prescription medication: Vinson Lee, Comm’20; Matthew Mastromarco, Comm’20; and students from the University of Waterloo and University of New Brunswick.

Student Property Services, a fully licensed property maintenance company: Chris Mackey, Comm’19; and Wesley Mann, Artsci’19.

Submissions were judged by Mike Abramsky, CEO of GuestLogix; David Jackson, BCom’91, president of Hydropool Hot Tubs and Swim Spas; and Elspeth Murray, associate dean of MBA and Masters Programs and director of the Queen’s Centre for Business Venturing.