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BEST Hosts Intensive Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Young Students

The Bergeron Entrepreneurs in Science and Technology (BEST) program recently ran the fourth annual Youth Science Canada (YSC) -York University STEM Entrepreneurship Bootcamp.

It was run entirely online via web conference and hosted a variety of participants including high school students, incoming Lassonde students and former finalists from past YSC STEM events. This program allowed participating students to meet with fellow entrepreneurs, network with BEST alumni and learn how to develop their science projects into full-fledged business ventures.

The proposed projects were unique and designed around tackling real-world issues ranging from environmental sustainability to public health. Ideas included a low-cost, infrared device to better sort recycled plastics to creating a machine learning-based classification system to identify skin lesions.

“The bootcamp is a great way for us to work with students to demonstrate how innovations in science and technology can be harnessed to solve some of the world’s most pressing challenges,” said Andrew Maxwell, director of the BEST program.

“Opportunities like these help young innovators gain new skills and essential mentorship to grow as entrepreneurs and to learn how to develop their new ventures successfully.”

More about the Bootcamp

The STEM Bootcamp is supported by Rogers and the Ted Rogers Community Grants program and this year’s participants are all recipients of a Ted Rogers Innovation Award.

The list of winning teams:
1. Dermexplore

Team Members: Haarini Suntharalingam, Andrew Pun, Teagan Robinson, Ethan Li, Fahad Faizi

Project Brief: The skin lesions project is the amalgamation of 3 projects focused on improving the accuracy and efficiency of diagnosing skin lesions. They used of a specific biomarker to diagnose melanoma, polarized light to illuminate lesions better, and improving the AI used to detect skin lesions. Although these projects vary in nature, each project served as a different function of a potential device that could enable improved diagnosis. They are creating new ideas that can potentially be a game-changer for the future of skin lesion diagnosis!

2. Infrared Sorting

Team Members: Edward Xiong, Edward Yang and Richard Bai 

Project Brief: The team Infrared Sorting worked on the problem of sorting 7 types of plastics using machine learning to distinguish them in recycling plants. This device will be mounted on a conveyor belt to automatically sort the plastics in their respective categories, saving a lot of unsorted plastics and creating a huge impact on the recycling industry. 

3. Biosurface Treatment

Team Members: Harini Karthik, Selena Ng and Echo Chen

Project Brief: The team Biosurface treatment worked on a method of coating surfaces to reduce drag. This has many applications including use on solar panels, vehicles, and swimsuits. Their design is environmentally-friendly, efficient, and biodegradable! This is a huge advancement in Computational Fluid Dynamics.

All ribbon recipients from the 2020 YSC Online STEM Fair, and the 10 projects participating in the STEM Entrepreneurship Bootcamp, can be viewed at

Read the original YFile article here.