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BEST Startup Experience 2024 brings together students to address UN SDG goals


From March 8-10, more than 200 students took part in the BEST Startup Experience 2024 hosted by Lassonde’s BEST Program. This initiative was designed to foster collaboration and innovation through experiential learning.

Throughout the weekend, 48 teams of students worked on exciting projects aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs). Projects spanned diverse areas of interest and encouraged students to create meaningful change with their solutions.

“The most unexpected aspect of the experience for me was the successful collaboration within my team,” says Muhammad Farhan, a fourth-year mechanical engineering student. “We had varied ideas and approaches, so my ability to communicate effectively and work across disciplines with team members was enhanced.”

Students who took part in this experience can now go on to work with the BEST Concept to Launch Program, where they can receive ongoing support and resources to further develop and implement their projects.

Winning Teams

First Place: Team 11 – EZ Shop

ezship best first place
First-place winning team EZship with Jon Kerr

This team ideated a robotic adjustable mount that connects through a phone app and allows shopping carts to follow customers. The project addresses the physical and emotional challenges that people with mobility restrictions face when going shopping. The team’s device aims to empower people with disabilities and foster a move inclusive world, in alignment with UN SDG 10 – reduced inequality.

Team members: Maaz Siddiqui, Software Engineering; Muhammad Umar Siddiqui, Liberal Arts and Professional Studies; Usama Bashir, Accounting.

“I learned that my technical background in engineering allows me to utilize my creativity to form innovative solutions and solve critical problems that people face every day,” says Siddiqui.

Second place: Team 12 – Modulux in second place

modulux BEST Startup Experience 2024 second place
Second-place team Modulux with Elliot Atkins and Rehber Lookman

This team came up with an idea for homes designed for mass production and quick assembly to increase the supply and affordability of homes for Canadians.

Team members: Reza Mirhadi, Mechanical Engineering; Aryan Rashid, Mechanical Engineering; Nizar Suliman, Mechanical Engineering; Muhammad Farhan, Mechanical Engineering; Mohammad Ebrahimi, Mechanical Engineering

Third Place (tie): Team 108- FinanceBestBros

This team devised an easy-to-use application that can teach young adults about financial decision-making using an Artificial Intelligence (AI) model.

Team members: Aijaisarma Sabaratnasarma, Computer Science; Simon Sanders, Engineering; Mohammad Waliduddin, Software Engineering

Third Place (tie): Team 22 – Opportunest

This team came up with a platform for York University students to monetize their skills/passions with their fellow students and community. This project aims to help students who are facing financial difficulties utilize their creative skills to make an income while studying.

Team members: Salisha Moheed, Engineering; Amanullah Asim, Computer Engineering; Hajar alboeidli, Software Engineering; Umer Sheikh , Software Engineering; Alishah Saeed, Computer Engineering; Nathan Binu Edappily, Software Engineering

best startup exeprience - third place
Third-place teams, FianceBestBros and Opportunest, with Andrew Maxwell, Maedeh Sedaghat, Nicole Arsenault and Serguei Solokhine.

People’s Choice Award: Team 112 – Inturn

This team developed an idea for a platform that accelerates student careers by helping them land internships that are related to their field of study. It features weekly webinars and mentorship sessions, tailored resumes/cover letters and access to a community hub.

Congratulations to all the student participants and all our winning teams! We would also like to express a heartfelt thank you to our esteemed judges Elliot Atkins, Nicole Arsenault, Jon Kerr, and Serguei Solokhine for their guidance as well as our dedicated mentors and support team.

“Embrace challenges, foster collaboration and develop impactful solutions,” says Maedeh Sedaghat manager of the BEST Program. “Student feedback from our cross-disciplinary experiential learning activity echoes the transformative power of cultivating essential skills in empowering students to make positive change while igniting their personal and professional growth.”

BEST startup experience 2024
Lassonde's BEST team

Panel of judges and the BEST Program support team

Finally, would also like to thank our sponsors Summer Fresh and KPM Power for their continuous support and generosity!