|June 19, 2015|
Student entrepreneur competes in France
Bioinformatics student Travis Clements-Khan traveled to the South of France this summer, but he wasn't on vacation. As the winner of the EuroPITCH2015 competition, he was busy developing a new entrepreneurial venture called allerZEN.
Travis has been working with Seneca's HELIX — an entrepreneurial incubator for students and community youth — and won the trip to the European Innovation Academy based on an idea for a social platform for food allergy sufferers. Upon arriving at the Academy, he joined more than 600 students from 65 countries to further develop his business. He worked alongside participants from universities such as Stanford, Oxford, Berkeley and Cambridge. Seneca was the only Canadian college participating.
He formed a team with students from Italy, England, Japan and the United States. Together, they further developed his idea to include an app that allows barcodes to be scanned from food items to alert users of allergens. The app would also include restaurant reviews and find restaurants that offer allery-free dishes.
They competed with 80 teams and placed in the top 15.
Travis joined HELIX last fall and first presented and idea to create a diagnostic tool used to detect the presence of allergens in food products at Startup Weekend York Region co-hosted with Seneca HELIX and partner ventureLAB. His team won and continued to develop the idea with the support HELIX and mentors at ventureLab.