I help people manage their wellness and performance with wearable devices that support good posture and optimal breathing.
Before I started at UBC, I was torn between going to Sauder School of Business and UBC Engineering. I chose engineering because I always like working with tangible things that I can touch and feel.
During my time there, I tested the waters in a number of different roles. I did an internship at Volkswagen and another one at an oil and gas company. But something was missing. I felt that I had to bend over backwards to fit into the culture of a big corporation. I knew I wanted to do something different.
At the same time, I found myself struggling with the stress of university. I felt like I couldn’t come up for air, and I was looking for something to help me. That’s when I found yoga.
I felt lighter even after the first class, and it became an anchor in my life. Yoga has changed my life so much that I became a teacher to share the practice.
I tried to take the two most important aspects of yoga, awareness of breathing and postural alignment, and carry them with me throughout the day – not just while I was on my mat.
But, like for most people, it was impossible. When you are sitting in front of a computer focusing on your work for long periods of time or rushing from A to B between work and life, it is easy to slip into bad habits. I needed a coach.
So, I bought a bunch of sensors to attach to my clothing to remind me when I wasn’t breathing right – a personal engineering project for my own well-being.
But then, when I attended start-up weekend at UBC at the end of 2015, I was surprised to see that a number of people were interested in working on this with me. We quickly came up with an IOT prototype for presentation in 55 hours. I was even more surprised when we presented and won first place!
Since then, it has been a whirlwind of adventure starting up a company to bring smart apparel with a wellness-focused perspective to market. Our start-up pitch won the $3,000 first prize at the Pacific Venture Capital Competition in Vancouver and the $10,000 third prize at the Canada Business Model Competition in Halifax. Currently we are developing and iterating our product for crowdfunding and manufacturing at the very competitive HAX hardware accelerator program.