The adapted wiimote, an example of technology developed to assist people live more independently.
Editor’s Note: Heather Boyd-Kinnie is the Program Coordinator of the Pond-Deshpande Centre (PDC) for Innovation and Entrepreneurship and Funding Program Manager. She provides coaching and mentorship for entrepreneurs and develops innovative entrepreneurial programs such as the Innovator’s Jump Start.
Innovation and entrepreneurship might seem like all the buzz lately, but for good reason. They play a significant role in the economy and development of New Brunswick and of the region. At PDC we are focused on working with innovators and entrepreneurs who are dedicated to positive impacts that profoundly affect the lives of others for the better. It is for these reasons that partnering with the Stan Cassidy Foundation was a perfect fit for us.
When I first met Alissa Lee, the Stan Cassidy Foundation’s Executive Director, it was quite clear how passionate she was about the role of the Centre and how every person involved is working to improve the lives of each person they come in contact with. In fact, one of the things that makes the Centre really stand out is how their engineer and therapists custom design and build tools that assist patients to live more independently. It became very apparent to their team that the devices being developed, while originally made for specific individuals, could be either used as-is, or adapted so that many other people could also benefit from them. In other words: commercialization.
This was extremely appealing to us at the PDC. Our goal is to work with innovators and early stage entrepreneurs to test ideas and potential markets to help identify whether or not there is an opportunity to commercialize, and therefore create a sustainable business model. We do this through a number of programs, mentoring support and helping them make the right connections.
"It’s about creating an environment to find the right funding and the right support at the right time."
The Cassidy Clicker – a computer mouse emulator developed
at the Stan Cassidy Centre – is available for purchase on the
The Stan Cassidy Centre and the Stan Cassidy Foundation are doing all the right things in their steps towards commercialization. From having brilliant clinicians and business minds to partnering with organizations like the Institute of Biomedical Engineering and others, they are part of a very robust medical ecosystem, right here in New Brunswick. Each player and partner is an important part contributing to the overall quality of life of people in our region. This really is very exciting and important work.
Because of the passion of the Centre’s staff and their end goal, we felt that they were a great fit for our Catalyst Funding Program which provides $5,000 to assist with determining just what the right business model will be for them. This is very important as the Foundation is seeking a win/win/win business model – novel devices provided to the people who need them at a reasonable cost, increased revenue for the Foundation, that will in turn provide increased grant amounts to the Centre.
We look forward to working with them as they take the next steps in their commercialization journey.
To learn more about our work, the Stan Cassidy Centre for Rehabilitation and the Stan Cassidy Foundation and how you can help, click here.
Funding Program Manager,
PDC Program Coordinator