by Bronwyn Oatley ~ 26 Jan 2015
In late December, Charlie Katrycz received word that he’d made it to the semi-final round of the Oxbridge Biotech Roundtable — the largest biotech start-up competition in the world.
His team, the four-person group at Loonskin Labs was one of 35 teams out of 300 that was selected to compete at the semi-final round in San Francisco in February. At that time, they’ll pitch once again, before having a shot at 150k and free lab space should they make it to the final round.
The group is making a wearable garment that has an embedded circulatory system — a product designed to help those who suffer from thermoregulatory challenges — such as those who suffer from diabetes, multiple sclerosis or parkinson’s disease. The product also has the potential for non-health related applications. Katrycz imagines a time when triathletes, skiers, astronauts or scuba divers could heat or cool their bodies faster than mother nature allows.
For Katrycz, this project has been a labour of love that began during his undergraduate studies at McGill University, when he first became fascinated by patterns and fractals in nature. When he moved home to Toronto, he started doing experiments in his parents basement, eventually renovating the space to enable his work.
During his time at Studio Y, Katrycz has worked tirelessly on Loonskin Labs, seeking to explore the many potential uses for the technology he’s developing.
Of the experience working on Loonskin Labs over the past few months Katrycz notes, “Studio Y has provided me with the time, space and the money to do this start-up on my own. Through the program I’ve built my design and business acumen. It would have taken much longer to do this without Studio Y, because I would have had to work to support myself at the same time.”
During his time at Studio Y, Katrycz has also been able to benefit from the support and collaboration with other Fellows in the program. Recognizing their compatible skillsets, Fellow Hilary Predko has gotten involved in Loonskin Labs, leveraging her experience in wearable technology to support the development of the garments.
Join us as we congratulate Charlie on this accomplishment and support him as he continues to build Loonskin Labs!
Find out more on the MaRS website!