Queen's Innovation Centre

Dunin-Deshpande Queen's Innovation Centre
Dunin-Deshpande Queen's Innovation Centre

Spectra Plasmonics takes home top prize at Lee Kuan Yew Global Business Plan Competition

Spectra Plasmonics wins $125,000 in cash, $100,000 in venture capitalist funding and tens of thousands of dollars of in-kind services including corporate, legal and marketing services

Spectra Plasmonics (L-R): Yusuf Ahmed, Malcolm Eade, Christian Baldwin, Tyler Whitney, Ryan Picard. Photo courtesy of James McLellan.

Imagine starting your summer in a business basics bootcamp without a team or business idea, then five months later, winning a prestigious international business plan competition. That is exactly what happened for Spectra Plasmonics, a 2017 QICSI startup comprised of Yusuf Ahmed, Christian Baldwin, Malcolm Eade, Ryan Picard and Tyler Whitney this summer.

Spectra Plasmonics were one of 36 ventures chosen for the Lee Kuan Yew Global Business Plan Competition who were flown to Singapore to compete from an initial 550 applicants from over 300 universities in 68 countries. Following a semi-final round, six teams moved onto the final round. Presenting to a panel of five judges at the Singapore Management University School of Law that included Michael Seibel, CEO of Y Combinator (a leading startup incubator and accelerator in the US), Spectra Plasmonics was named top team in the competition.

Using chip technology invented jointly by Ph.D./MD student Hannah Dies, Dr. Aristides Docoslis, and Dr. Carlos Escobedo and with continuing help from Ph.D. student Josh Raveendran (all from the Chemical Engineering department at Queen’s), Spectra Plasmonics will develop and sell the chip, which can detect trace substances more quickly, accurately and at lower detection levels than current technology available in the market today. The device has applications in the food safety, law enforcement and forensic industries.

The Dunin-Deshpande Queen’s Innovation Centre (DDQIC) is pleased to support and be part of the Spectra Plasmonics journey. Bringing together a multidisciplinary team of entrepreneurial students through the Foundry program initiative of DDQIC, world-class research and the Office of Partnerships and Innovation (VP Research and Innovation), Spectra Plasmonics is a great example of how successful the university can be when teams across Queen’s come together.