By Cecilia Nasmith
Baltimore resident Amy Arthur has won the second Pitch To The Chief competition with her innovative product the Claxon, a hands-free personal-safety device.
Organized in partnership with the Northumberland Community Futures Development Corporation, the Nov. 28 competition offered technology entrepreneurs the chance to pitch their own products and services to Cobourg Police Chief Kai Liu.
The chief was joined in the Innovation Commons of Venture 13 by Cobourg Police Services Board Chair Dean Pepper, Inspector Jeff Sheils and NCFDC board members Pam Russell to hear the pitches.
Each 10-minute presentation included slides and demonstrations, followed by an interactive question-and-answer period. The products on display included IoT sensors, robotics, wearables, and connected and autonomous vehicle infrastructure.
Arthur’s prototype, which she demonstrated during her pitch, was developed in-house at the Venture 13 MakerLab with fellow VentureZone member Alex Papanicolaou of Campbellford, with design input from Northumberland Makers members. The MakerLab is a collaborative prototyping, engineering and microfactory space created in support of startups and makers.
A former Ontario Provincial Police summer intern, Arthur distinguished herself during her work on her bachelor-of-science degree at McMaster University by inventing a novel light-therapy device. She is currently finishing a forensic psychology degree at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology.
In the town's press release, Arthur called herself a problem solver.
“When I see a problem that I know I can solve, I have to face it head on,” she said.
“In the market of personal-safety devices, there is not one all-inclusive product that works for everyone and in all situations. I have taken on the task of solving this issue,” she stated.
“I feel truly honoured to have had the opportunity to present my product idea and prototype to the Chief and his panel. To gain their feedback and commitment for future collaboration will be instrumental to Claxon’s success.”
Chief Liu said they are pleased to have a second Pitch To The Chief session.
“Like the first, these startups were very impressive and came forward with innovative ideas and approaches relevant to policing in the twenty-first century,” he said.
“The Cobourg Police Service is committed to supporting entrepreneurship and innovation, and is proud to bring and continue this event here at Venture13.”
A third Pitch To The Chief competition is planned for the first half of 2019.