Entropy Labs had the wonderful opportunity to present a poster at Ryerson's annual Science at the Interface Symposium. This marks a monumental moment in the company's development, as now a minimum viable product has been synthesized and is able to be reproduced. We are now one step closer to patenting our unique process.
While the journey may be long, and have it's ups and downs, we will strive for nothing short of excellence.
It is our pleasure to announce that we are now officially Entropy Labs Inc.
Our national incorporation brings us one step closer to bringing affordable aerogel not just to Canada, but the rest of the world.
Join us in celebrating a major milestone in our journey.
Perhaps we'll even share a piece of cake with you.
Maybe . . .
Two great minds, one powerful substance
Innovative student startup takes shape at the Science Discovery Zone
It’s been a busy year for undergraduate students Mark Zaidi, Biology, and Leslie Capobianco, Biomedical Science – the pair became friends, joined the Science Discovery Zone and started a business called external, Entropy Labs. They have discovered a more economical and sustainable method to produce aerogel – an insulating substance that is three times more expensive (per gram) than gold. Although Entropy Labs is in the research and development phase, they have already won $20,400 in awards and grants to support growth and experimentation.
Aerogel, a silica-based substance, is the third-lightest material ever made and is the world’s best insulator. First developed by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Labs in the 1930s, aerogel is currently used to line rockets, space suits and collect comet dust. Beyond space exploration, Entropy Labs saw numerous applications for the substance, but because cost was a barrier, they set out to harvest their own aerogel at a fraction of the cost.
“After every iteration in the lab, our aerogel is getting more and more transparent – which is evidence of its quality and purity,” said Zaidi. “The cheaper synthesis pathway that we’ve discovered has no carbon footprint, uses minimal energy and has reduced the cost of aerogel from $134 to $2 per gram.”
This past spring, Entropy Labs won a external, Sheldon and Tracy Levy Aspiring Innovators Fellowship, the Undergraduate Interdisciplinary Research Opportunity Grant, the RSU Sustainability Research Grant Award, and the external, G. Raymond Chang – Sheldon Levy Partnership Award for Zone Learning. The funding has been used to continue research and development and patenting, which should wrap-up by the end of summer.
“With the cost of aerogel reduced, there are so many practical usages for the substance – from window insulation to concrete – we’re even talking with hospital researchers about insulating organ transport containers,” said Capobianco. “The Ryerson community and beyond have been incredibly supportive of Entropy Labs, and as more and more ideas transpire, we’re amazed at the positive reaction we received and people’s willingness to discuss opportunities and collaborate.”
Entropy Labs is working with Professor Umberto Berardi, Building Science, to explore how aerogel can improve building materials. They are also receiving support from Bryan Koivisto, professor, Faculty of Science, and director of the Science Discovery Zone. Zaidi and Capobianco hope to connect with other zones, startups, students and faculty throughout the year to tap into Ryerson’s entrepreneurial culture and discover other innovative applications for aerogel.
“At the Science Discovery Zone, we understand that members do not always think of themselves as entrepreneurs, but they have a curiosity to explore, experiment and innovate,” said Koivisto. “The zone encourages teams to take risks, make mistakes and build relationships in order to move their ideas forward. Entropy Labs is one of many success stories at the zone, proving the impact that evidence-based design thinking can have on two motivated students with one really big idea.”
The Science Discovery Zone is part of Ryerson’s zone network. Discover what it takes to create social change, contribute to a big idea or launch a startup with zone learning.
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Entropy Labs does it again with another $5,000 award.
The G. Raymond Chang – Sheldon Levy Partnership Award for Zone Learning recognizes an undergraduate student in their second, third, or fourth year who is a member of one of the Zones at Ryerson University, based on the strength of their innovation—specifically how their Zone project challenges the status quo and creates something better—and encourages them to further their entrepreneurship endeavours.
This brings Entropy Labs' total award funding to $20,400.
Entropy Labs' Mark Zaidi continues to collect honors and monetary awards for the company's research in creating a more affordable and eco-friendly aerogel.
The Ryerson Students' Union Sustainability Research Grant awarded students up for $500 for a research project or initiative that promotes economic, social, and environmental sustainability.
Entropy Labs would like to thank Ryerson University for their continuing support in promoting scientific discovery and innovation.
Entropy Labs's aerogel research has been awarded the Undergraduate Interdisciplinary Research Opportunity Grant through Ryerson University for the summer of 2017.
Co-founder Mark Zaidi will be holding the UIRO grant, working as a full-time Research Assistant under Dr. Bryan Koivisto of the Department of Chemistry and Biology, and Dr. Umberto Berardi of the Department of Building Science and Architecture.
The UIRO Grant was awarded to research that promotes interdisciplinary work among the sciences.
The generous grant will help hasten Entropy Labs bring an affordable aerogel to market, and gain valuable experience in collaborating with other industries.
Mark Zaidi, co-founder of Entropy Labs, took home the top prize in The Sheldon and Tracy Levy Aspiring Innovators Fellows Award on Monday, April 10.
The award was given in partnership with the Brookfield Institution for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, to those in Zone learning with remarkable research.
Mark's pitch was on Entropy Lab's latest project, aerogel, and the company's unique innovations to the NASA-created substance.
A prize of $5,000 was awarded to continuing Entropy Lab's research, making it the first monetary acknowledgement of the important work toward making an affordable aerogel.
Mark will also have access to the Basecamp Program, allowing him to connect with other entrepreneurs and innovators, and foster his talents.