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By Krista Robinson
Ryerson was paid a visit by royalty at the building from across the pond on Tuesday morning.
Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, spent the first part of his unofficial trip to Canada. He met with the founders of three startup companies at the DMZ.
The third son of Queen Elizabeth II, Edward’s visit — which extends until Saturday — focuses on youth entrepreneurship and the fostering of a culture of innovation.
HelpWear Technologies, the Rumie Initiative and Bionik Laboratories pitched their individual enterprises to Lt.-Gov. Elizabeth Dowdeswell and Ryerson president Sheldon Levy. The companies are all engineered by people under 35.
“It’s great to see that young people are coming up with some fantastic ideas,” said Edward. “This is exactly what this centre is for, to be able to help develop those ideas into something that becomes commercially viable.”
The DMZ is one of the country’s biggest incubators for emerging tech startups. It connects startups with customers, advisers and other entrepreneurs.
André Bertram and Frank Nguyen, grade 12 students from Danforth Collegiate Institute, presented their product, HeartWatch. It is the first independent heart-monitoring system that sends a text message to emergency services when the user is having a heart attack.
“It’s great to be talking to somebody who understands entrepreneurship and has the same kind of passion we do,” said Bertram.