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Innowind and E-Girl win 2022 Slaight New Venture Competition

April 28, 2022
A teal logo from Innowind Energy Solutions and a purple logo from E-Girl

A company that is designing an airborne wind turbine system and a fast-growing online community server have won $25,000 each in the 20th annual Slaight New Venture Competition at the Ted Rogers School of Management.

For two decades, the Slaight New Venture Competition (external link)  at the Ted Rogers School, generously supported by the Slaight Communications Inc., has fostered student entrepreneurship by awarding a $25,000 prize of startup seed money to a Ted Rogers School student. This increased in recent years to two $25,000 prizes – one for a startup led by a student founder who identifies as female and one for a student founder who identifies as male – to encourage more females to participate. 

The competition, hosted by Enactus TMU (external link, opens in new window)  and Dr. Sean Wise (Associate Professor, Entrepreneurship & Strategy, Ted Rogers School), was held over Zoom. The six finalists (three male-led and three female-led ventures) made their presentations virtually to judges on April 7, 2022.

“For the 20th year in a row, the student entrepreneurs of the Ted Rogers School have shined bright,” says Dr. Wise. “Thanks to the Slaight Foundation, two of them will receive an injection of $25,000 to propel their venture forward.”

“Every year, this competition crystallizes many more student ventures than those that win,” he adds.  “The Slaight New Venture Competitions force students to demonstrate the traction of their opportunity. We are ever grateful to the Slaight Family for this tremendous opportunity.”  

The 2022 Slaight New Venture Competition winners are Hasan Kazmi (Law & Business) for Innowind (external link, opens in new window) , an energy solutions company, and Fiona Sun (Entrepreneurship & Strategy) for E-Girl (external link, opens in new window) , an innovative community server. 

“For the past two decades, it's been rewarding to support more than 30 student innovators through the Slaight New Venture Competition started by my father, Allan Slaight,” said Gary Slaight, President & CEO, Slaight Communications Inc. “His belief in what young people could accomplish with some initial support, continues to inspire many students today. This year’s competition winners, Innowind and E-Girl, reflect that same dedication – evident in their pursuits and progress in making their ventures a viable career path.” 


As Hasan Kazmi and childhood best friend Rafat Jami, a Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering student, progressed in their academic and professional careers, they realized how privileged they were having come so far. They decided to apply everything they learned in their respective fields to tackle one of the biggest problems of their generation: climate change.

One issue is that many on-reserve, rural, Northern and remote communities were still generating their power using diesel powered generators, and the renewable technologies available on the market weren’t adequate solutions for continuous power generation. They had a costly LSA environmental footprint and weren’t financially cost effective. 

Kazmi and Jami’s company, Innowind, is designing an airborne wind turbine system, the SMART Glider. This technology harnesses the power of the wind and generates electricity without the typical drawbacks of classical wind turbines, such as intermittent, high cost and low energy output. The pair’s goal is to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions in these areas by providing a dependable renewable energy source that helps rural and Indigenous communities transition away from diesel generators.

“Winning the Slaight New Venture Competition is all about making a positive impact in my community and giving back to the people that made us,” explains Kazmi. “This competition has given us the platform and the finances to support local students and artists looking for experience and employment opportunities through our venture. The $25,000 takes us one step closer to creating a technology that will revolutionize renewable energy generation and create a positive impact for our community and future generations.”

Kazmi was a finalist in last year’s Slaight New Venture Competition, but admits that he had a bad pitch. He says, however, that he learned from his mistakes, the competitors and the winners. “My team motivated me, and I worked hard all year challenging my weaknesses and competed again. Regardless of the win, I was happy with my improved pitch,” he explains. 


EParty is a business venture started by Fiona Sun and Adis Aganbegovic. Their company’s primary focus is to utilize as a platform because they believe it has great potential to easily gain a large user base for potential customers. Discord is a voice, video and text communication service used by over a hundred million people to hang out and talk with their friends and communities. The pair plans to create the most active and safe community server on Discord called E-Girl. as a social platform utilizes user-created servers, and larger servers are called community servers that have a wide reach to audiences. Sun and Aganbegovic focused on creating a large and attractive Discord community server because they believe Discord is an up-and-coming platform with a larger than average active audience due to the COVID pandemic. With this in mind, the community server for E-Girl was built and can be found at (external link, opens in new window) . The server has gained a significant amount of traction on the platform with 17,000 users in just five months and with minimal investment.

The large number of users on the community server allows EParty to garner revenue methods through having a large audience. Advertisements are allowed to other Discord servers and large corporations such as Nord VPN. has an upcoming update implementing a paid membership system to all Discord servers that allow users to pay a specified amount monthly for a special role. These revenue methods allow EParty to reinvest into more advertisements, enabling even further growth.

“We believe the most important part of competing in the Slaight New Venture Competition was thoroughly explaining our idea to the judges, as this is a niche business revolving around Discord servers,” says Sun. “An essential component was explaining the current traction we currently have on the platform, and potential for growth and profitability. Currently, the win will give us a great deal of capital to significantly increase the user base of our server through advertisements, allowing us to expand the community server that otherwise would have taken a much longer time.” 

Judging panel and other finalists

The judges for this year’s competition were Al Lysne (Partner, Fastbreak Ventura), Katie Eva (Venture Capital Investor, Standup Ventures) and Madison Henry (Assistant, Talent Development, DMZ).

Other finalists who competed in the 2022 Slaight New Venture Competition included Sascha Tettero-Weyman (Andor Willow), Simran Virk (Floor Designs Toronto), Benet Avery (Surf Beni) and Anjali Chopra (Served Co.).