Hyperlight Systems Inc. | Winner of the 2018 Innovation Entrepreneurship Award – British Columbia
“When you design for accessibility, you are helping people with disabilities to be more independent and improve their quality of life”
Hyperlight Systems is a Vancouver-based solutions providers with innovation at its core.
Hyperlight delivers technology solutions to the public and private sectors. As a leading authority in Machine to Machine Learning and the Internet of Things, they have perfected the use of data technology to solve real-life problems.
When Metro Vancouver adopted the Compass Card and new fare gate system in 2016, a team of innovators identified that some users were no longer able to access the system independently. Because people now had to physically tap the card to open the fare gates, users with mobility challenges became completely dependent on someone to move around the city.
The Hyperlight team knew that it was their job to tackle this issue and use technology to bridge the gap. By integrating radio-frequency identification technology into access-control systems, Hyperlight made it possible for everyone to enter and exit train stations without having to tap their transit-payment card.
Today, Hyperlight is deploying the accessibility solutions across 55 train stations in Vancouver and continues to innovate by creating more accessible elevators, buildings, and cities.
Some of its accessible solutions include hands-free access gates, hands free elevators and low power, wide area networks.
Startup News had the opportunity to sit down with Ashish Sachdeva, Co-Founder and Director, to learn more.
SN: What inspired you to become an entrepreneur?
AS: My inspiration comes from a passion for innovation. I love to think creatively and challenge the status quo. Using my knowledge and skills to develop technology solutions that have a big impact motivates me every day. I wanted to use my knowledge in wireless sensors, big data, and artificial intelligence to build meaningful smart city solutions. Working on your own ideas and vision is hard when you are an employee. So I decided to quit my well-paying consulting job and founded Hyperlight.
SN: What is the biggest lesson you have learned to date?
AS: Our attitude and positive outlook on life matter much more than our knowledge or talent.
SN: What advice do you have to those starting up today?
AS: Always stay close to users. Focus on truly understanding what users need. Understanding your users correctly early on could protect you from unpleasant setbacks later.
SN: What is the one thing you think we need to do as a nation, today, to position Canada as a global innovation and entrepreneurial leader?
AS: Update traditional procurement practices by including new programs such as an unsolicited call for innovation. Help startups pilot their innovation and get first-hand feedback to improve their products and services.
SN: What is your message to the world?
AS: Accessibility is for everyone. With accessibility, everyone is given the chance to experience more. Accessibility helps people with disabilities to learn more, experience more, understand and think better and participate fully in all aspects of life. When you design for accessibility, you are helping people with disabilities to be more independent and improve their quality of life.
SN: How have you benefited from being a recipient of the Startup Canada Awards so far?
AS: Being recognized at the Startup Canada awards helped us significantly in our business development. The important recognition helped us to strengthen our brand and develop trust and credibility with our clients.