Durham College (DC) is proudly congratulating research partner, IFTech (Inventing Future Technology Inc.), for successfully securing a deal for its wearable technology, As Real As It Gets (ARAIG), during the February 15 episode of CBC’s hit-show Dragon’s Den.
Father and son duo Michael and Brodie Stanfield, both founders and CEO’s of IFTech, stepped into the Den to pitch ARAIG, an immersive gaming suit that totally transports users into the reality of their virtual world by interacting with them to increase their immersion, based on situations and/or interactions occurring within a range of media environments.
The high-tech innovation company, who worked with DC to develop their technology, asked the dragons for $500,000 in exchange for 20 per cent of IFTech and walked away with a $500,000 deal for 25 per cent of the company courtesy of dragon Manjit Minhas.
“We are very excited to be working with the Manjit,” said Brodie Stanfield. “This is yet another step in the evolution of ARAIG. Our journey from concept, to prototype, to finally producing the interactive suit is something we could not have done alone. We’ve had a lot of help along the way, including working on several projects with the team at Durham College. We share this latest success with the faculty researchers and students who helped us bring ARAIG to life.”
IFTech’s partnership with DC, and its Office of Research Services, Innovation and Entrepreneurship (ORSIE), began in June 2014. The college provided initial support for the development of the control centre for IFTech’s wearable technology, integrating audio, vibratory and muscle stimulation systems. This research was supported through a $20,000 Voucher for Innovation and Productivity received from the Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE). In November 2014, DC received an additional $20,000 in OCE funding to support its ongoing applied research work with IFTech. This included a specific focus on the creation of ARAIG’s wireless communications protocol, a component critical to the commercialization of the device.
The result of these collaborations was improved design and functionality for the suit’s control centre and incorporating a wireless communications protocol, in order to provide an optimal solution for all of the different wireless requirements of the varying markets for the ARAIG product.
Given IFTech’s history with DC, it was only fitting that their initial pitch for a chance to appear before the Dragons, happened at the college in March 2016. DC played host to aspiring entrepreneurs, including IFTech, looking to audition for Dragon’s Den for a chance to turn dreams into reality.
“We are absolutely thrilled for IFTech,” said Debbie McKee Demczyk, dean, ORSIE. “Michael and Brodie Stanfield are significant Durham College research partners and our work on the ARAIG project has allowed many students to gain skills in problem solving and innovative thinking while deepening their technical skills. Faculty researchers contributed their expertise and ingenuity, while enabling IFTech to benefit from the research team’s efforts. On behalf of everyone at Durham College I extend my sincere congratulations to Michael and Brodie on this wonderful accomplishment. We wish them all the best as they welcome Manjit on board and look forward to working with them in the future, as ARAIG continues to evolve.”