A self-proclaimed “Digital Indiana Jones” was crowned the champion at the annual Cubs’ Lair young entrepreneurs competition in Peterborough for his business plan to turn archaeological sites into virtual reality experiences.
Jeremy Brooks was selected the winner among the final finalists who pitched their business ideas to a panel of judges at the Gordon Best Theatre.
The competition, hosted by FastStart Peterborough, the Innovation Cluster and Trent Youth Entrepreneurship Society, recognizes young and aspiring entrepreneurs.
Brooks wins a prize package of more than $10,000 to help boost his startup, AVROD, which stands for archaeological virtual reality online database.
Brooks, a Masters archaeology student at Trent University, worked out of the Innovation Cluster incubator and utilized the site’s Virtual and Augmented Reality Zone, to turn two archaeological sites (one in Mongolia) into a virtual reality experience. Users will be able to transport to a site of their preference and interact with the archaeological site.
The self-proclaimed “digital Indiana Jones” created AVROD with a goal to advance the way archaeologists work and learn.
“AVROD allows students to learn about global sites without having to travel there, not to mention avoiding potentially dangerous countries,” Brooks said.
Brooks intends to continue creating interactive sites across Canada, eventually developing site data globally.
The judging panel said Brook has a high potential to grow his business since his platform is first-to-market and there is a need for it in the industry.
“Jeremy has been working tirelessly on AVROD since competing in Cubs’ Lair last year,” said Rosalea Terry, Innovation Cluster’s marketing manager and senior innovation specialist. “Jeremy has been successful at utilizing resources like the Innovation Cluster’s virtual reality zone.”
Runners-up were Dillon Ahola with inclusive clothing line Opened Minds, and Dylan Trepanier with Alexander Optical, which offers mobile eye examinations.