Canadians sometimes bemoan the lack of innovative spirit in this country. Every once in a while we see a talented individual that proves the exception.
Ben Gulak, a native of Milton just outside Toronto, is such a young man. Ben’s the inventor of the UNO electric bicycle shown on the right.
Fired by a passion to provide more eco-friendly urban transportation, he created the ever-so-cool UNO electric bike. He survived trial by fire on Canada’s Dragon’s Den TV program to gain investment from the curmudgeon investors there. He hit the front page of Popular Science as one of the Top 10 Inventions of the year. His prowess has led him to be chosen three times to represent Canada at the International Science and Engineering Fair and he’s a winner of the prestigious National Collegiate of Inventors and Innovators Alliance Award. In other words, he was off to a good start as an inventor.
But Ben doesn’t rest on his laurels. His next invention is the Shredder all terrain vehicle, described on Ben’s site as “an adrenaline pumpin’, mean lookin’ board that takes off-road riding experience into a whole new realm”. Not only is it usable as a platform for extreme sports, it is also offered as a first response vehicle for soldiers in crisis situations.
Somehow Ben finds time within all this invention stuff to pursue his studies at MIT, where he’s a sophomore. And a few other interesting activities here and there. When I talked to this charming young man he was just leaving to visit the Singularity University, an interdisciplinary university working to stimulate groundbreaking, disruptive thinking and solutions aimed at solving some of the planet’s most pressing challenges. Sounds as if that’s a great place for Ben to be!
I just know Ben is going to inspire the attendees at TEDx. Ben will also be offering a chance for attendees to test-ride both the UNO and the Shredder. We’ll open up registration for this bonus experience shortly before the conference and I know that will be one of the hottest tickets in town!