Revera to Pilot Monarch’s Innovative Clothing Line through its Innovators in Aging Program

Original Source
Published on: July 6, 2018

Monarch Collection Inc., a provider of fashion-forward clothing for aging and physically disabled populations, announced it is piloting its new line of clothing purposefully designed for people who are unable to dress themselves with Revera – a leading owner, operator and investor in the senior living sector. The pilot program is made possible through Revera’s Innovators in Aging program, a $20M investment fund established by the company to enable seniors to live to the fullest through age-supporting innovations and start-ups.

Revera ( will pilot Monarch’s clothing line with residents and care employees in long-term care homes and provide feedback to Monarch’s design team.

“This opportunity comes at an exciting time as Monarch launches its brand to market and expands its product line to bring functional comfort to as many lives as possible,” says Pat Quinn, CEO and co-founder of Monarch Collection Inc. “We passionately believe that specialty clothing should also be fashionable. With the support of Revera, we are designing and delivering clothes that allow individuals to maintain their personal sense of style, while facilitating better care because they are easier to put on and protect delicate skin.”

Monarch designs clothing for individuals who are unable to dress themselves, due to physical or cognitive impairment such as dementia, Alzheimer’s, stroke, muscular dystrophy and other conditions. Monarch’s innovative, patent-pending designs make the dressing process easier for caregivers and the individuals who wear the clothes. Monarch founders Dr. Kristine Goulet, D.C. and Patricia Quinn have tested their women’s line over the past year, working alongside professional caregivers to ensure that Monarch’s designs ease the strain often involved in dressing while incorporating fabric, colours and styles that allow wearers to look good and feel good.

Mainstream clothing and other adaptive clothing require manipulation of the body that can be painful. Monarch’s clothing solution can reduce that manipulation by as much as 75%.

The Revera/Monarch pilot program kicked off on with a Monarch Makeover held at a Revera Long Term Care home. Eight residents were each presented with a new wardrobe from the Monarch collection and given the opportunity to choose their favourite piece to model. With their hair, nails and makeup done, these smiling and radiant residents enjoyed their moment as family members, former Mississauga mayor Hazel McCallion, Revera’s Chief Elder Officer and Revera executives and employees looked on and took in the transformation.

“The residents were excited about how they looked in their new clothes and also about how easily they went on,” says Quinn. “One personal support worker commented that ’if we like to dress up and look good all of our lives, why would that change if we find ourselves in the care of others?’” Family members also expressed their happiness at finding fashionable adaptive clothing that makes dressing fun, quick and painless for everyone involved.

About MonarchTM

Monarch is an innovative company that designs specialty clothing for people unable to dress themselves. The clothing blends functional comforts with fashion to produce a dressing experience that is easy and rewarding.


Facebook: @MonarchAdaptive

Twitter: @MonarchClothes

Instagram: @Monarchclothes

About Revera

Revera is a leading owner, operator and investor in the senior living sector. Through its portfolio of partnerships, Revera owns or operates more than 500 properties across Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom, serving more than 55,000 seniors. The company offers seniors’ apartments, independent living, assisted living, memory care and long term care. With approximately 50,000 employees dedicated to providing exceptional care and service, Revera is helping seniors live life to the fullest. Through Age is More, Revera is committed to challenging ageism, the company’s social cause of choice. Find out more at or on Twitter @Revera_Inc.

Hadi Hosseinzadeh Khaligh – NanoCnet

Original Source: Five hundred sparks
By: Jackie Gill

A hundred people were watching as Hadi Hosseinzadeh Khaligh took the stage.

His challenge: to explain his materials science PhD thesis about silver nanowires and their deficiencies. To a general audience. In just three minutes.

He was participating in a competition called the Three Minute Thesis (also known as 3MT). “That was my first pitch,” he remembers. “I went with my passion about my research.”

Since then, he’s pitched many more times, but in a completely different way. Instead of a general audience, he’s talking to investors and electronics manufacturers around the world. And instead of his thesis, he’s talking about NanoCnet, a Velocity Fund-winning company with a new way of manufacturing conductive materials and film – “using them as the coat to make transparent surfaces like glass and plastic conductive,” he explains.

It all ties back to his PhD research, though, and the work cofounder Ehsan Mazbanrad was doing with silver nanoparticles. “We knew that the materials we have right now are expensive, some of them are not flexible, or they degrade fast. All of these problems limit the performance of future devices,” says Hadi.

“So we synthesized a new material. We changed the process fundamentally to make a new kind of silver nanoparticles . . . We introduced a new generation.”

But starting a company wasn’t always his goal. He talks passionately about his love for education, and originally planned to stay in academia after finishing his PhD, as a professor. (Ehsan planned to do the same, too.)

During his undergraduate program in material science at the University of Tehran, he also taught physics. When he came to the University of Waterloo for his masters in electrical engineering, he became an active TA – even winning an award for his efforts in his final year. When he was completing his PhD, he spent two semesters as a sessional lecturer teaching first and second year physics courses.

That was on top of his own research for his degrees.

During his first year as a master’s candidate, Hadi met a professor on campus who specialized in materials science. He reached out. “I started as her first student, and we started with an empty lab,” he says.

Starting from scratch proved to be a challenge in some unexpected, but satisfying, ways. Not only did he know he’d have to push himself harder in his studies, but he learned how to network and hustle for lab equipment and time to get his research done – something not many folks in academia get to experience.

The Three Minute Thesis was another break from traditional academic life. “I think the graduate students in master’s and PhD are not really interested, or they don’t feel that, if they go and talk to a general audience, they can explain what they do,” he says. “So it was really good challenge, that I could explain my research in three minutes in a way that everyone understands.”

The decision to start a business came when the two cofounders were discussing their research.

Hadi was focused on the deficiencies of the materials we have today, while Ehsan was working on synthesizing new ones. “We ended up thinking, we could work together to solve the problem.”

Stepping away from academia, the pair have had to think about their approach in a different way. “When you are in a research environment, you only think about research,” he says. “I learned that you need to focus on what you have, and the problem you’re solving, what you’re selling, the market.

“In research, sometimes, we don’t really know if it’s scalable, or even how important it is for the industry. We do research because we are interested in that area.”

While they’re experts in the materials and manufacturing process they’re working with, turning it into a business was something they didn’t get in their classroom experience. For that, Hadi says they turned to local support from professors, the Accelerator Centre, and Velocity Garage.

At first it was a challenge. There were lots of terms and strategies that were new. But it wasn’t entirely unfamiliar. Remember when he had to find access to lab space for his research?

“Since I got used to talking to people from different areas and other research groups, I think it was less challenging because I had this experience talking to people and getting their advice,” he says.

And the most important thing: he truly wanted to learn. “When you need to learn something, you learn it much faster than when you think that you should go to class and maybe you want to learn it,” he says. “I felt that way, that I need it, so I put myself in a position to push myself to learn all these things.”

It was the same way Hadi pushed himself to give that Three Minute Thesis. And for those counting, he did indeed take home a $1,000 prize – but got so much more in return by learning to pitch.

“The good part of it, after you’re done, you get some good feedback,” he says. “It doesn’t necessarily mean that you get the $25,000 or $10,000 or whatever, but if you got good feedback and you feel that people understand your work, you feel pretty confident about telling the story and talking to other people in the business world.”

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Rob Evans – Backpacker College

Original Source: Five hundred sparks
By: Jackie Gill

Here are three facts about Rob Evans.

He loves business. He loves travel. And he failed his calculus class in second-year university.

Without that credit, he lost his spot in Laurier’s business program and had to enrol in a major he didn’t love. So he did something different.

“I sold my car, paid off my credit cards, bought a round-trip ticket to Australia and I went traveling,” he says.

With a credit limit of just $500, he had to work during the trip. Through his campus, he found a service that helped him set up a working holiday visa and a bank account.

He started in Coogee Beach – a suburb of Sydney – and continued on through Fiji, China, Hong Kong, and Malaysia before returning to Kitchener-Waterloo a year later.

But when he told his friends back home about his travels, he noticed something about their reactions.

“They were like, ‘that’s amazing! I wish I could do that!’” he says. “When I asked them, ‘Why don’t you go? What’s stopping you?’ essentially there were two common things.” Fear and cost.

Rob’s own experiences had been so incredible, eye-opening, and inspiring, he didn’t want others to miss out on their own journey.  So he started research for Backpacker College, a service that connects backpackers with low-cost accommodation – think beds in college and university residences, low-cost boutique hotels, quality hostels, and other affordable options – along with fun things to do once they get there.

The idea didn’t come to fruition right away, though. He first went back to finish his degree in political science, and spent found work with other software and tech businesses. (His history includes a stint with a calculus software company, ironically enough.)

During that time, he continued collecting and researching business ideas – 40 of them, to be exact. Backpacker College was one file among many, tucked away in banker’s boxes.

It was during a move when the files resurfaced. “It became a point of sadness when I first saw it,” he says. “Oh my gosh, look at how many ideas I’ve had. My first instinct was that I had failed because I didn’t turn them into a success.”

But when he started combing through the files, his attitude changed. “Some of the ideas were not great, or they failed for different reasons: not the right time, or the right partnership, or sufficient capitalization,” he says.

“Of all the ideas, there were a handful of truly great ones in there. The one that stood out the best, the most compelling by far, was Backpacker College.”

It may not have worked eight years ago when Rob first began meeting with prospective partners, but smartphones have changed and trends today support the concept even more. No longer were backpackers booking trips through phone directories or travel agents exclusively.

“The backpacker of today is very different. Almost every backpacker that I know has a smartphone. They travel independently or in small groups, are different ages, students, working professionals, families, even retirees. To make things easier, the access to technology and ubiquitous communication at your fingertips is a game-changer.”

He addressed the barrier of affordability by looking at non-traditional accommodations that could offer similar prices to a hostel. “At least $30 a bunk bed – how can we get close to that price point?” he asked. “I was thinking college residences.”

Some are shared rooms with private or semi-private bathrooms. But locations also usually come equipped with single private rooms, or suites, and nice-to-haves like air conditioning, wifi, shared kitchens, common and social space, and parking.

These locations also address the issue of safety, he says. “There’s usually a front desk staff on hand. There’s actually several more doors and locks between the outside and your bedroom.”

Non-residence accommodations, like boutique hotels, are hand-picked to make the list, he adds, so backpackers don’t need to limit themselves to college and university towns or travelling only in the summer.

He also added a third benefit: finding things to do, like a concierge service. “To be able to take that knowledge and easily share experiences with budget travelers who might want to come to your town, who might want to come here on Wednesday for a live music night at Maxwell’s Music House for example, that will easily be done using our app.”

As for why he does it? Travel like this can change lives in a really positive way, he says. There are parts of his trip to Australia that impacted him so profoundly that he still looks back on them today and takes lessons from them.

The memories help Rob “refocus on what’s truly important in life, and certainly that type of perspective comes from being in places and having to rely on the kindness of strangers to navigate your way through a situation.”

That’s what he wants to share with others more than anything.

“Hopefully, if we do things well, people will be very grateful for having a platform that brings them the things they need to overcome their own fears or the cost challenges that can come with travel, and suddenly now it’s been made possible for them. Those are the things that I hope for.”

Plus, he’s setting an example for his eight-year-old son. “How can I possibly tell him that he should pursue his dreams if I don’t pursue my own?” he asks.

“If you know what you want to do and follow a straight path, that’s great. Do it. But if it takes you travelling to many countries, working for others, doing what you like and don’t like to truly know what you love doing… if you pursue it with 100% of your heart and your mind, and are okay asking for a little help along the way, you will succeed, too.”

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