Shumka Centre / Design for Startups | Highline, 2015

The role of the designer is evolving within the context of quick-paced, agile start-up companies.

Over the course of 12 weeks five student designers form an innovative design research team at Highline, a Vancouver-based startup accelerator. Based on-site at Highline, the RAs work directly with the technical and business leads of the five companies-in-residence at Highline to explore and develop a new methodology for connecting design to Internet startups. The researchers engage directly with product innovations as they emerge within the iterative, accelerated research processes used at Highline. Student designers consider existing design gaps, perform user interface/usability studies, and develop design strategies for the companies in residence. This project is generously supported by the British Columbia Innovation Council (BCIC).


Fall 2015 Highline Companies


Foodee | is a premium corporate catering service that partners with the best in-class restaurants to deliver delicious, quality food to the company lunchroom. facilitates easy group ordering through a steam-lined online ordering system, and a live concierge team that assists in meeting various catering budgets and dietary restrictions. In Vancouver, has partnered with renowned local restaurants, including Tacofino, Meat and Bread, and Viji’s to curate unique catering menus to hardworking teams for every office occasion.



Cognilab | Behavioral studies made easy. An online research laboaratory to create sophisticated experiments, recruit participants online and analyze your results.



SilkStart Technology Inc. | SilkStart’s Association Management System (AMS) streamlines your operations through one central database that runs in the cloud. It simplifies complex and time consuming tasks like member management, events, invoicing, payment processing, and communication. SilkStart is software for associations. SilkStart creates beautiful and functional websites that are mobile friendly and connected to a database that can be accessed anywhere you can find an internet connection. SilkStart simplifies complex and time consuming tasks like member management, events, payments and communications.



The Angler’s Atlas | The Angler’s Atlas is a web based platform that provides information about lakes, rivers and oceans to our subscribers (anglers) across the country. It is a free service and the primary reason users have joined the service is that it gives them access to thousands of bathymetric maps they can download. However this is not sufficient to encourage repeat visits and we need to find new techniques to increase usage rates among subscribers (as well as attracting more subscribers to the service).



Lendful | We created Lendful because like you, we were tired of receiving poor customer bank service, unexplained high interest rates, singing paperwork at a branch, fees fees and more frees and of course, rejection. We knew there was a better, thoughtful and simpler way. We deliver loans at rates from 6% APR with 3 and 5 year terms, online and the money is in your bank in 24 hours. Lendful is personal loans, made simple.


Fall 2015 Student Designers

Joyce Lam is often described as a fusion of artist and technologist. A graduate of the bachelor of Design (B.Des) program from Emily Carr University, Joyce is currently pursuing her master’s degree in Digital Media (MDM). Born and raised in Vancouver, she has been working in this tech city for almost a decade as both designer and web developer. Her work ranges from “making things pretty” through art direction, to pushing pixels in UI/UX design, to building websites and apps. She is obsessed with the pursuit of defining good design. With every project, her goal is to create meaningful experiences by making beautiful things that solves problems.

Zora Trocme is a third year Interaction Design student at Emily Carr University of Art + Design. She enjoys experimenting with new technologies and working with traditional craft. She strives to combine the refined nuances of analog with the advances of the growing digital landscape.

Eli Muro is a third year Interaction Design student at Emily Carr University with a background in Visual arts and Music. Drawing inspiration at the juncture of human and digital technology and its effects on human consciousness and behaviour, Eli produces work in the form of installation, sound, objects and more recently design work. An active contributor to Vancouvers vibrant music and emerging tech scenes he aims to bridge these disparate interests with design thinking and methods.

Ahmed Walwail  is technology driven person. His first degree was in IT and Telecommunications, where he got to know computerhardware and software, programming languages for platforms, web servers’ programming languages, hosting services, software and internet network servers.  He is currently studying Interactive Design, developing skills working with visual structures, project management, art materials and resources to complement his solid non-visual programming skills that are missing charm and user interactivity. These two skill sets could be applied to any kind of hardware, software, or interface that uses interactivity and animation for mediated publishing.

Enid Chen is an independent design consultant focused on branding and marketing. She has been working and studying in the graphic design field since 2006, working as designer as well as overseeing and managing design projects for different companies. Having a Master’s Degree in Design Management, Enid understands the gap between business people and designers, and she has a holistic understanding of using design in business. She has been dedicating her knowledge in bridging the gap by working hand in hand with fellow marketers and clients. Her recent focus is on meaningful branding for small business and consumer brands,, while further studying design thinking and design research methodologies.


Spring 2015 Highline Companies

| Control provides businesses that accept payments online with real­-time revenue reporting and the ability to respond to time-­sensitive transaction events from any device. Control is payment platform agnostic, securely connecting to your payment providers and consolidating transactional data and events. Control’s iOS and Android apps appeal to the remote business owner who needs to be engaged with payments management regardless of their location.

Discover Media House
 | Discover Media House is the world’s first online marketplace for the entire advertising industry. By automating the buying and planning of not only online media but also traditional/offline media, DMH is the one-­stop-­shop for advertisers who are looking for time and money savings as well as a crystal clear view of every media option available.


|Koho is a modern way to bank. With Koho, consumers get a card, web app and mobile app that provides them with a no -fee bank account and huge improvements to mobile design and functionality. Koho incorporated elements that work well with the existing banking model (direct deposit, bill payments, ATMs, security, CDIC insurance), but stripped fees while empowering customers to spend smarter, save more, and do more with their money.

 | Pressboard is a story marketplace that makes it incredibly easy for brands to be a part of stories that matter. Our platform connects brands to influential publishers around content, instead of ads. Search our database for upcoming editorial stories from websites, online magazines and blogs and easily sponsor and integrate your brand into those stories before they go live.


Spring 2015 Student Designers

Haoqian Liu hails from China and is currently a fourth year undergraduate student in Interaction Design Major. He has rich experience in designing mobile applications and websites and is especially interested in the early stages of a user experience design process, such as information architect, user flow and users’ mental model. Haoquian has knowledge in coding and developing in order to better communicate design to developers and to know what can be done from the developing perspective. Haoquian loves travelling, volleyball, and video games.

Melody Copeman is an Interactive Media Artist that delights in creating pieces that merge art and technology. While studying at Emily Carr University she developed a multidisciplinary practice taking interest in video game, sound and web design, narration, programming, film production, and illustration. Since graduation she has worked freelance web design and occupies her free time by volunteering with eatART; an organization that supports the development of large kinetic sculptures powered by renewable energy.

Scott Bell began his higher education achieving a B.Sc. in Microbiology from the University of Victoria. Through his time studying in the science he actively trained his mind to operate in a methodical, analytical, and researched based manner. This time spurred an interest in the psychological motivations within people and the individual perceptions of the human mind. Why people like things, why they don’t, and why we feel the way we do. His curiosity on this subject combined with an interest in anything visually and intellectually stimulating drove him into design. This marriage between psychology, aesthetics, and function is what he strives for in his own designs. When not glued to his computer screen he spends his time exploring the vaults of old film, painting, taking photos, and generally looking for knowledge and inspiration from anywhere interesting.

Shang Li is a 4th year Interaction design student who had initially come to Vancouver to study engineering, but found Interaction Design to be a more creative medium between technology and design. He take particular interest in looking at the place that technology and design can be used as a way of bringing people together in the real world, and connecting better with the real world.

Tori Zhao is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Design degree at Emily Carr University of Art + Design and planning on graduating next year. She is a UI/UX enthusiast and enjoys crafting beautiful and intuitive interfaces, while continuously learning new skills and technologies in design and front-end development. Outside of work, her favourite hobby is biking around the Seawall in Downtown Vancouver.


Project Partner


HIGHLINE | HIGHLINE is a Canadian based pre-seed vc that supports early stage technology companies that are working hard to bring the future to life. Backed by leading VCs with offices in Vancouver & Toronto, HIGHLINE has an active portfolio of 37 companies, who have raised $91 million of follow-on capital and have had 7 meaningful exits. We do our best to be entrepreneurs’ first check and invest up to 200k. We also bring access to a premium network for our founders, helping them benefit from support that spans both of North America’s coasts. Unlike traditional funds and accelerators, we’re a VC-backed company with not only great pre-seed investment track record, but also a proven method to effectively connect relevant startups to Fortune 500 strategic roadmaps.


Project Supporter


BC Innovation Council | BCIC encourages the development and application of advanced or innovative technologies to meet the needs of industry in BC. We accelerate technology commercialization by supporting startups and developing entrepreneurs. With our partners, BCIC delivers programs and initiatives that promote company growth, resulting in jobs, increased revenue and economic development in BC. BCIC is a Crown Agency of the Province of British Columbia.

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