The key to building a successful business often begins with the recognition of a market opportunity. Today’s marketplace asks for much more than simply receiving the ends, as the demand for a unique customer experience is on the rise. Creative minds are able to benefit from this global trend by crossing traditional industry boundaries to reinvent business models that provide niche markets with a unique tailored experience.
Community Synergy 

Visionaries: Amy McLaren from Write to Give

I really admire those people who are able to find a way to use their passion to not only satisfy their own internal ambitions but to change the lives of others…forever. As a Wilfrid Laurier University Alumni, I was browsing through our alumni magazine a few months back and came across an organization that sparked my interest. Known as Write to Give (clever play on words no?), this project was started by Amy McLaren of Ontario, Canada who founded World Teacher Aid, a Canadian charity committed to improving education throughout the developing world. Since 2009, Write to Give has since grown to become internationally recognized, and continues to bring students from all over the world together by promoting literacy for a well deserved cause. The organization used funds raised to complete their first school this past May in Kenya!


Mobile Controlled Dress is Fashion and Tech


Recall a time when you’ve come across the perfect shirt or dress, only to be disappointed that it didn’t come in the colours you hoped for. Or when you’ve loved the style of a certain shirt or dress so much you decided to buy multiple colour variations just because. Most of our female readers can probably relate (maybe some of our male ones too)! Not specifically borne to address this dilemma, but Toronto Fashion Designer Breeyn McCarney and Creative Technologist Christopher Lewis have mixed fashion and technology in the Paper Dolls dress collection that could lead to solving our future shopping woes.

Back to Basics Synergy 

OCADU Series: Eat+Learn

Dear Readers, Vidafine had a chance to visit the OCAD University Industrial Design Thesis show in May and is excited to share with you some cool finds! The scope of their thesis topics were broad, ranging from innovative products to holistic systems and services “that would change the way we live, think, work and play”. The overall success of the show demonstrated the amount of hard work the students have put in the last 9 months. It was a difficult choice, but we have selected two projects to showcase. We hope that these posts inspire you to think creatively and also to gain a new perspective in the role design plays in your everyday life.

Eat+Learn – Ansis Kalnins


As a student working around tight timelines and schedules, it is difficult to maintain a balanced diet and nearly impossible to find the time to go grocery shopping. That is why I was drawn to this particular project by Ansis Kalnins that aims to help many young students to learn how to eat properly. One of the main challenges is the multitude of food planning decisions that happen when they go grocery shopping. Eat+Learn is a food suggestion platform tailored specifically for these students. It clearly and simply shows them how to assemble complete meals right there in the grocery store.

Community Synergy 

Theatrical Philanthropy: RENT


Fallen Rock Productions is a socially-conscious theatre company that combines philanthropy with the performing arts. Every year, the company produces a large-scale musical to raise funds and awareness for a charitable organization. Fallen Rock musicals are a great option for Torontonians looking for high caliber musical theatre without the sky-high ticket prices of Mirvish productions. This June, Fallen Rock will grace the Bathurst Street Theatre stage with its highly-anticipated production of RENT.

Community Synergy 

Volkswagens Fun Theory Campaign


Bob’s alarm goes off at 8 in the morning. He washes up, gets dressed for work and like a typical workday morning, he does not have enough time for breakfast. He takes the car to work and gets caught up in the always reliable early morning rush hour. Bob arrives at work and begins the 9-5 workday. The end of the workday doesn’t come soon enough and he’s back in his car stuck in the late afternoon rush hour on the way back home. After a less than appetizing dinner, a few sitcom reruns, Bob heads to bed ready to start the next day. Rinse and repeat.

While this may not be an accurate representation of your own life, we can all agree Bob could use a little more ‘fun’ in his life. In fact, I’m sure we all could use a little more fun in our lives. Volkswagen agrees. They have been sponsoring entrepreneurs to develop ideas on their Fun Theory: that something as simple as fun is the easiest way to change people’s behaviour for the better. Be it for yourself, for the environment, or for something entirely different, the only thing that matters is that it’s change for the better.

Back to Basics On the Go Synergy 

V-Day Love(s) for 2011


I came across a bunch of really neat products the other day and I was deciding how I should share them with you. With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, I thought why not make a Valentine’s Day gift guide to showcase these awesome goodies! Mind you, I wanted to buy all these things for myself, and creating a gift guide is my way of justifying these purchases.. (Wasn’t Christmas just two months ago? sigh.) Anyway, here is my round-up of some great gift ideas that are practical, yet fun to have!

DIY Synergy 

Design and Build with Lego and Muji


Though introduced last year, it seems more than ever that ‘Playing with Lego, Bricks and Paper’ a collaboration between iconic building block company Lego, and Japanese retail brand MUJI, is becoming more and more relevant. What’s even better is that according to their website, ‘Playing with Lego, Bricks and Paper’ is going to be available in mid January 2011 in various part of Europe and Taiwan, where it was once only available in Japan and the United States.


Master Noodle Pop Up Restaurant


Photos courtesy of FashionSnap.

I’ve always felt that there’s a strong connection between Streetwear fashion and Street Food, as they share a lot of similarities between them.  Raw. Honest. To the point. And while ramen may not constitute street food in the most typical sense, it is one of those soulful comfort foods which is modest yet hard to do really well. So naturally, I am not all that surprised when I heard that esteemed fashion brand Mastermind will be opening a pop up restaur-shop for ramen noodles.