Students work on projects with entrepreneurs and cutting-edge technology

By Teah Lytwyn

Chekkit welcomes new customers on its blog about mobile marketing on January 28, 2018. TEAH LYTWYN / THE PROJECTOR

Red River College has a new ace up its sleeve with a program that connects entrepreneurs and start-ups with students. The program, called ACE Project Space (Applied Computer Education) is keeping RRC innovative, suggests the department chair.

“It’s really good to expose our students to this kind of cutting-edge technology,” Haider Al-Saidi, chair of the ACE department said. “Wherever I go, nationally and internationally, Red River College is becoming a major player and contributor to many of the technologies.”

The program is responsible for more than 20 projects,  including scanning brainwaves in order to understand human emotions, and Ultrahaptics, a technology that creates the feeling of touching an object that’s not actually there.

Al-Saidi said that many students end up getting jobs at the companies they work with, while other students end up becoming entrepreneurs themselves.

One ACE Project Space project students helped with is the app Chekkit.  The app uses a login on the business’s free Wi-Fi to text discounts to customers, enticing them to return.

“We can market people who walk into a restaurant, … utilizing the Wi-Fi we give business owners the ability to leverage that,” Daniel Fayle, one of the creators of Chekkit said.

Fayle said he’s very grateful they’ve been able to work with Red River College on this project.

“I think for us it was just an unbelievable opportunity for a network, for the space here to talk to some of the different developers if need be,” Fayle said. “It’s just that constant network of people and being able to reach out if you have certain questions.”

Fayle said that they’ve just signed up for a distributer agreement with an American marketing company. They’re also working on expanding locally.

“We just signed on Cora as a test location in Winnipeg and we’re hoping to expand to their 130 locations,” Fayle said, referring to the restaurant chain.

As for the ACE Space program, Al-Saidi said that he hopes one day there will be no more classrooms, and students will learn by working on projects and proving their skills.

“Our department is moving forward aggressively in implementing this and I’m fairly certain that we will be one of the leading departments in the college to go this path,” Al-Saidi said.