I had originally found out about Kevin and Halo Halo Foods through Instagram. We were even at the same event last year, PH Time Is Now Toronto, but my anti-social self mainly stuck to people I knew.
It wasn’t until almost a year later, that we actually connected when I co-founded the Kaibigan Connection. For some additional fun, check out Ep. 010 on your favourite podcast listening app for the blooper episode!
Halo Halo Foods – Filpino Restaurant in Mississauga
Age Rate – where Kevin is a CTO
The Forge Incubator – where Kevin a business mentor. They are always looking for new STEM startups to mentor. Located in Hamilton, Ontario.
Karen Swyszcz 0:00
Hi everyone, and thanks again for tuning into The Bacon Bits and Bytes podcast and today with me I have Kevin Peters. Kevin is a production engineer who has worked in various r&d and emerging technology roles, has experienced ranges and building proof of concept system architecture, corporate innovation, rapid application prototyping and new venture product launching. Kevin is also currently the CTO at a tree a biotech startup focused on next-generation epigenetic technologies out of Hamilton, and a management consultant at Accenture’s Emerging and Growth Practice and a Resident Entrepreneur and Business Mentor at The Forge Incubator at McMaster University. In his spare time, he owns and operates a small Filipino restaurant in Mississauga, Halo Halo foods, watches anime and pays. I mean, plays video games. So you’re quite the busy guy.
Kevin Peters 1:22
I can be.
Karen Swyszcz 1:24
Yeah, so welcome to the show today. I’m so when I first wanted to chat about is how you got here? Because I know you have a science degree, right?
Kevin Peters 1:32
Yeah, I do like So first, I want to say I’m quite honoured to be asked to be on your podcast, and congratulations on launching. But yes, I do have a science background. Although most of my career I haven’t been in the whole science world. I know most people like me who initially start off in science, want to go into med school, things don’t work out. And then they just diverged into like a completely different path. So yes, even though I have like a science background, I’m not really I don’t really consider myself like a science person per se.
Karen Swyszcz 2:00
In your background, would you consider to be like more technical and like programming?
Kevin Peters 2:05
Yeah, like recently, it’s been a lot more like hardcore software engineering. Before, when I started my career, I was more on like the business side of it, working on like prototypes, and like building things to pitch good enough to pitch and to get executive buy-in. But now I want to get more deeper into the code and actually build things that lasts for hopefully months and years, as opposed to something that works for like a week or two before it has to get like rewritten.
Karen Swyszcz 2:32
That’s pretty interesting. Because I don’t know if you know, but I also have a science background, but I’m not really using it so much either.
Kevin Peters 2:40
No I remember. Waterloo, right?
Karen Swyszcz 2:42
Yeah, like I found Actually, I didn’t really like working in the lab. Well, just kind of backtracking a bit. For those of you I guess, who haven’t listened to the first couple episodes, I started off in chemical engineering and didn’t really do well in it was just very, like frustrated and confused about what I wanted to do, but ended up hastily getting into science and then realize I don’t really like science either. But just decided to continue on with the degree. But I mean, you’re kind of like sort of in the science space in that you’re the CTO of AgeRate, do you mind talking a little bit more about that, and how that came to be?
Kevin Peters 3:15
Sure. So my old roommate, Nathan Cawte, he’s one of the co-founders at AgeRate. So he’s three years younger than me. And we both took the same program at McMaster, which is biotech. And I was three years ahead of him. And since he was my roommate, I don’t know, we would just go back and forth on like business ideas. Like I think our biggest inspiration at the time was Elon Musk. And every night like, before we went to sleep, we would just pitch each other like business ideas. We’ve started one company called Accelerated Sciences and that like failed, like the first time. It was interesting. It was, the idea was matching.
In universities, they have a bunch of laboratories that they’re paying rent, and they don’t use over the summer. But there’s a lot of science entrepreneurs that want to get started but they don’t have labs. So how do we like marry the two together so science entrepreneurs have the equipment to use, but this like square footage that these universities are paying over the summer can be used and they can get like some money out of it from these entrepreneurs. So it’s kind of like an Uber Airbnb for like science entrepreneurs. At the time, it was like quite ambitious, and there was a lot of red tape.
So that kind of failed, but like that kind of habit of like me and Nathan like pitching ideas back and forth, they kind of like eventually planted the seed. So a couple of years later on Nathan, Cole and Dr. Pare started the initial like seeds of the company Age Rate and after them kind of presenting it at McMaster and McMaster offering them to incubate them at The Forge, this kind of like little idea turned into something. And then they eventually reached out and asked me to head up the technology side. So my whole life, I thought my science degree would kind of like be useless. But if I took this opportunity as it kind of like build out all the tech, and within it’s within the science field, at least I know, my money did not go to waste in science. I’ve used it at least for something. So yeah, that’s kind of how me and AgeRate kind of got together, it was an old roommate, an old friend who kind of reached out.
Karen Swyszcz 5:05
That’s really interesting, because and I guess it may have to do with, you know, your family like your mom, she’s the co-founder of Halo Halo foods from the website, if I’m not mistaken. Like your dad and your brother are also part of it. So did you feel you know, kind of having that, you know, people around you who like have that entrepreneurial spirit? Did that kind of also play a part?
Kevin Peters 5:25
That’s an interesting question. Because like growing up, my mom would always be like, really busy and like never at home. So I was like, raised by like my Filipino grandparents. But if like in my mind, there’s like two functions of like an entrepreneur. One is like more of a theoretical aspect. But like the other is like the spirit of an entrepreneur. And I think my mom is someone who is like a hardcore entrepreneur, like does not give up and like literally works like every day, like 16 hours a day like and she absolutely loves it, and she’ll show up to work every day. I think a lot of that kind of like rubbed off on me.
So I’m not afraid to kind of jump off the edge and take a leap of faith. I guess, like my mindset has been changed around that. And the people around me has influenced me to the point where you know, I have that support group to like launch businesses or experiment. I can take some time off from like, real work to kind of like work on my passions. Like I really do feel like the people you surround yourself with does affect how you kind of like influence your direction of where you kind of want to go in life.
Karen Swyszcz 6:24
And what advice would you give to people I guess, who are kind of feel like they’re not really getting support from their closest friends and family? Because like we all have, you know, our regular friends. And then we also like have our entrepreneur friends. But I guess like for those who are just kind of in the starting out phase, what advice would you give to them?
Kevin Peters 6:42
I like how you did that, because there is a clear distinction between like friends, and then entrepreneur friends.
Karen Swyszcz 6:48
Normal friends and not so normal friends.
Kevin Peters 6:53
When I first jumped into entrepreneurship, like full time, it was when I left like the corporate world. I left a very cozy job and I just took a leap of faith. What I wasn’t afraid about was failing at the business. I don’t think that was hard. I don’t think setting up a business was hard getting customers, sales, like doing all the legal and all that kind of stuff. The hardest part that I realized was like 12 months in is like it’s really lonely. A lot of times like you just want to hang out with your friends. And like get a cup of coffee or something. That’d be like 2 pm but like they’re at work so you’re going to have to find like new friends.
I was lucky enough that one of my friends Sean who’s like quite entrepreneurial himself, he’s working in Singapore right now at a payments company. He wanted to start like this culture. And like this get together where everyone in like our immediate network who has like an entrepreneurial tendencies or has like a small business or has an idea, we would get together once a month. They’re like this house party, and then kind of get together, right before the house party, what we would do is we’re going around the circle, we were talking about things that what didn’t work out what went well, and like we’ve set goals for each other.
So the next month, like when we come to the party, we better, we better had to hit our goals that we kind of like laid upon ourselves. So that helped a lot. I think the biggest thing is go to Meetup, find other like-minded friends who do entrepreneurship. And if you can, like literally, go online, go on Facebook,Meetup. com, and like, just hit up all these places until you find like one or two people that just like click with you, and just become friends with them and just hang out with them like frequently. And now you’ll have your regular friends who might not give you the support you need or your family that might not give you the support you need. But now you have your entrepreneurial family and your entrepreneurial friends that you hang out with, like, once or twice a month.
Karen Swyszcz 8:38
So I guess maybe like similar to a mastermind group.
Kevin Peters 8:40
Um sure what’s a mastermind group?
Karen Swyszcz 8:43
Kind of like similar to what you described you you meet on a regular basis, I think usually it’s a monthly and kind of you know, share your goals, your successes and your fails, and you kind of like brainstorm with each other and like it helps keep you accountable. Basically, I guess you could say like your entrepreneur friends are like the friends who keep you accountable?
Kevin Peters 9:04
Yeah, exactly. For sure.
Karen Swyszcz 9:06
So you run both. You’re part of both a biotech startup and you help run a Filipino restaurant, do you find yourself having to use different skill sets for each? Or is do you find you have like a general set that you apply pretty much to every type of business you startup.
Kevin Peters 9:24
So I think when it comes to like the fundamentals of business, it could like transcend a lot of different industries, and it can be applied to different industries, you’re going to have like your own toolset and skill set, that will definitely overlap. And you can take with you wherever you go. But then, where those skills don’t overlap, there’s like, there’s deep domain.
Areas that like the unknowns of what you don’t know. And you would definitely need business partners who really understand the science or really understand the restaurant business to help guide you and teach you. And without those business partners, they’re it’d be very hard to kind of like jump different industries, but a lot of is quite transferable like technology, every business needs technology, communications, strategy, it all works out. But without these key business partners who truly understand the business at a core and deep level, you need those people to kind of like rub off on you and holding your hand along the way to show you how things are done.
Karen Swyszcz 10:27
Hmm. So you mentioned that every business needs to have technology like what specific technology are you referring to for a whole bunch of different technologies?
Kevin Peters 10:37
Sorry, can you repeat the question?
Karen Swyszcz 10:39
Sure. So you mentioned in your response that every business needs to have technology and technology can be pretty broad. So are there any specific like types of technology that come to mind that every business should put in place?
Kevin Peters 10:53
So I mean, yeah, so that was a very broad question. But I’m this comes into like a very philosophical thing of like how much the business you want to be hands-on, and what can be essentially automated. With automation comes the benefits of being able to gather a lot of data and find new insights from your products and services, as well as bringing things that are easily repeatable, to a process where technology does it and no mistakes can come out of that, you get the benefit of consistency. The flip side is you might be detached about certain parts of your business now. And when errors occur or issues occur, you might not have that knowledge or skill set to kind of like fix it, you’re now like, detach from like that side of your business. But some key tools that like businesses should have. And software is like, honestly, like literally using Facebook and Instagram for like running your ads, right? Plugging that into your operations. Because if marketing and ops aren’t like stepping stone, you might amazing thing campaign. And then all of a sudden your operations won’t be able to handle that because there’s a communication gap between manufacturing and your marketing. But for most businesses, and like entrepreneurs who are just starting out platforms that allow you to sell and get your product out there. Like Shopify is like a huge technology that we use. And we leverage the APIs to talk to our inventory systems, Facebook, Instagram, definitely podcasting like this. So it doesn’t have to be software that you make or purchase yourself. It could be software, and platforms that are already out there that you can leverage, kind of like what you use for your podcast right now.
Karen Swyszcz 12:40
Yeah, that makes sense.
So I’m actually it’s kind of funny, prior to we started recording, Kevin was asking me about, you know, using the F word and stuff. And I had mentioned, I’m trying to keep this episode clean. But I actually wanted to touch base on the other F word that we can say, failure. So you have mentioned that the Uber type Airbnb, science startup, you and your friend had started had failed. And I’m just wondering to you because I feel the words failure and the word success, they mean different things to different people. So what would you consider to be like your biggest failure if you don’t mind sharing? And what do you consider to be like, a success?
Kevin Peters 13:21
Okay, my biggest failure.
Karen Swyszcz 13:23
If you don’t mind.
Kevin Peters 13:24
No, I’m just trying to think like, what could it be, maybe I can list a bunch of failures, and then we’ll let you guys decide what my biggest failure was. So definitely starting accelerated sciences. It didn’t work out. I think that was more of a timing thing. We were in university. Definitely studying, grades come first, finding a job comes first before this kind of like ambitious idea.
The fact that we didn’t really put a lot of effort into it, we probably put in like a grand, bought a Shopify store, and then really didn’t put in any effort after that. So it’s like, if you don’t keep fueling it, it won’t really work out. Another thing I did was, what else so I tried to start a Kombucha company last summer, and I bought all the equipment. I made like four or five batches of 20 different types of Kombuchas. I passed it out, and my kombucha tasted amazing, okay. But after selling the first like three jars, I realized the profit margin was like, like, horrible, I think it came up to like 40%, and I was selling it for four bucks. So if you do the math, that’s like $1 60, or something like that. So with all the equipment I bought, which is around like five or $600 plus advertising, it would take a long time for me to like pay it off. And it was a lot of work, right. And then the thing with kombucha is like, if you’re not always on top of it, the bacteria could grow, like immensely. And then you can get issues with your ops and things get really dirty. And yeah, it was a pain. So there was that maybe I might bring it back, it was called Bucha Berry.
Another one. I was saying there was a company called Quick Beverage company, where what I wanted to do at Halo Halo was kind of leverage the Uber platform and kind of make open up more ghost restaurants on Uber that would feed into Halo Halo. So Halo, Halo, we have a fridge of like drinks, right? So I was thinking maybe that I could actually know this was kind of like more of a success. I just, we just didn’t keep on going with it. So what we would do is we opened another Uber restaurants location, using the same location as Halo-Halo, but just selling drinks, and we would sell it in bulk. And I would just like do ads, to likes kids who are playing soccer and parents who have kids who are playing soccer, when it was a really hot day. So you can they can buy drinks in bulk. And that kind of worked out. I don’t think I think we probably made like a couple of grand it wasn’t, it wasn’t anything exceptional. And then now it’s kind of like a stale business on Uber Eats. Like, if you go look it up on now you can like, I don’t think you can buy anything off of it. I’m sure I have a lot more and if I think of it, I’ll let you know. But yes, in terms of business failures, I think there’s definitely that.
Karen Swyszcz 16:19
All right, so on the side of success, actually kind of going back to like fear. So you’ve had a series of failures. So and I’m guessing this is different for everybody, like At what point do you like, throw in the towel and decide to move on versus you know, okay, I just need to kind of give this another kick in the pants, and I’ll get it rolling?
Kevin Peters 16:41
I think it’s hard to like ever know, but sometimes you might do know, so before I start, like any project or like another business venture, I kind of set a cap, either financially or, or like from a time basis. So with Halo-Halo, I think when we initially started, we put in like $30,000 into the restaurant. And that was kind of like the initial seed funding. So if we burnt the $30,000 without becoming profitable, then like that was it, we would not continue the restaurant anymore, we would probably have to sell it. But every project or every business idea, like I would set like a financial cap and a time cap for like, I’m not kind of like burning my walls,losing resources when my skills and time could be put into like another idea that would probably work out.
Karen Swyszcz 17:29
Yeah, that’s a really good idea. Because then it kind of gives you something to like work towards you and realize, okay, if you don’t hit this target, you know, financially or by this time, then, okay, it’s time to move on. Actually, that’s really good. Because rather than you kind of being wishy-washy, like oh, maybe in like five years, or maybe in 10 years, like no, like this particular date, it’s got to happen.
Kevin Peters 17:51
Yeah, and it doesn’t have to be like hard goals. It could be like, moving goals. So let’s say, you know, by next month, I want to like sell 1000 items, right? Now I hit that goal, my next goal can be increased, like now I want to sell like 1500 like items. So as you hit your goals and like your mini target to your like your next goal, you could like kind of adapt and change your goal. So you’re always like stretching.
Karen Swyszcz 18:18
So moving on talking about like goals and successes, what do you consider to be successes, like we everyone already knows about the traditional success, like, Oh, you know, I’m able to work in Bali all the time, or I’m able to, you know, afford these like fancy cars. But for you like, what do you consider to be a success?
Kevin Peters 18:40
So if you ask me this question, like, back when I was at university, I think if you’re making a lot of money, and you’re balling like, you’re super successful, but after like working for a couple of years, I realized, like, there’s only so much you can work and so much money you can make where it’s like, you kind of lose that, like it becomes a diminishing return. And now you’re just like losing your soul. So I think like, at this point in my life, like when you’re successful, it’s like when you’re happy, and you’re working on something that kind of makes you financially stable, and you can just, and if you hit that Like financially stable mark, and you’re just doing that one thing I love, it doesn’t matter how much like money, like you’re making, as long as you’re working on something that kind of like intrigues you and you can spend hours and late nights like working on it, because like you deeply enjoy it.
Karen Swyszcz 19:31
Yeah, I definitely agree. Like I remember finding myself there’s some days where I felt tired. But then when I started to work on something I really enjoyed doing I look at the time, like hours would pass and I’d be like, Oh my god, it’s already like 2 am. But I’m still you know, plugging away at this one thing whereas say, if it was something I wasn’t really interested in, it’d be like, Oh my god, only half an hour past plugging away. So I’m sure a lot of the listeners are probably curious. We’ve been dropping and talking about Halo Halo. For those of you who don’t know, Halo Halo is it means mix in Filipino and I think I don’t know, you can disagree with me on how to describe it. But to me, I would consider to be like a the Filipino version of bubble tea.
Kevin Peters 20:14
Oh sweet. Okay, cool. Yeah. That is interesting.
Karen Swyszcz 20:17
Does that make sense? I don’t know.
Kevin Peters 20:18
No it does. It does make sense. But like, it’s like if you’re approaching people who’ve never experienced Filipino food, and you kind of want to show them or relate to what type of dish this is, I think the first like mental thing. It’s like, Oh, you can think of it as bubble tea or like a milkshake. But like a Filipino version.
Karen Swyszcz 20:38
Yeah, kind of moving off the side like talking about like, the idea of Halo-Halo. And of course, you know, our backgrounds like we’re Filipino and you’re half Filipino. Did you feel given the timing like I felt when I was growing up Filipino food it really wasn’t a thing. Nobody knew about it, or there wasn’t as much interest compared to you know, like Japanese food, Chinese food or Thai food? Like did you feel the launch of Halo Halo when it was launched? Was it kind of like timely given the fact you know, there are a lot of Filipino food business now? And especially in the Mississauga area, like they have the Seafood City and a lot of Filipino restaurants.
Kevin Peters 21:15
I think it was very timely. Um, I don’t think if we launched the restaurant in a different type of food category, I don’t think it would have been as successful as it was, or as it is now. Because of it. The fact that if you look at the Filipino community, in Mississauga, and the GTA, and the types of restaurants and food businesses are available, there’s probably 1% that, you know, they’re, they’re like one or 5%. They’re like, they’re on the ball. The rest, they were all immigrants, like my mom who came to Canada and like, one of the main skillsets they knew was like the cook. So it was just natural for them to open up businesses, but as like their kids are like growing older, their kids won’t be taking on the business. So these types, this generation of Filipino business owners, they’re kind of retiring off, and it’s up to the kids to kind of continue that. But because there’s not a lot of kids kind of like taking on the reins of the business, it was really easy for us to kind of come in and blow up the marketing and then just swarm like Mississauga and the GTA about Halo Halo and like the Filipino food cuisine. I think if it wasn’t for that timing, Halo-Halo. Halo Halo’s brand and I guess our customer base, wouldn’t have been as big because of it. I think it’s also Filipino culture. We’re very like tight-knit. And when one business opens, it’s just natural that everyone will come and support and kind of like share upon it.
Karen Swyszcz 22:48
Yeah, as soon as I told like my parents about it, they ended up going and actually getting like a Halo-Halo. I forget what else they got. I think they got sisig as well. But they’re like, yeah, I want to, you know, like order for the next party.
Kevin Peters 23:02
Oh sweet. Well, yeah, if you look it up Google Trends in the GTA for Halo Halo, there was a huge spike when we started opening. Like, my mom is like the Halo Halo like godmother. Of like Sauga.
Karen Swyszcz 23:14
(laughing). That’s amazing, so speaking of really cool ideas. Is it possible to know right off the bat if an idea is good, or potentially good or bad before executing because I feel sometimes it can go either way. Like if a lot of people tell you it’s a good idea means like, you’re onto something. But there’s also that school of thought. If people think it’s a stupid idea, sometimes it could actually be like a really good idea that can potentially take off.
Kevin Peters 23:39
Yeah, so like bad ideas can be good ideas. And some good ideas are like miraged as bad ideas. But bad ideas are also bad ideas. So it’s kind of hard to say like, the best thing you could do is kind of if there is a problem that a lot of people have, and you have an observation, and you just kind of like test the waters and you make like a little temporary solution. And then you just reach out to these people into like, what do you think? What do you think, right?
If you start getting traction from there, and a lot of people can see the value from there, maybe it’s time to launch like a prototype to kind of widen that, that pool of testing that you’re doing. And then so it’s like you never launch like a full-on product right away. You always kind of launch like a little prototype, do a little testing here and there. But it’s hard, like a successful idea could be successful, and you do it and you execute, but you realize, you know, maybe a year or 12, 16 months down, that if you launch it a different way, it would have been even more successful. So yes, prototyping is really important. And the only way you’ll know if an idea is good or bad is to do little experiments here and there.
Karen Swyszcz 24:45
So one of your roles that I had mentioned that you’re also a business mentor at The Forge Incubator at McMaster University, could you describe what your role is in more detail?
Kevin Peters 24:57
So I’m actually here right now. So The Forge is in McMaster’s incubator they just launched I believe, like three to five years ago. And I wish The Forge was available when I was at university. Because I don’t think I would have gotten like a full-time job after university, I think I would have just gotten to full entrepreneurship right after. Age Rate is actually incubated at The Forge. It’s located at McMaster Innovation Park. And while I’m here from, you know, a couple days a week, I’ll be working on Age Rate. But I’ll also set time aside to mentor and guide some of the other startups here.
There’s a food startup that I can definitely relate to as he’s kind of starting out, it’s called Prep’d fresh. So what he’s doing is, there’s a lot of university students who are too busy to kind of cook, especially around exam time. So he takes it in a bunch of orders and creates food in bulk for them. And he uses like an online platform to kind of run the sales. And there’s a bunch of other businesses here that mainly it could be either around science or food or whatever. But technology is kind of a core component of that. And I would come in and not only give business advice, but more on like a low-level architecture, advice on how to structure your code. So that’s kind of what I do here. I kind of sit with other businesses, and kind of like advise them on how to build software correctly.
Karen Swyszcz 26:21
I was wondering about the food startup to they also cater to people who are not in university, but feel too busy to cook.
Kevin Peters 26:28
Yeah, like, I’ll actually reach out to them after this and then ask him, but yeah, he’s a super cool kid. And I like money is money. I’m sure he’ll happily to take anyone who wants to pay.
Karen Swyszcz 26:41
Yeah, this kind of segues into my next question, because I had mentioned in a earlier podcast episode with somebody that I felt always felt I’ve never liked cooking and I’ve always felt it be such a huge time suck. And then like even now when I have you know, several things on the go, I’m cooking or the just the idea of meal prepping, cooking always gets put to the back burner, and you yourself you juggle, like a lot of things, you know, being the CTO at AgeRate and then being business mentor at The Forge incubator. And of course, as I mentioned in your spare time, help operate Halo Halo and you watch anime, you play video games, like where do you fit all of that? And do you cook?
Kevin Peters 27:21
Oh, do I cook? So I haven’t cooked in a while. And it’s probably a bad thing, one from a financial standpoint, but mainly too for like health-wise because like, it’s so easy to like, go on Uber Eats and just buy whatever. So I haven’t cooked like a proper meal in a while. And I haven’t done like meal prepping in a while. As for fitting things into my schedule. I don’t know, like, sometimes I’ll just grind like two or three days on like one thing. And then the next day, I’ll just take the day off and just play video games, or like just binge Netflix. And then the next day, I’ll work on like another thing for like two days straight, then do that rotation. Yeah, it’s not like that. One of the hardest things in software, but also in business is it’s so easy to do like 10 different things at once. But now you’re doing 10 different things not as good where you can just focus on one thing, get it done, and then move on to the next. It’s better to work on 10 things one at a time, then 10 things at once. So the way I kind of split up my time and like my mental context is like having two days a week focusing just on this one thing, or one business, take a day off, spend like a day or two working on something else, you know, like a completely different business. So like my mind’s not jumping around keeping track of all these variables.
Karen Swyszcz 28:37
Yeah, that’s a really good idea. Just like dedicating you know, certain days for certain businesses, if you have multiple businesses.
Kevin Peters 28:44
Yeah, Elon Musk does it like all the time he’ll like, be on Tesla for two days a week. And then he’ll work on SpaceX like the next three days. And then he’ll take a week off from those two businesses. I’m like, work on like another one, and then we’ll rotate back into it.
Karen Swyszcz 28:59
Alright, so before we sign off, could you let the listeners know a little bit more about AgeRate?
Kevin Peters 29:04
So AgeRate is a, like I mentioned earlier, a biotech company at McMaster. And what the company does is that we focus on the science around the aging process within biological systems. My roommate Nathan, Cole Kirschner, and Dr. Pare, when they initially started, the research of the findings, that’d be essentially became the seed of AgeRate. They came up with a novel DNA technology, sequencing technology that can predict how fast or how slow you’re ageing by looking at the epigenome. So the difference for those of you who don’t know, between the genome and epigenome is the genome is kind of like the hardware of the body, you’re born with it. It’s there, it kind of never changes. And you’re kind of stuck with, like, for what you’re given, however, its nature versus nurture, your environment can affect how your genes are expressed.
However, there is something called the epigenome. And like I said, how the genome is hardware. The epigenome is kind of like the software that sits on top of your genome, the epigenome, or you can kind of think of it as switches that turns your genes, that current genes that you have on or off. And those are things that are currently being researched and can be changed over your lifetime. So these are the things that we’re looking at when we’re doing the AgeRate test. And because of that, we are able to accurately predict how fast or how slow someone is ageing when they do the test. So for example, I was born May 19, May 20, 1993, and I’m 26 years old, but based off my eating habits and my health, we’re able to look at the epigenome and it could turn out like I’m 30 years old, or actually 25 years old. So everyone has two ages. There’s chronological age, biological age, your chronological age is that age-based off your time, so May 1993. So I’m 26. But your biological age is taking that genome, writing some numbers and outputting the actual age that your body feels and thinks it is. So currently on the market right now, there’s a few tests that does it. However, we’ve created a test that is almost several times more accurate than what’s on the market. But we were also able to bring the price down to about $5. So like the long term vision and goal for us at AgeRate, is that when people go to the doctors to do like a basic checkup, when they do their heart rate test, or blood tests like hopefully, they can do their AgeRate test as well. So that’s kind of the whole vision of a dream as it is right now with our first product.
Karen Swyszcz 31:54
That’s really interesting. I can foresee in the future, you know, people in addition to asking, you know, how old like someone is they could, you know, potentially also ask what’s your biological age as well?
Kevin Peters 32:06
Yeah. It could definitely be interesting now, people carrying around two ages.
Karen Swyszcz 32:12
But you also have something happening at The Forge. Could you also share that with us?
Kevin Peters 32:17
Sure. So The Forge is always looking for new businesses to incubate here. If you are an entrepreneur, and you’re looking to start your own business, The Forge is here to help with funding, help you learn how to pitch, give you access to mentors, like myself and top stem investors within I guess, like The Canadian Horseshoe. So yeah, we’re always looking for potential startups to come in. So if you have a STEM startup that you would like to start, and you are interested in being incubated, and being surrounded with like other like-minded people, and get the resources to kind of launch your business, definitely reach out. I’m sure Karen is going to put my details in the description. So don’t hesitate to reach out. If you have an idea, pitch it to me to kind of validate it before we actually go through like a whole application, but let me know and I’ll connect you to the director of The Forge here.
Karen Swyszcz 33:20
Awesome. So thank you so much, Kevin, for being on the show today.
Kevin Peters 33:23
Yeah, no worries. Thank you so much for inviting me. I’m always humbled. Congratulations again on your, your podcast.
Karen Swyszcz 33:30
Thank you so much. And thanks, everyone for listening and stay tuned for more episodes.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai