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Toronto-based Modiface supports Toronto ecosystem with a $4 million

Toronto-based Modiface supports Toronto ecosystem with a $4 million

Posted by PanamericanWorld on April 12, 2017

Modiface is dedicating $3.4 million in establishing an undergrad internship program at its company, with plans to hire 50 undergraduate students for 12 to 16-month paid positions focused on AR technologies. Applications are now open, and the first cohort will start in May 2017.

“I’ve been in academia all my life, so I understand the impact that investments can have in universities, and how training of students can have significant benefits,” said Parham Aarabi, founder and CEO of Modiface. Aarabi is a professor at the University of Toronto department of electrical and computer engineering, and for the past 10 years, his company has been developing AR technology for the beauty industry.

The company will also be dedicating $450,000 to establishing a Modiface Research Internship, which will allow 10 graduate students to complete a research internship during their master’s or PhD studies in the next two years. The remaining $150,000 will be dedicated to funding academic research in deep learning, computer vision, and computer graphics. The money is coming from Modiface’s revenue; Aarabi said the company has been cash-flow positive for the past 10 years.

“I look at Silicon Valley where I did my grad studies, and it always was about the ecosystem. The stronger you make that ecosystem, the stronger the company becomes. The Googles and Facebooks have this race of being the biggest players and making the biggest investments in Silicon Valley,” said Aarabi. “We absolutely need to make investments for our own sake to make sure good and capable engineers are available to help ModiFace in the next two years and next two decades.”

Aarabi said it takes about a year to train a new grad in the latest AI and AR concepts, and while this investment is not about speeding up that highly-focused process, it will reach potential engineers earlier in their development, so when they graduate, they can start creating new solutions as quickly as possible.

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