Kush SwamiKush Swami

Principal: Larry O’Malley – omalleyl@hdsb.ca
Teacher: Ian Chau – chaui@hdsb.ca
Age, Grade, School:
– 17 years old, Grade 12, – Garth Webb Secondary School

How did you come up with the idea?

This idea came to me when my friend Bobby and I walked into the washroom at my school and it was totally filled with the nicotine saturated fumes from vaporizers. My friend Bobby who has asthma started coughing viciously. The washroom was totally fogged up and he couldn’t see, he couldn’t breathe, his senses were diminished and I had to pull him out of there. The fact that the smoke alarm didn’t trigger just in amazed me. A quick Google search later told me that the water vapour expelled from these products don’t have the chemical properties to be compatible with traditional smoke detectors. A light bulb when off in my head and I realized there is a real business opportunity here to make some money — an alarm that can enforce against the nicotine filled vapours from new smoking technologies.

Who do you look up to and why?

I look up to Elon Musk and Drake. Elon Musk strives to achieve things that typical men or women don’t dare to try and achieve. His goal is to save the planet and push human boundaries, and the strides he has achieved is unparalleled to anyone else. I look up to Drake because I to have an extreme passion for creating music, and the way he brands himself and carries himself is something I look up to on a daily basis. The fact that he’s brought the city of Toronto to the front stage is one of the reasons why he is one of my heroes. I have posters of both individuals in my room and I strive to be like them every day.

What’s next for you?

This summer I plan to run my business and get Vape Alarm into as many secondary schools as possible for the new school year. In the fall I plan to attend either University of Toronto or Ryerson (still haven’t decided) for a degree in either computer engineering or computer science. In the long term future I plan to be an entrepreneur combining technology and music in my own company. I hope to create major waves in society and hopefully my strides will resemble the achievements of some of my inspirations

What did you learn from PP?

In Pythons Pit I learned to be confident in my abilities. After losing last year, I learnt that hard work is the only thing that guarantees my success. Pythons Pit has taught me an important lesson of how important working hard really is. I also gained much needed insight from the mentors that participate in Pythons Pit. The mentors helped to improve my pitch and gave me valuable information before entering the pit.

Dana PeeverKush’s Mentor: Dana Peever, Oakville, ON

A Human Resources professional, with corporate and entrepreneurial backgrounds. Also a certified life coach, Your Decision Coach, with a 5 Step System to help make tough decisions quickly.

Why did you choose to be a mentor?

I had the good fortune of having many mentors in my life, ones who were there to answer questions as I was growing in my career. I figure I’ve amassed all of that wonderful knowledge from them, combined with me own learnings, it was time for me to pay it forward and share with others.

What have you got out of mentoring?

What you get out of mentoring with Pythons’ Pit is immeasurable and not something you could put a finger on at the outset.

  • There is obviously a satisfaction with helping your mentees build their pitch and see them succeed
  • You learn more about your own business and what you could be doing better
  • You build a network of new colleagues to reach out to when needed
  • You gain an instilled sense of optimism that the world is a great place with new ideas everyday. I marvel at the ingenuity of the applicants and their drive to move forward.

Posted on

May 7, 2016