The first-ever Forbes 30 Under 30 Local Toronto list released on August 9 includes entrepreneur, inventor and McMaster University Integrated Biomedical Engineering & Health Sciences (iBioMed) Mechanical and Biomedical Engineering 2022 graduate Lianna Genovese.
“This is a tremendous honour,” says Genovese, 23, who is the creator of Guided Hands™, a revolutionary assistive device that enables people with limited hand mobility to write, paint, draw and access technology. “Being recognized alongside Canada’s incredible talents on the Forbes list is a milestone I never imagined reaching at this age. I am deeply grateful and proud of our team’s achievements and the ongoing impact of Guided Hands in the disability community.”
Genovese is the CEO and Founder of ImaginAble Solutions, established in 2019, which creates assistive technology to improve the quality of life for people with limited hand mobility. Its leading product, Guided Hands™, is distributed to hospitals, rehabilitation centres, nursing homes and schools across North America, Singapore, Australia, Europe and the U.K.
Guided Hands™ originated from a first year iBioMed engineering class project, after Genovese and her classmates were introduced to Elissa, a woman with cerebral palsy who had a passion for painting but lost the ability to hold and use a paintbrush due to her limited hand mobility. Genovese’s solution reignited Elissa’s passion for painting and motivated the then student to continue her passion project and help others.
Guided Hands™ has been tested alongside more than 525 occupational therapists, neurologists and people with limited hand mobility, and continues to evolve to bring confidence, independence and self-expression to people experiencing mobility challenges. ImaginAble Solutions gives a portion of each sale of Guided Hands™ to help provide the products to families in need.
Watch Karina Williams share her experience using Guided Hands.
“Lianna is a true rising star,” says Heather Sheardown, Dean of Engineering. “She harnessed her ingenuity and entrepreneurial skills into a product with far-reaching impact. She’s an outstanding example for our students and inspires everyone in our McMaster Engineering community.”
Genovese’s recognition by Forbes underscores not just her entrepreneurial spirit but also her commitment to making the world more accessible one Guided Hands™ at a time. This latest recognition adds to her impressive roster of more than 27 awards internationally, including the prestigious James Dyson Award.
To support the next generation of entrepreneurs, Genovese is currently running health innovation bootcamps at The Clinic at McMaster and will be a course instructor for McMaster’s inaugural Master of Biomedical Innovation program this September. These immersive, project-focused programs provide curious innovators with the building blocks of entrepreneurship.
Forbes’ inaugural Toronto list includes other notable honourees like tennis champion Bianca Andreescu, climate activist Julie Segal and cofounders of GPTZero, Alex Cui and Edward Tian.
Learn more about ImaginAble Solutions, read the full Forbes 30 Under 30 Local Toronto list, and view Lianna’s profile in our Lighting the Way campaign.
View the iBioMed program page, which is a joint program with McMaster’s Faculty of Health Sciences.