AdHawk Microsystems Inc. | How a startup augments employee collaboration

Jessica Won    February 5, 2018

AdHawk Microsystems Inc. is a startup company based in Kitchener, Ontario Canada. The company grew out of a research lab at the University of Waterloo in 2015. The 7 co-founders, all from different engineering specializations, came together to create eye and gesture tracking technology. The eye tracker is really an awe-inspiring masterpiece because it does not depend on a camera and it even captures involuntary eye movements, possibly revealing one’s intent. The features of this technology could create new opportunities in Medical diagnostics, Virtual and Augmented Reality and Analysing Wearable Data.

Since its emergence after its ‘Series A funding’ in 2017, AdHawk has focused primarily on their eye tracking technology. The company has raised US $4.6 million in funding in less than two years. One could say they are well on track to have a great 2018!

Watch their video below to see the technology!

Challenges Faced Before Slack

Adhawk uses an enterprise project management tool for organizing a vast range of projects from start to finish. This ensures that the relevant people and resources working on a project are properly allocated. Recognizing that not only strong project management plays a crucial role in their business but also, team collaboration, the Adhawk team started to think about how they could get the most out of their project processes. They looked at how their people worked together to complete their projects.

Why Should Team Members Collaborate?

While many professionals continue to use emailing as their primary communication system, the method is somewhat inefficient if you are only relying on email to manage projects. With emailing, you can tend to run into issues such as:

  • Endless email threads with buried information
  • Editing, reviewing or approving wrong or outdated documents and;
  • People dealing with emails on their own schedule.

Collaborating with your team members should be manageable and efficient as it can bring many important benefits to a company, such as:

  • Pool of Knowledge – Team members with varied talents, knowledge and skills come together on a common platform to discuss and share their input on a specific goal or problem.
  • Brainstorming & Ideas – Since everyone has an equal opportunity to collaborate, team members provide feedback and deliberate on ideas with one another. They can quickly respond to each other if a member is looking for a workable solution or improve the quality of ideas and projects by providing their feedback.

Providing spaces where team members can interact and let ideas flow back and forth can benefit the company to make quicker decisions and to facilitate knowledge sharing amongst members in order to assure quality on a project or goal.

Slack as a Collaboration Tool

 The company started using a cloud based communication tool called Slack. Slack is efficient, simple to use and it’s free. It is a messaging platform that acts as a hub for all communication. It organizes all the different topics into specific channels to keep discussions organized, while also storing all their conversations into one robust database. This database is very user-friendly and is easily searchable.

They currently have all of their employees on Slack. The tool has made it easier for the team to connect with each other, and to keep everyone in sync.

Geoffrey Lee, a microsystems designer at AdHawk Microsystems, finds the use of Slack extremely important for keeping the rest of the team informed of off-site work.

Slack has been a vital tool in the success of our company. I often find that I am away doing lab work at an off-company lab. The booking procedures and wait times at this pay per use lab results in the need for efficiency and good time management. Unfortunately, as with any kind of research, when you get results that don’t make sense, a second opinion is often important. When you are physically far away from everyone else in the company, it is necessary to communicate your findings and ideas clearly and conveniently. Slack has been vital in sharing videos, pictures, voice calls and results of my experiments, while my peers can critique and suggest alternatives to my experiments. This makes much better use of the booked lab time.”

Lessons for Others

It can take time to get projects or products off the ground, but using an internal, cloud based communication system like Slack, can help growing companies to collaborate by providing them with a centralized place to communicate with each other through instant messages. This can reduce the time they have to spend on e-mailing. Using collaborative tools can assist with making quicker decisions through group chat as well as tracking the progress on goals by getting immediate solutions and feedback from team members on critical issues.

Organization: AdHawk Microsystems Inc.
Industry: Consumer Electronics
Name of Organization Contact: Geoffrey Lee, Microsystems Designer

Authored by: Jessica Won

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Bloomberg L.P. (2017). Company Overview of AdHawk Microsystems Inc. Retrieved February 01, 2018, from

Pender, T. (2017, October 20). Intel backs Kitchener startups groundbreaking eye-tracking technology. Retrieved February 03, 2018, from

Slack. (2013). Features. Retrieved February 02, 2018, from