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Rebecca Swabey: Environmental engineer turned entrepreneur

Environmental engineer Rebecca Swabey turned her effort to tackle engineering data challenges into Equator, a venture focused on speeding up the design phase of housing and infrastructure development.

“I’ve spent nearly a decade in the consulting engineering industry,” Swabey, co-founder and CEO of Equator, said. “I recognized the challenges in sourcing critical data for projects, such as accurate topographic maps, which ultimately led to the creation of Equator."

A University of Guelph graduate, Swabey worked for large and small engineering firms, designing water management systems, stormwater ponds and more. 

“I have seen from my experiences, people often associate delays in housing with construction, overlooking the years of planning by civil and environmental engineers,” Swabey said. “Equator aims to streamline and accelerate this pre-construction phase."

Established in 2019 in Kitchener, Equator consolidates data (such as LiDAR) and tools in an online geographic information system (GIS) data platform, helping engineering firms automate and enhance their workflows.

“Our inspiration is to free up engineers' time for impactful work by automating data processes, allowing them to focus on decision-making, client interactions and design rather than tedious manual labor,” Swabey said. 

With over 300 customers in Canada and the U.S., typical platform users include project managers, CAD designers and engineers. 

Currently, the company is piloting Equator Land Development Intelligence (LDI), a solution integrating artificial intelligence (AI) and content libraries to expedite engineering proposals and reports is set to launch this year.

“We want to cut the time in half,” Swabey said. “We’re also actively partnering with firms and seeking additional collaborators to contribute to the solution's development."

With eight employees, the company plans to double its team by the year-end.  

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