Announcing the 10 finalists for the spring 2017 Problem Pitch Competition

This Thursday evening, 10 student teams will propose important industry problems that need solving, while informing the audience of the problems’ history, scope, and impact. The 1st place team will be awarded $4,000 to fund research and development for a venture that solves the problem identified, the 2nd place team will be awarded $1,000, and audience members will vote to award the 3rd place People’s Choice Award!

University of Waterloo students submitted a wide range of industry problems, and finalists were selected after a process that challenged participants to thoroughly analyze the problem they identified.

Finalists will be able to confidently answer the following nine questions about their identified problem:

  • What exactly is the problem?
  • What is the context of the exactly defined problem?
  • What are the boundaries of the problem?
  • What is the history of the problem?
  • Why is the problem important?
  • How important is the problem to those affected?
  • How many customers is the problem important to?
  • Who is mistaken about what, and why?
  • Who exactly is the problem important to?

Each finalist will present a 5-minute pitch about their problem to peers and a panel of judges at the Quantum-Nano Centre (QNC) on the University of Waterloo campus. Please join us at the event to learn more about these important industry problems, which may spark new student ventures! Free pizza will be served to attendees. Below are the Problem Pitch Competition finalists and their problems:

Today’s music business models are not sustainable and are failing their main lifeblood: Artists.

Current cryocooling methods are too expensive and limit the opportunities to develop technology that can contribute to significant impact.

Longitudinal studies provide rich data but are difficult to manage, have high attrition rates, and are very expensive.

Employment and tax revenues are at risk, as almost half of Canadian small and medium-sized business owners are set to retire without effective succession plans in place.

Project Elephant
The lack of disclosure, discussion, and analysis of medical errors leads to adverse and unintended outcomes among healthcare professionals and increased expense within the medical system.

There is a lack of THC detection methods that accurately quantify intoxication in real-time.

Current burial methods are toxic and have high financial and environmental costs.

Sugar Coated
Increased sugar consumption has consequences to consumers and affects health costs and worker productivity.

Symbiont Labs
Mitochondrial disease diagnosis and research are impaired by inaccurate, invasive, and expensive diagnostic tools.

Dimensional weight wastes space, increases emissions, costs consumers, and affects profits.

Now that you’ve learned the basics of the pitches, don’t forget to register to attend!

The Problem Pitch Competition is a collaboration between Velocity and the Problem Lab.