Problem Pitch competition schedule

Don’t miss your chance to win up to $5,000 at the Problem Pitch Competition

Applications are now open for the Problem Pitch Competition, where current University of Waterloo students will identify and pitch important industry problems to a panel of judges on February 15.

To apply, teams of up to four students must thoroughly research an industry problem to understand its history, scope, and impact. Participants will be asked to answer guiding questions like:

  • Why is the problem important?
  • What are the boundaries of the problem?
  • Who is mistaken about what, and why?

Along the way, participants will have the opportunity to attend workshops, practice pitching sessions, and mentoring appointments to aid their ideas and research.

Up for grabs is $7,500 in funding to be used on R&D for a venture that solves the problem identified. The first-place team will win $5,000, the second-place team will win $2,500, and the third-place team will win the People’s Choice Award – receiving a prize for every team member. Both the 1st and 2nd place teams will be under consideration to double their prize winnings post-event if they are able to demonstrate financial need and progress over time, in consultation with the Problem Lab.

To give you an idea of the kind of problems to investigate, last term’s winner SannTek pitched research describing the lack of THC detection methods that can accurately quantify marijuana intoxication in real-time. They described the root of the problem – that THC is soluble in fat rather than blood – and have since begun working on a way to test THC intoxication levels on the spot in a way similar to how breathalyzers test blood alcohol level.

Is there an industry problem you think needs to be explored? Check out the competition schedule above, save the date, and don’t miss your opportunity to apply! Apply now before the deadline closes on Sunday, January 21, 2018 at 11:59pm. Visit our page to find out more information about the Problem Pitch Competition, including how to enter, sources to use, and examples of past pitches.

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

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