Beware the Fall Armyworm Infestation in Agriculture: Exor wins the Quantum Valley Investments Problem Pitch Competition!

Last night, six University of Waterloo student teams each presented a 5-minute pitch about a major industry problem that needs to be solved. They provided extensive research about the history, scope and impact of the problem and explained why it needs to be solved. The goal: win a share of $7,500 to fund R&D for a solution to the problem they identified.

Teams of up to four students put everything on the line to pitch to an audience of students, community members, and a panel of judges. Crista Renner, Velocity Business Advisor, and Ben Graham, Problem Lab Researcher, co-hosted the event, but the kickoff was delivered by Larry Smith, esteemed University of Waterloo economics professor and mastermind behind the Problem Lab. Larry was pleased to announce that the competition will now be known as the Quantum Valley Investments Problem Pitch Competition, in recognition of a generous $300,000 donation to the Problem Lab from Mike Lazaridis and Doug Fregin, principals of Quantum Valley Investments and founders of Blackberry.

Following their pitch, each team answered questions from the panel of judges. The judges were Tommy Rakic, founder of Vanguard Developments, Julie Ellis, Co-founder of Mabel’s Labels and current COO of Snuggle Bugz, and Joseph Bou Younes, Data Growth Coach at Communitech.

After six engaging pitches, 1st place and $5,000 in funding was awarded to Exor, who discussed the problem of fall armyworm infestations in agriculture. 2nd place was awarded to Cultured, who identified the research-practice gap in scientific research. The 3rd place People’s Choice Award was selected by the audience and awarded to Gazeify who identified that there are no scaleable solutions for eye-tracking technology on mobile to help companies in e-commerce track and improve user experiences.

Congratulations to the winners and a big thank you to all who participated in and attended the event!