Problem Pitch Competition outline of dates

Applications are open for the Quantum Valley Investments® Problem Pitch Competition

Pitch a problem, deliver your findings, and win big! Applications are now open for the Quantum Valley Investments® Problem Pitch Competition. Current University of Waterloo students are invited to identify and pitch important industry problems to a panel of judges on November 1Students can pitch their problems in three different segments this semester:

  1. Open Pitch
    Students can pitch an important problem on a topic of their choosing.
  2. Billion Dollar Problems
    Students can opt to research and pitch their understanding on an important problem within topics presented during Larry Smith’s Billion Dollar Briefing.
  3. Discovery Tools
    A category for science students to demonstrate their understanding of obstacles to research in biological and physical sciences. In partnership with the Faculty of Science.

To be eligible, teams of up to four students must submit an application that includes thorough research of an industry problem and demonstrate a deep understanding of its history, scope, and impact. For those interested in applying to pitch in the Discovery Tools stream, at least half of the team must be enrolled in the faculty of Science.  Think about the big problems that affect everyone. Participants will be asked to answer guiding questions like:

  • What is the scale of the problem?
  • What is the context of the problem?
  • What is the history of the problem?
  • Have there been previous attempts to solve the problem?

In preparation for the competition, selected teams will have the opportunity to attend workshops, practice pitching sessions, and mentoring appointments to aid their ideas and research.

The winning teams will demonstrate the best understanding of an important problem and will win $5,000 to be used to fund R&D for a venture that solves the problem identified. Winning teams will also have the opportunity to double their prize money post-event if they are able to demonstrate financial need and progress over time, in consultation with the Problem Lab.

We’ve seen a variety of problems pitched in the past, including last term’s winner Membio – who presented a 5-minute pitch on how life-saving medicines for detrimental diseases cannot be commercialized due to their complexity and problems with manufacturing and scientific innovation.  the fall armyworm infestation in agriculture, and how it affects food supply. The Winter 2018 winner was Exor, who pitched on the fall armyworm infestation in agriculture, and how it affects food supply.

If you’re reading this and thinking about an industry problem you’d like to explore, don’t miss out! Check out the competition schedule above, save the date, and don’t miss your opportunity to apply. Apply before the deadline on Sunday, September 30 at 11:59pm. Visit the Problem Lab page to find out more information about the Quantum Valley Investments® Problem Pitch Competition, including how to enter, sources to use, and examples of past pitches.

The Quantum Valley Investments® Problem Pitch Competition is a collaboration between Velocity and the Problem Lab.