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 June 14.

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. 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.

There is a total of $15,000 up for grabs, to be used on R&D for a venture that solves the problem identified. The first-place team will win $5,000, and the second-place team will win the remaining $2,500. Third-place is selected by a People’s Choice ballot, and each team member will receive a prize. Both the first and second-place teams will be given the chance 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.

We’ve seen a variety of problems pitched in the past, including last term’s winner Exor – who presented a 5-minute pitch on the fall armyworm infestation in agriculture, and how it affects food supply. The Fall 2017 winner was SannTek, who pitched research describing the lack of THC detection methods that can accurately quantify marijuana intoxication in real-time. Since their win, they’ve been developing a sensor to do just that, and won one of the Winter 2018 Velocity Fund $25K prizes!

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 Monday, May 21 at 11:59pm. Visit our 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.