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

Now, each of the 10 teams will present a 5-minute pitch about their problem to their peers at the Quantum Nano Centre (QNC) at the University of Waterloo, as well as answer questions from a panel of knowledgable judges. Please join us at the event to learn more about industry problems that may inspire the creation of new ventures solving those problems. Free pizza will be served to attendees!

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?

The winning team will be awarded $4,000 to fund research and development for a venture that solves the problem identified. The 2nd place team will win $1,000, and members of the audience will vote to award the 3rd place People’s Choice Award, and a Kobo Aura e-reader for each team member! Below are the finalists of the Problem Pitch Competition and the problems they have identified:

The Canadian beef industry is unable to adjust its costs, production techniques and technologies to thrive in a rapidly changing market. The industry must radically innovate to succeed in a global context.

Eliminating Food Waste
Current methods of food waste management are draining our economy, contributing to greenhouse gas emissions and impacting the well-being of individuals.

Independent computer gaming is causing people to stare at screens more than ever, creating loneliness and social isolation.

The ability to transition from traditional to renewable energy sources is inhibited by a lack of energy storage infrastructure, limiting economic potential.

NeonArc Technologies
Informal caregivers do not have the necessary tools, training, and techniques necessary to manage personal care tasks and to maintain their own health.

Quick Alert
There is no way for patients to communicate their histamine status during a severe allergic reaction.

The current methods being used to deal with poaching are prohibitively expensive and disconnected – as a result they are proving ineffective.

There are no road-side tests that provide an accurate, real-time analysis for THC.

Backlit screens are the only viable way we can take input from computers. The structure of PC and laptop screens cause unnatural near-point focus on a direct light source, leading to short and long-term health consequences.

People who suffer from a chronic respiratory illness cannot live a normal, fulfilling life using existing technology.

Please join us at the Problem Pitch Competition on Tuesday, March 7, to watch teams compete for funding as they present industry problem they have identified. Register to attend.

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