In teams of three, competitors selected United Nations’ Sustainability Development Goals and proposed a solution that addresses important challenges facing the world. The goals addressed included zero hunger, gender equality, responsible consumption, and life on land, among others.

The student teams came from diverse backgrounds, including undergraduate and graduate students from the faculties of Science, Math, Environment, Engineering, and beyond. At stake was $1,000 for an international travel experience for each winning team member, as well as the chance to present their solution at the Global Finals at Western University in May, to compete for a share of $45,000.

In attendance to watch the pitches were students, faculty, and community members. The event was emceed by Ian Rowlands, Associate Vice-President, at Waterloo International, and an experienced panel of judges, including Tracey Robertson, Strategy Lead at the Ontario Trillium Foundation; Harleen Kaur, Co-Founder of uCiC; and Karl Braun, Board Member at Oikocredit.

RAPTRS was awarded 1st place for their Rapid Anti-Poaching Technological Response System to prevent the poaching of Elephants and Rhinos in Africa, which are essential to the region’s biodiversity.

In 2nd place was Bugs Abroad, which hopes to provide micro-loans to developing nations, to allow the creation of small-scale insect agricultural operations in order to reduce world hunger.

In 3rd place was Women Ambassadors in Menstrual Sanitation (WAMS), which is creating period pouches to fund menstrual hygiene programming that empowers women to become menstrual sanitation ambassadors in their communities.

Thank you to everyone who competed, and congratulations to the winners! We were inspired by your passion for tackling major global problems with innovative solutions that can change the world. We are excited to send RAPTRS to the World’s Challenge Challenge International Finals at Western University in May.

Love pitch competitions? Check out these upcoming events at Velocity:

  • Problem Pitch Competition: pitching important industry problems | March 7
  • Velocity Fund Finals $5K Qualifiers: early stage startup pitches | March 15 and March 16
  • Velocity Fund Finals: startups pitch for $125K in funding | March 30