Last week, students from the University of Waterloo pitched their early-stage startup ideas at the Concept $5K Semi-Finals hoping to be one of the nine teams selected to move on to the Concept $5K Finals on Wednesday, November 20. This competition is the successor to the Velocity Fund Finals $5K and marks the first iteration with the new Concept name.

Over two incredible nights, a total of 31 teams pitched their innovative ideas to judges from the local startup community and members of the Student Venture Fund. Each pitcher had just 3 short minutes to convince the judges they should be selected to advance to the Finals and that their startup idea is worthy of $5K in funding. The students’ pitches focused on stating the importance of the problem, their innovative solution, the potential market size, why they are the right team to solve the problem, and how they would use the $5K if they won.

After all of the pitches were complete our judges hurried off to a separate room and began deliberating. It is never an easy task to determine the finalists and this term was no different. Each team that pitched offered compelling reasons to be selected. In an ideal world, we would love to fund them all, but in this world, only nine were chosen to move on. So without further adieu, we are pleased to introduce the first-ever Concept $5K Finalists!


Get to know this term’s Finalists

CodeGEM
CodeGEM is developing a feedback management system to quantify code improvements and promote better feedback.

Flowy
Flowy is building AI-powered digital transformation tools to commoditize frictionless automation.

Gooloo
Gooloo is developing an innovative online food court.

IXIM
IXIM is developing low carbon building materials using bio-based compounds.

Recircuit
Recircuit is building an online marketplace for pre-processed recycled plastics.

Ribbit
Ribbit aims to create the world’s first fully autonomous airline service.

Scope
Scope is building lenses whose optical power is electronically tunable.

Tomat.io
Tomat.io is building a tomato harvesting robot for greenhouses.

Vision Spatial Technologies
Vision Spatial Technologies is building a computer vision powered traffic light that improves safety and reduces the liability of ski resorts.

Make sure to come out to the Concept $5K Finals on November 20 to watch these awesome student teams pitch for their share of $20K in funding. This Fall we are extremely lucky to host special guest speaker Marcelo Cortes. Marcelo studied Computer Science at the University of Waterloo and is the Co-founder of incredibly successful company Faire, which operates a wholesale marketplace for independent local retailers and makers. Faire was in the news recently as they announced an additional round of funding and achieved the status of unicorn (a startup valued at over $1 Billion).

Before we get the pitches going, he will be sitting down for a candid fireside chat with Velocity Director of Startups, Jay Shah. This will be an incredible opportunity to hear about Marcelo’s journey in the startup world and what it’s like to be the CTO of a billion-dollar company.

The fireside chat begins at 11:00am and the $5K pitches will get started shortly after lunch at 12:30pm. Register to attend or join in via our live stream on Facebook!

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