Last week we hosted our second virtual Concept $5K Semi-Finals, and as expected, it produced two exciting nights! Our large virtual gathering, brought together more than 150 people from the UWaterloo community to watch and cheer for entrepreneurial students from all faculties hoping to be one of the Fall 2020 Concept $5K Finalists. Our wonderful audience also got the chance to answer surprise questions and walk away with some prizes of their own. 

This term, students were encouraged to work on solving problems on climate change-related issues, and they did not disappoint! We received an impressive number of applications from UWaterloo emerging entrepreneurs, that even with all adversities brought by the pandemic, are still working hard on their business ideas. This semester we introduced the Climate Change Grant offered in conjunction with UWaterloo’s Interdisciplinary Centre on Climate Change (IC3) and received more than 20 applications from student teams working to tackle climate change solutions.

With the tough mission of selecting the finalists, we had an amazing panel of judges from the local community. A huge thank you to Rui Su, Waterloo Pharmacy Alumni and Co-Founder of MedMe Health; Jeff Aramini, Research Scientist and Commercialization Advisor at the Velocity Incubator and founder of PetNation Inc.; and Julia Fung from the Student Venture Fund and also a Computing and Financial Management student. They provided valuable feedback to all teams and helped us make the tough choices using their wealth of knowledge and experience. 

Over two nights, each team had just 3 minutes to take our virtual stage and convince the judges and our audience why they had what it takes to be the next Concept $5K winners. Of 33 semi-finalists, we’re excited to introduce you to the top 10 teams selected by our amazing judges to compete in the Fall 2020 $5K Finals, including four teams that will be also competing for the Climate Change Grant.

Fall 2020 Concept $5K Finalists

Cove 
Cove is building a platform that provides healthcare providers and their patients with digital suicide intervention tools they can use to improve mental healthcare outcomes related to suicide.

Miss Mechanic 
An on-call automotive service support system provided by women, for women, to make informed decisions in a traditionally male-dominated industry. 

mtion Interactive 
mtion Interactive is developing a twitch for virtual reality.  

The BarnBox
The BarnBox is working with traditional mom-and-pop stores in India and making them tech-enable so they can compete with modern-day online grocers. 

XP Fantasy
XP Fantasy is an esports community platform where users can use their knowledge, experience and passion for various esports to compete in daily fantasy contests to win tangible prizes.

Citrus Life Science
Developing a biosensor discovery platform to rapidly prototype and develop point of care diagnostic tests. 

Finalists also competing for the Climate Change Grant

These four teams have the chance to take home additional $5K Grant through our partnership with IC3 to help support their innovative climate change solutions.

Decomp 
Decomp is building an organic plastic waste disposal solution that utilizes bioreactor technology to create and maintain the optimal growing conditions for plastic degrading microbes to facilitate the degradation of plastics.

UbiLab: Real-Time Syndromic Surveillance Air Pollution
UbiLab is building a real-time, crowdsourced, IoT-based air quality monitoring ecosystem using IoT sensors for air pollution surveillance. 

Algobio
AlgoBio is creating a non-toxic bio-based flame retardant that keeps children safe from the fast spread of fire in cars and preserves their long-term health. 

ChangeRoom
ChangeRoom is a fashion-tech startup that connects the vast array of sustainable clothing brands with the growing number of eco-conscious customers through an intuitive and simple mobile marketplace.  


Concept $5K Finals 

To watch the finalists’ pitch videos and learn more about these fantastic ideas, tune in to our Youtube Channel on November 26th and follow us on social media for more updated information about the Fall 2020 Concept $5K teams and other UWaterloo entrepreneurial students. In the meantime, check out our list of previous Concept $5K champions and watch their winning pitches.

Feeling inspired by these impressive students? Book a 1:1 session with one of our coaches to chat about anything related to entrepreneurship, get feedback on your business idea or to learn more about how you can get involved with Concept and be one of the next $5K winners! 

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