The spring sun is melting the winter snow away, but UWaterloo students were the ones shining brightest at the Concept $5K Finals. This semester marked our return to a live Finals event, virtually of course, and the student teams stepped up to put on an impressive and entertaining show. Our Finalists faced the toughest path to victory yet as we saw over 120 different ideas submitted for consideration!

Even as labs across campus are closed or severely limited, teams are dispersed across the world, and a pandemic looming over everything, these entrepreneurial students focused on their innovations and continued to develop new ideas. A huge kudos to everyone who applied this semester and pitched at the Semi-Finals or the Finals. Your dedication is highly admirable and stands as a testament to both your character and commitment to creating solutions.

The bar is continually rising for what it takes to win our staple pitch competition, and this semester was no exception. The Finalists for the Winter 2021 Concept $5K Finals were covering a wide range of industries and solving important problems that thoroughly impressed our judges.

We would like to extend a massive thank you to everyone on our judging panel for taking the time to come out and help support student entrepreneurship. Their questions and feedback were invaluable for the teams and will enable them to look deeper into their ideas and better refine them for future success. Thank you to John Cappuccitti, Keyma Prince, and Julia Fung for providing their expertise and helping to split hairs between Finalists and Winners. Although each team made their decision difficult, a few pitches and ideas stood out above the rest.

This semester’s winners are…

AquaSensing

AquaSensing designs battery-free water leak detection systems that reduce environmental footprint, upfront costs, and recurring maintenance requirements.

Team:
Nathan Johnson, Masters of Mechanical & Mechatronics Engineering
Connor Al-Joundi, Masters of Mechanical & Mechatronics Engineering
Kushant Patel, Masters of Mechanical & Mechatronics Engineering
Jarren Teo, Masters of Mechanical & Mechatronics Engineering

Arbitrium

Arbitrium is a digital end-to-end decision making platform that allows organizations to easily make unbiased group decisions involving multiple stakeholders.

Team:
Ahmed Hamodi, 4A Software Engineering
Greg Maxin, 4B Computer Science

Scribenote

Scribenote eliminates hours of costly, taxing work for doctors, nurses and veterinarians by automating medical documentation.

Team:
Ryan Gallagher, 4B Nanotechnology Engineering 
Alina Pavel, 4B Nanotechnology Engineering 
Mohamed El-Naggar, 4B Nanotechnology Engineering 
Hashem Al Momani, 4B Nanotechnology Engineering 

UWTensil

UWTensil has developed a novel material to be manufactured into cheap, biodegradable cutlery (and other food distribution applications), serving as a viable replacement for disposable cutlery when the Canadian ban on single-use plastics is implemented.

Team:
Nishita Saha, 4B Chemical Engineering
Minh Trinh, 4B Chemical Engineering
Gavin Lee, 4B Chemical Engineering
Andy Yang, 4B Chemical Engineering

The Winning Continues

A huge congratulations to all these impressive as they join an illustrious group of previous Concept $5K Winners who continue to develop their ideas and make UWaterloo proud. Although the $5K grants have been named, the competition isn’t over yet! Voting is open until April 1st to help decide the People’s Champ who will receive $500 and the knowledge that their idea is loved by the community. To vote, check out the Finals pitches on YouTube and like the video of your favourite team. We will announce the winner over social media on April 1st so be sure to follow us and stay tuned!


As another semester draws to a close, the University of Waterloo community has once again displayed a passion for innovation and a dedication to creating solutions. We commend everyone involved and look forward to seeing all these teams (Finalists, Semi-Finalists, and applicants) continue to develop their ideas and build awesome startups at UWaterloo. To stay in the know about other exciting opportunities and to see how these teams progress follow us on social media and sign up for our newsletter for your weekly dose of Concept news.

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