As the province of Ontario opens up and life slowly begins to return to some sort of normalcy, UWaterloo students continued to strive for the taking their ideas beyond the norm. After weeks of preparation and tweaks to their presentations, 34 student teams competed for the chance to advance to the Concept $5K Finals. Over two evenings of virtual fun known as the Concept $5K Semi-Finals, they pitched their ideas and answered follow up questions to convince our judges they were worthy of advancing.

The weather was warm, but the competition was even hotter as the teams competed for an additional prize. This semester, we added on another $5K grant to be awarded to a team with a healthcare related solution. With this added grant, eligible teams could win up to $10,000 to help fund their idea and make their startup dreams come true. This added pressure brought out the best from our participating teams and made a hard job even harder for our judges. With such high stakes, we relied on a panel of experienced judges to select the top 10 teams to move on and compete for funding. Not only did the teams have to impress over their 3-minute pitches, but they also had to be on the ball and ready for follow up questions from the judges.

Posing these questions and tasked with selecting the advancing teams, we assembled a panel of top-notch judges. Our judging panel included:
John Cappuccitti, Director of the Velocity Incubator, Ross Robinson, Software Business Advisor for Velocity, and Jonathan Hsu,  Director of Investments for Front Row Ventures. Beyond their judging duties, they also provided feedback and advice for all the teams as well as offering some valuable potential connections. From everyone at Concept, and all the students involved, thank you judges!

Now that you know what they went through, it’s time to meet the teams taking the virtual stage for the Concept $5K Finals!

Spring 2021 Concept $5K Finalists

AIpaca
AIpaca is an AI cloud broker making AI model hyperparameter tuning as easy as one line of code.

ASPx
ASPx is simplifying hospital grade Antibiotic Stewardship programs (ASPs) for clinics so they can remain compliant to new regulations and play their part in saving antibiotics for the future generations.

Emre
Emre is a free cloud-based electronic medical record (EMR) system built for small and medium sized clinics in emerging markets who are seeking a more efficient and cost-effective way to deliver healthcare.

House AI
House AI is a customized data analytics solution for hospitals and healthcare institutions that saves lives, costs, and improves workflows.

Keystroke
Keystroke is building a Q&A social network for coding questions.

Maesos
Maesos is developing an IoT microclimate monitoring network using smart weather sensors and novel plant health sensors to optimize agricultural management, maximize yield and combat damage caused by weather, pests, diseases and sprays.

MedAtlas
MedAtlas aims to simplify access to specialist healthcare in Africa using telemedicine solutions.

Microbuild Masonry
Microbuild is using natural processes to make build materials with no environmental impact.

Safi
Safi is a portable, cost effective, and easy to use pasteurization kit made for Kenyan herders to clean their milk and prevent the spread of deadly illnesses.

Scena360
Scena 360 is an online 3D gathering platform that makes meeting up online more like meeting up in real life.

Join us in the virtual audience and tune in to the Spring 2021 Concept $5K Finals on July 29th to see these teams pitch their ideas and compete for up to $10K in grant funding. You will also have the opportunity to join their winning ways with audience prizes including Concept prize packs and JBL Speakers! Follow us on social media to learn more about these teams and stay up to date on all things entrepreneurship at UWaterloo. In the meantime, to scratch your pitch itch, check out our list of previous Concept $5K champions and watch their winning pitches. See you at the Finals!

Attend the Concept $5K Finals

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