From a doodle in your notebook to a pitch on stage

Concept $5K Grant

New This Semester: The Climate Change Grant

In addition to the four $5K Grants, we are teaming up with UWaterloo’s Interdisciplinary Centre on Climate Change (IC3) to offer a brand-new grant to help focus our efforts on combating climate change. This grant provides the opportunity for teams working on innovative climate change solutions to win up to $10K to help fund their idea!

Learn more

Since 2011, the $5K Grants have been supporting undergraduate and graduate students at the University of Waterloo. Each term, $20,000 in student grants are awarded to help fund creative tech ideas.

“Apply! Get out of your comfort zone. It’s not as scary as it seems.”

Connor Al-Joundi, Founder of Forsa

It’s only three steps to win a $5K Grant:

step 1


Have an innovative idea? Think you’ve thought up the next big thing? Submit an online application and start your journey to the $5K Finals.

step 2


30 applicants will be chosen to pitch their ideas at the Concept $5K Semi-Finals, in front of a panel of judges from the local startup community. You’ll have three minutes to convince the judges that your team has what it takes to compete in the Finals.

Learn more!

Step 3


This is where the magic happens. Only the best of the best from the Semi-Finals are invited to pitch at the Concept $5K Finals and compete for the grants. Ten teams will take the stage, but only four will take home a cheque.

What does this look like? Check out our YouTube Channel to watch pitches from previous competitions and get inspiration to pitch your very own business idea.

Watch previous pitches!

“Just go for it! The worst thing you can do is not apply. And when you do apply, believe in your idea above anything else.”

Lynne Murdoch, Founder of VOYHS

Important dates!

The Concept $5K Finals are held three times a year. The dates to take note of for the Fall 2020 term are as follows:

• September 28: Applications open
• October 18: Applications close
• November 11 & 12: Concept $5K Semi-Finals
• November 26: Concept $5K Finals

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