In the face of this global crisis, the entrepreneurial community at the University of Waterloo has come together in an effort to help students tackle massive problems brought on by this pandemic. Through participating in The Pandemic Challenge, you will have the opportunity to explore the potential of your idea to influence policy changes, found a startup, or create a social venture.

Pandemic Challenge Fund Winners Announced!

Meet the winners

In partnership with:


You are currently living in the midst of a global pandemic that has changed the entire world! The COVID-19 outbreak has not only turned our lives around and brought economies to a standstill; it has also surfaced many of the deficiencies of our societies, our health systems and our general preparedness in addressing fast-spreading pandemics. The Pandemic Challenge aims to bring these unique issues to the forefront and work on solving them!

Get Inspired

By this time, you have likely experienced or closely observed many of the challenges brought forward by this fast-spreading disease. These inadequacies have left you feeling helpless and frustrated, so now its time to take action! If you have ideas on how to tackle a newly realized issue, we want to work with you and help turn your idea into an applied solution that can help our world be better prepared for whatever else the future may bring. Click below for ideas to get your mind wandering.

Problems to Consider

Take Action

We are not challenging you to find a cure, or focus solely on solving the problem of the disease spreading, but rather to consider how industries at large have been affected by this pandemic. After participating in a variety of virtual workshops and exercises, you can apply for the Pandemic Challenge Fund which will award $3K to the top three ideas brought forward.

Meet with coaches

Student Commitments

• Join and actively participate in the Pandemic Challenge Slack community
•Virtually attend organized workshops
•Book at least two 1:1 meetings with Coaches
•Apply to the “Pandemic Challenge Fund” to win one of three prizes of $3K
•OPTIONAL: Apply with your idea to the Concept $5K Pitch Competition

Pandemic Challenge Fund

Application Process:
• Application video submission due by July 13
• Students notified of acceptance status on July 20
• 3 minute video pitch with slide deck due by July 28

Judgment Criteria:
• Scale of the problem
• How your solution will solve the problem
• How your solution differs from existing ones
• Why your team is best suited to tackle the problem
• The sustainability of your solution as a business