Students from Waterloo Engineering made a mark again as the Concept 5k pitch event for aspiring entrepreneurs was staged in-person today after COVID-19 forced a move to a virtual format more than two years ago.
Spectators packed the Student Life Centre as teams featuring engineering members took three of the four $5,000 prizes up for grabs when nine finalists gave three-minute presentations to a panel of judges.
The winners with engineering representatives were The Presidents Braids, Symphonic and Tako.
The President Braids (Adanna Amechi, chemical engineering) aims to provide quality, reliable and accessible day-long customized hair care services to people of colour across Ontario.
Symphonic (Christopher Samra and Avery Chiu, both mechatronics engineering) wants to build a wearable interface that directly decodes speech from neuromotor intentions, enabling people with speech disabilities to speak.
Tako (Tan Hung Le and Osama Siddiqui, both master of business, entrepreneurship and technology) is a B2B solution for the global seafood supply chain, taking care of the information processes so exporters and importers can focus on their expertise in delivering fish.
Eight of nine finalists
In all, eight of nine teams that qualified for the finals featured members from Waterloo Engineering. The others were:
LoopX, Canada’s first all-weather autonomous delivery robot (Chao Yu, Yaodong Cui, Jinwei Zhang and Jiaming Zhong, all engineering doctoral candidates, and Shucheng Huang, engineering master’s student).
EV123, public EV charger status verification software (Alex D'Alton, Andrew Smedley and Prasanna Karthik, all master of business, entrepreneurship and technology).
NEXT: Immigrant Services All-in-One App, a bridge to information and service gaps to help immigrants integrate into Canada (Chenyong Qin, computer engineering).
Leveraging robotics and automation
RÜF, which aims to revolutionize the roofing industry by leveraging robotics and automation (Brian Machado, Ethan Childerhose and Clayton Haight, all mechatronics engineering).
VR Speech Therapy Kit, which supplements existing speech therapy or provides an accessible option (Thomas Mastantuono and Karthik Prasad, both management sciences, and Jing Hao Yao, software engineering).
Concept is an experiential entrepreneurship and pre-incubator program at the University of Waterloo. It is provided by Velocity, an incubator for early stage, pre-send startup companies.
Go to Meet Your Spring Concept $5k Recipients for the full story.