problem pitch 2019

Someone should invent . . .

Identify an important problem for which an invention should be created. Develop a deep understanding of this problem and you may be able to win support for the research and development necessary to prototype your invention.

It must be the kind of problem that could be solved by a particular device or single computer application. It cannot be a problem for which the solution requires a process or continuing service provider.

If you can persuade a panel of judges that you have identified an important problem for which an invention should be created, and that you thoroughly understand the problem, you can win a financial award to help you and your team create a solution to the problem.

First place winners receive $3000, with an additional $3000 for demonstrated progress. Second place winners receive $2000, with an additional $2000 for demonstrated progress. A funding pool of $10,000 is available.

JOIN the Problem Pitch Competition for First-Year Students. 

How to apply

  1. Fill out an application - NOW OPEN.
    1. Wait to hear back from our team about whether you have been selected to move into the next round.  

Important dates

Event Date
Application opens January 7th 2019
Application closes February 3rd 2019
Top 10 Teams are Selected February 6th 2019
Research Workshop for Selected Teams February 7th 2019 (from 4:30pm-6:30pm in EV3 room 3412)
1-on-1 Mentoring Session February 8th -15th (scheduled with each team for 1 hour)
Pitch Deck Deadline March 3rd 2019
Finalists Notified March 6th 2019
Practice Pitches March 18th 2019
First-Year Problem Pitch Finals March 21st 2019

Students that that are selected as one of the top 10 teams are encouraged to reach out to other resources available to them on-campus and in Residence. If you would like to speak with one of the Entrepreneurs in Residence, you can find their contact information on the WERC Website.


The Pitch

The six teams with the strongest analysis of a problem for which an invention should be created  will be asked to pitch on March 21st 2019. Your five-minute problem pitch will present your understanding of the problem. The two teams with the most persuasive and documented analysis will win.

If you have any questions please email Jessie Snyder at



This competition is open to teams of 1 to 4 people. We encourage your team to bring together individuals from diverse backgrounds and areas of study. The majority of the team participants must be first-year students living in a University of Waterloo Residence. All team members must be a current full-time, or part-time University of Waterloo first-year students.

Not a first year student but still interested in participating? Check out the campus wide Problem Pitch Competition here.