The contest winners, which will be announced after a finals round, take home $5,000 in funding to support their work. The experience that participants gain from taking part in the challenge, as well as the prestige associated with winning, are widely seen as equally important to the monetary reward.
The first of the semi-finals took place July 14, with the second semi-final scheduled to take place July 15. Visit the Concept 5K homepage for more information.
The five teams with affiliations to the Faculty of Mathematics include:
- Bamboo, an online platform for student rentals and housing, serving the University of Waterloo community. The company promises a convenient and secure student-rental experience and intends to expand into other universities in the future.
- Lensii, a photo storage and sharing platform that uses AI technology to score and filter images. Lensii helps users pick the best photos quickly and without having to go through their entire digital photo reel.
- SAFI, a startup that is producing hand-held pasteurization devices for herders and farmers, primarily in Kenya. The product helps herders to make milk safer, and the name of the company is derived from the Swahili word for 'pure' and 'safe.'
- Shape Donations, a company setting out to make giving easier. Shape Donations uses an algorithm and 'robo-adviser' to help people donate to charities that are best aligned with their values and to facilitate effective communications between charities and donors.
- Smile Tabs aims to address the waste and environmental impacts caused by billions of conventional toothpaste tubes. The startup offers a toothpaste product that comes in single-use, biodegradable capsules, capitalizing on a rapidly growing alternative toothpaste market.