The University of Waterloo hosts the Velocity Fund Finals this week, where 20 teams of UWaterloo students and alumni will pitch their innovative startups for the chance to share in $130,000 in funding.
Teams have three minutes to propose their solution to a problem and demonstrate the market opportunity and the team’s ability to succeed. Ten companies will compete for four prizes of $25,000. Judges will present one winner with an additional $10,000 for the top hardware pitch. Another 10 early-stage startups will compete for one of four awards of $5,000.
Incentive programs to encourage farmers and other landowners to protect the environment are key to conservation, but new research shows issues such as lack of enforcement undermine their effectiveness on a global scale.
These programs, called Payments for Environmental Services (PES), are a way to improve environmental management and livelihoods by attaching a dollar value to the benefits nature provides, such as clean water and air. They have been in place for two decades, but their design and cost-effectiveness are a concern for experts.