The winners of the Winter 2019 Quantum Valley Investments® Problem Pitch competition

Friday, March 15, 2019

This semester’s finalists demonstrated a deep understanding of important commercial problems affecting multiple industries – from hydrocarbon pollution to talent services.

Congratulations to the winners and all the finalists in this semester’s Problem Pitch competition.

Three winning teams each walked away with $5,000 in R&D funding to finance the development of a solution to the problems they presented. The teams had 5-minutes to pitch their problem to a panel of judges and an audience of students and professionals. After each pitch the panel of judges had 5-minutes of Q&A where they dug deeper into the problem and how well each team understood their problem. The winners were able to demonstrate that their chosen problems are of significant scale and they had the most thorough analysis of the problem.

Quantum Valley Investments® Problem Pitch winners

Billion Dollar Problems Stream

Sensable (now SafeGround AI): Neluka Leanage (PhD Urban & Regional Planning) pitched the problem of our reliance on insufficient sensor data and technology to make autonomous vehicles safe for road use leaves pedestrians and cyclists at risk.

Open Problems Stream

Icarus Medical: Ryan Gallagher (Nanotechnolog Engineering) highlighted wait times for treatment by specialist physicians have been rising for more than 20 years in Canada, significantly impacting our citizens, our economy, and our healthcare system.

Climate-Driven Environmental Emergencies

Planning for Temporary: Zifan Zhang (Nanotechnolog Engineering) focused on the displacement of people due to climate change will be permanent, not temporary, and we need to act now for the future.

All finalists presented important and well-researched problems. The Problem Lab commends each of the teams for the time and hard work they put in during the competition process. Please see the news post for the list of Winter 2019 Problem Pitch finalists.

Judges at this semester’s event included Josh Garofalo, Founder of Sway Ventures Inc., John Carbrey, CEO and Founder of FutureSight, and Dr. Barbara Fennessy, Vice President of Applied Research at Conestoga College.

The Quantum Valley Investments® Problem Pitch Competition is made possible by $300,000 in funding from Mike Lazaridis and Doug Fregin, principals of Quantum Valley Investments® and founders of Blackberry. 

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