Science and Business students provide impactful business consulting to science-based companies throughout the pandemic

Tuesday, June 29, 2021

Throughout the pandemic, students in the WatSolve Consulting Group have continued to provide support for small science companies to find their niche in the market, through management consulting. The University of Waterloo is well known for its experiential learning experiences, and the Science and Business program is no exception. WatSolve provides students with unique business consulting opportunities where students work with real science-based companies, providing them with suggestions for improvement, while simultaneously learning to integrate their business aptitude with their scientific knowledge.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, WatSolve has had to pivot every aspect of their operations online, which made it challenging for members to regularly connect with each other. The transition from the group’s usual weekly in-person meetings to Microsoft Teams meetings was a significant change, but the team persevered and adapted to these changes so that they could continue providing their clients with support.

An online photo through video conferencing showing WatSolve members wearing their blue shirts

“We truly miss being able to interact in-person, but as consultants, it is important for us to be able to adapt to new situations and navigate through unpredictable territory. Transitioning to virtual operations helped us to do exactly that,” says Amy Suresh, a member of WatSolve. “Online resources available enabled us to maintain effective communication across all teams and provide work with the same level of quality and expertise that WatSolve is known for. We have been able to have three incredibly successful virtual terms!”

Even in light of this new learning curve for WatSolve, they have continued to provide knowledge and resources for both new and old clients that they have partnered with. Blue Lion Labs, one of WatSolve’s longest clients, is one of the companies that WatSolve has continued to help during the pandemic.

Since 2019, WatSolve has been working with Blue Lion Labs to develop a strategy to break into the aquaculture industry. Science alumnus Katie Thomas (BSc '07, PhD '14) and Waterloo alumnus Jason Deglint (MASc '16, PhD '20) co-founded Blue Lion Labs, a company that combines science and technology to develop strategies that improve people's access to clean water.

Over the last year, WatSolve has been helping Blue Lion Labs solidify their business strategy as they adapted to conducting most of their business remotely. WatSolve has also had the chance to help them dive deeper into new markets and explore new opportunities.

“Blue Lion Labs is one of our longest partnerships and we are proud to continue providing high quality work to help them build better strategies for their business and support their move to the online world," says Nikhita Nandeesha, WatSolve’s Winter 2021 Communications Associate. “WatSolve is extremely lucky to have so many enthusiastic, hardworking members and a supportive management team to make this all possible.”

Together with Blue Lion Labs, WatSolve is proving that – be it in person, or online – their team continues to support and provide excellent consulting services to small science-based businesses.