Velocity $5K winter 2023 semi-finalists announced

Tuesday, March 14, 2023

Velocity $5K semi-finals with 4 pictures of students from previous competitions

Two science-led companies will take the stage this week and pitch at Velocity’s $5K Winter 2023 semi-finals for their chance to advance to the finals later this month.

Held every term, the Velocity $5K pitch competition sees early-stage student ventures pitch live for a chance to win one of four $5,000 awards.

After receiving a record number of applications since in-person events resumed, an experienced panel of entrepreneurs chose the 28 student teams who will compete at the semi-finals on March 15th and 16th.

Each semi-finalist will have just three minutes to present their idea and convince a new panel of judges that it has potential and viability to succeed. Only then will they move on to the final round.

The top eight teams from the two rounds will return to the stage for the finals on March 30th and four teams will take home $5,000 in grant funding to help grow their ambitions and innovative business ideas.

The 30 companies competing are: ALive, Arami Health,, AutoChef, Crescendo, Cyber Neuro, DBDR (Drone-Based Disaster Relief), Engineering Link, Entomation, Evoke, Foodage Inc., ForestOrigin, FueleaF, GoHappy Club, Haystackfs,, Joyi, Matin Nuit, Med Melanin, MemoryHaven, MetaCycler BioInnovations, Milk it!, Nitron, Pharmabox, Plantal Support Inc., Relief Wings, TrashTalk, VIZZ and Whale Safe Fishing Gear.

Meet the Science Winter 2023 Finalists

  • Entomation cultivates invertebrates such as mealworms, using free food waste. By turning food waste into insects, insects into serum, the serum feeds lab-grown cells to make lab-grown meat.
    Members: Nicholas Cheng (Pharmacy MSc. student), Shreeja Gupta (Engineering) and Wafeeq Alam (Engineering) and Brenda Li (Math).
  • MetaCycler BioInnovations has developed a range of microorganisms that can upcycle food waste into biodegradable plastics, addressing the demand for sustainable alternatives to petroleum-based plastics.
    Members: Nicole LeBlanc, Aranksha Thakor and Eugenia Dadzie (Biology PhD students), Shirley Wong (Biology post doc) and Jonathan Parkes.

The judges for the two-day event are: Science alumni Moazam Khan (Director of Velocity Health) and Moufeed Kaddoura (CEO and Co-Founder of Velocity alumni Kenota Health) as well as Lawrentina D’Souza (Product Manager at Velocity company Samos).

Good luck to all participants. Join us on March 15th and 16th to cheer on your UWaterloo peers.