Velocity Science companies SannTek and PolyGone win Fall 2017 Problem Pitch Competition

Thursday, October 19, 2017

On Tuesday, Velocity Science companies PolyGone and Sanntek swept the competition at the Fall 2017 Problem Pitch Competition.

The Problem Pitch Competition challenges student teams to choose an important industry problem, and pitch their research about the problem's history, scope and impact to a panel of judges. 

Engaged audience sitting in risers

Ten teams made their five minute pitch in front of an audience of 100+ students, faculty, staff, community members and a panel of judges. After their pitch, the teams would answer questions from the panel of judges.

Group photo of SannTek team
SannTek member (left to right): Noah DeBrincat, Thomas Dunlop, Karolyn Mackowiak and Benjamin Milligan.

SannTek won first place and $5K for identifying the problem of there being no road-side tests that provide an accurate, real-time analysis for the marijuana compound THC.

2 females from Team PolyGone
PolyGone members Lauren Smith and Rachel Baldwin.

PolyGone won second place and $2,500 for identifying that microfibers from synthetic materials in the textile industry are increasingly deposited in water supplies and food sources.

The cash prizes will be used to fund the research and development for a solution to the problem they pitched.

The other teams competing were: CleepSycle, Dark Side, Demystify, Priv, Qalm, Sec-Int, The Health Aisle and Wecasual.

Sec-Int won the People's Choice category for their pitch on how smart devices in the Internet of Things (IoT) don't employ adequate security.

The judges for the October event were: 

  • Prof. Joel Blit, Department of Economics, UWaterloo
  • Laura Allan - Executive Director, Schlegel Centre for Entrepreneurship & Social Innovation
  • Mike Kirkup, CTO of Encircle, and former Director of Velocity

Last June, Intelline won the competition for the problem that current cryocooling methods limit the opportunity to develop impactful technology because it's too expensive. Intelline is also a Velocity Science company.

The Problem Pitch Competition is a collaborative effort between Velocity and the Problem Lab. This was the third competition. The first Problem Pitch Competition was held in March.