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The First Ever Virtual Concept $5K Winners

We are used to having to solve problems, and dealing with students tackling unique problems but this term put a whole new spin on that. Our Concept $5K Finals pitch competition changed from an onstage pitch to a video, and from a packed crowd to a virtual audience. Unfazed by these rapid changes and ever the entrepreneurs, our awesome finalists quickly adapted and produced some incredible videos as they fully embraced this new virtual competition. After some careful consideration and serious debate from our judges, we are proud to announce that four incredible teams have been selected as the Winter 2020 Concept $5K Winners!

Each finalist team could have easily been selected and were worthy of the prizes, but our four winners stood as a slight cut above the others. The judges were thoroughly impressed by the range of problems University of Waterloo students are tackling. It was a difficult deliberation, but in the end the judges chose winners who demonstrated that there was a clear market need for their solution, a credible path for their solution to get to market, and that they had a killer team willing to do whatever it takes to make things happen!

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So without further delay, we are proud to name the following teams as the Concept $5K Finals Winners! 


BeBlended connects black women with hairstylists through an innovative online platform. You can already use the platform to connect with fantastic hairstylists in Waterloo and look your absolute finest! 

Aileen Agada, Environmental Engineering

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What a blessing! This comes to show that you can still accomplish things in the midst of a pandemic. I can’t wait to see BeBlended grow with this funding!

Aileen Agada


Reflect has built a guided journal app for mindfulness to help users reflect on their thoughts and improve their mental health. You can download their app on the AppStore or Google Play and start journaling today, what better time to reflect than during these crazy times? 

Shivam Sharma, Computer Science
Nasr Mohamed, Math
Rosa Cruz, BBA 2019, Wilfrid Laurier

Concept $5K Winner Reflect

With the Concept $5K, we will be able to incorporate, get 3 influencers on board, and conduct growth experiments.

Shivam Sharma


SMRTCoat has focused on tackling concussion detection through a spray-on, colour-changing impact detection solution to detect concussion causing contact in young athletes.

Daniel Stranart, Nanotechnology Engineering
Luke Wiersma, Nanotechnology Engineering
Han Liu, Nanotechnology Engineering

Concept $5K Winner SMRTCoat

This is great news that clearly validates the idea and the work we put into it. Concept gave us an awesome stage to show what we’ve done. Now it’s onto the next steps of establishing our IP moving forward.

Daniel Stranart

Vision Spatial Technologies

Vision Spatial Technologies has created a computer vision powered platform for monitoring high risk areas in recreational activities. They have already partnered with Mount St. Louis Moonstone and are looking to further expand their operations.

Sam Dugan, Mechatronics, University of Waterloo
Connor Kent, Mechatronics Engineering, University of Waterloo
Nathan Pacey, Engineering, Queen’s University

Concept $5K Winner VSTech

The Concept $5K will help us take our business to the next level faster and more directly than otherwise possible.  We now have the financial backing to break into the US market by attending trade shows and making sales visits that we otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford.  We are so proud to be a winner of this award, and we are excited to continue our development through the Concept program!

Sam Dugan

Additional Award Winners

In addition to these awesome teams, we also relied on our virtual audience to help pick their representative as the People’s Champ. That brand new, highly coveted title went to a fifth team with iuvoderm taking the crown! The outpouring of support and engagement from our virtual audience has been incredible! 

And the winning does not stop there! This semester we also partnered with Conrad for the Conrad School of Entrepreneurship and Business Award. This award will provide one student team with access to two first-year engineering co-op students who can help them achieve short-term business objectives through a 7-week placement. After their deliberation, Conrad has selected HomeScouts as the first recipient of this incredible prize! 

Thank you very much to everyone who got involved and was able to participate in the Concept $5K Finals from a safe social distance, we really appreciate your enthusiasm and dedication through this unique time. And one final congratulations to our Concept $5K Winners and all of our awesome Finalists! We will be back next semester with another pitch competition so start working on your ideas and prepare for the virtual spotlight!

The community support and engagement was truly inspiring! Be sure to follow us on social media and stay up to date with all of the exciting new initiatives, programs, and virtual fun we will be providing.