With a wide range of experience and ideas, twenty-two student teams pitched their business ideas in the hopes of moving on to Velocity $5K pitch competition finals — and eight made the cut.
Over the course of two nights on November 9th and 10th, each team had one representative pitch to convince the judges that their idea had enough traction to succeed. These final eight teams will take the stage once more on November 23rd from 12-2:30pm in the Black and Gold room at SLC.
AFAIK maps academic knowledge for self-learners.
Submitted by: Zhiying Jiang (Mathematics, PhD), Orianna Min (Engineering, Mechanical Engineering) and Yiqin Dai
Electric Boats & Regenerative Fertilizers
Electric Boats & Regenerative Fertilizers makes electric boats that clean up floating debris, which we mix with used coffee grounds to make fertilizers.
Submitted by: Chanakya Ramdev (Environment, Post Degree Undergrad)
Landscape Direct is a fully online garden centre that connects our customers directly to top Canadian Growers. Enabling anyone interested in gardening to access some of the best nursery products from the comfort of their
Submitted by: Blake Patterson (Arts, Accounting and Financial Management), Evan Patterson and Conner Krofchick
Outseek is a financial research and analysis terminal giving investors access to innovative tools and an abundance of data at an industry-low price.
Submitted by: Nathan Dopko (Arts, Honours Arts and Business, Honours Economics, Co-op), Paul Walsh and Joshua Bell
Penspyre provides contextualized writing prompts that enable a book author to finish the first draft faster without writer’s block.
Submitted by: Kha Nguyen (Engineering, Systems Design Engineering), Annie Zou (Engineering, Systems Design Engineering), Roman Semin (Engineering, Systems Design Engineering) and David Olive Jr. (Engineering, Systems Design Engineering)
Relay MD is an online platform that lets family doctors find information on medical specialists (wait times, subspecialty etc.), and make/manage outbound referrals more efficiently.
Submitted by: Dhvani Patel (Engineering, Software Engineering) and Ali Qamar
Skipwash is fast, reliable mobile laundry service designed for busy individuals.
Submitted by: Skand Mittal (Arts, Accounting and Financial Management) and Abhishek Sharma (Arts, Accounting and Financial Management)
TrainPro’s goal is to help people get harder, better and stronger faster. This is done by providing them with real-time guidance on technique, exercise routine and optimal muscle loading in the gym through the use of smart wearable clothing.
Submitted by: Shreshth Mehra (Engineering, Mechanical Engineering), Anna Liebenberg (Engineering, Mechanical Engineering) and Armaan Malik
After the pitching magic happens, four teams and their innovative business ideas will take home $5,000 in grant funding to help grow their ambitions.
AFAIK: In for the challenge — and the fun
Among the 22 teams, which were chosen out of 72 applications from 160 students, was Quinn Dai, representing AFAIK, who presented the team’s solution to personalize learning paths to prevent discontinuation from self-learning.
Despite being nervous about being the first presenter on the second night, Quinn Dai said her excitement for presenting the idea eclipsed her nerves.
Quinn said she has been working on the idea behind AFAIK for eight years, but it wasn’t until attending last term’s $5K finals that she realized she was ready to talk about it publicly.
“Last term was the first time I attended the pitch competition and watching from the audience I felt that I was ready to participate,” Quinn said, quickly adding that working with her teammates Gin Jiang and Orianna Minn and attending Velocity programs and events has not only been technically necessary but built morale and confidence.
“How can you go wrong working with a dream team like ours,” Quinn said, as the three laughed in chorus. “All Velocity events have been great, and Cornerstone (program) was the best.”
TrainPro aiming to improve at-home workouts
One of the final presenters of night one, Anna Leibenberg, pitched on behalf of her team TrainPro, which includes Shreshth Mehra and Armaan Malik. They are developing technology to provide people working out at home with real-time guidance comparable to hiring a personal trainer. The smart, wearable clothing would give feedback on technique and weight load, and provide an exercise routine.
Right after Anna got off stage, she told Velocity that winning the $5,000 would mean the chance to find a solution to current challenges that the team is facing — translating collected data into actionable insights.
“Developing the technology itself is not the big issue,” Anna said. “But the insights that we give users have to be (practical) and natural-sounding.”
First time attending an in-person event paid off
This was Economics student Nathan Dopko’s first in-person University event as most of his studies have been online due to the pandemic, he told Velocity after pitching for Outseek, a tool for investors to view the financial data in the way they want. His teammates Joshua Bell and Paul Walsh were unable to attend.
“It was a bit nerve-wracking.” Nathan said later that evening reflecting on how it felt pitching in the semi-finals. “The solution Outseek is providing is difficult to develop so we’ve been working on it for a while but this was the first time talking about it in public.”
Register to attend | Velocity $5K Finals