Skip to content

Striding towards Velocity $5K finals

Eight student teams proceed to final pitching event

Narrowed down from a record number of applicants since in-person events resumed, after two nights of 28 student teams pitching live to a packed room, eight teams will advance.

The finalists, comprised of undergraduate and graduate students from Faculty of Science and Faculty of Engineering, will pitch once more during the finalist event on March 30th in the Black and Gold room at SLC at 11 am – 1:30 pm. Doors open at 10:30 am.

Register to attend Velocity $5K Finals


Foodage helps restaurants to reduce waste by predicting future demand accurately.

Submitted by Osose Itua, mechatronics engineering undergrad, Faculty of Engineering

MetaCycler has developed a range of microorganisms that can upcycle food waste into biodegradable plastics, addressing the demand for sustainable alternatives to petroleum-based plastics.

Submitted by Nicole LeBlanc, Aranksha Thakor and Eugenia Dadzie, biology PhD students in Faculty of Science, Shirley Wong, post doc in Faculty of Science, and Jonathan Parkes

Pharmabox reduces pharmacists’ workloads, as well as patient wait times, by automating the prescription pickup process with self-serve smart lockers.

Submitted by Aliya Rajwani and Joshua Wilkinson, systems design engineering undergraduates, Faculty of Engineering

TrashTalk is a multi-stream waste bin that leverages state-of-the-art deep learning to continually detect and categorizes the type of waste a person is holding and then directs the user to dispose their waste into the appropriate inlet.

Submitted by Thanushon Sivakaran, Vrut Patel, Faisal Sabri and Eric Dao, mechatronics engineering undergraduates, Faculty of Engineering

Med Melanin is a telemedicine provider that offers access to culturally competent physicians and advocacy training to improve healthcare consults and reduce misdiagnosis rates starting with women of colour.

Submitted by Yvonne Osagie, MBET graduate student, Conrad School

MemoryHaven preserves your digital legacy with a comprehensive solution for managing, organizing, and securing your digital assets and footprint through a personalized digital autobiography and will.

Submitted by Jordan Crowder, architecture graduate student, Faculty of Engineering, and Krish Mehta, software engineering undergraduate student, Faculty of Engineering

Whale Safe Fishing Gear is creating inexpensive and reliable whale safe fishing equipment that is rope-on-demand and can be easily adapted into the current routines of both lobster and crab fishers.

Submitted by Collin Bolt, Ben Beazley, Jake Chateauneuf and Syl Yoston, mechanical engineering undergraduate students, Faculty of Engineering

Milk it! has designed a device to be used by HIV-positive, breastfeeding mothers that prevents perinatal transmission by deactivating HIV with UV-C light, while preserving the taste and nutritional value of breastmilk.

Submitted by Aarzoo Chennankunnath, Camryn MacDougall, Megan Richer and Leah Veldhuis biomedical engineering undergraduate students , Faculty of Engineering

MetaCycler BioInnovations, from Faculty of Science, is developing a solution of microorganisms that can upcycle foodwaste.

Ideas sprung from research to personal experience

From telemedicine provider for women of colour to digital legacy solutions, the innovative businesses presented during the semi-finals were wide-ranging and sprung for different sources, including personal experience, capstone projects, and other research.

Osose Itua, founder of Foodage Inc., said the idea to work on food sustainability and reduction of food waste in particular was in response to differences she saw between her home country of Nigera and Canada.

“In Nigeria, we are taught not to waste food — we do everything possible to preserve it,” she said. “Here, restaurants face complications to giving away food but back home if someone needs food, we try to give it to them.”

Osose, who is an undergrad in mechatronics engineering, spoke to 70 restaurant owners to research what customers needed. Her solution reduces food waste by predicting food demand, so restaurants don’t purchase more food than they need.

By exploring entrepreneurship options at the University of Waterloo, including taking Velocity’s Cornerstone program, Osose realized she didn’t need permission to follow her passion for innovation.

“I realized I didn’t have to be older to be an entrepreneur, which is one of the reasons I decided to participate in the Velocity $5K,” she said.

Finalist team Whale Safe Fishing Gear, which is developing fishing equipment for lobster and crab fishers, has worked on their project for eight months.

“This is actually our Capstone project but our first time working with Velocity,” said Collin Bolt, mechanical engineering undergrad who pitched on behalf of the team. “We have been working together for four years and we thought pitching Whale Safe was a great opportunity.”

After another round of live pitching during the March 30th finals, Velocity will grant over $20,000 in funding to help the sprouting businesses.

See the finalists pitch live — Register to attend the Velocity $5K Finals!