Computer science students were among the finalists at Concept’s $5K pitch competition, an event held live but virtually on March 26, 2021.
Concept is Velocity’s experiential entrepreneurship and pre-incubator program at the University of Waterloo. Acting as a resource to students interested in entrepreneurship, Concept guides them on how to propel their start-up through programs, coaching and grant-funding opportunities.
Two teams with Cheriton School of Computer Science students made it to Concept’s $5K pitch finals. Arbitrium was a Concept $5K finalist, securing $5,000 in start-up funding, and Prospr was a Concept People’s Champ winner, securing $500 in start-up funding.
Arbitrium — Concept $5K finalist
Cofounded by Greg Maxin, a fourth-year computer science student, and Ahmed Hamodi, a fourth-year software engineering student, Arbitrium was one of the teams to win Concept’s $5K pitch competition, securing $5,000 for their start-up.
Arbitrium is a digital end-to-end decision-making platform that allows organizations to make unbiased group decisions about charitable donations that involve multiple stakeholders. Arbitrium is already being used within the community by the United Way (Waterloo Region Communities chapter) and Social Venture Partners (Waterloo chapter) to help facilitate discussions on how to allocate grant funding.
Greg’s technical background in computer science provided him with the tools to develop Arbitrium. That foundation, combined with his co-op experiences and entrepreneurial drive, has prepared him for success in the start-up world.
“Waterloo has an amazing entrepreneurial ecosystem,” Greg said. “It has helped me tremendously in making connections, exploring ideas and providing mentorship. Through the co-op program I learned valuable skills that have helped me succeed in my start-up so far.”
Prospr — Concept People’s Champ winner
Nathan Knight is a fourth-year computer science major and one of the founders of Prospr, a team which won a Concept People’s Champ award, securing $500 for his startup. Created with user experience and accessibility in mind, Prospr is a donor-management tool that enables nonprofits to better understand their donors to create a unique and engaging experience.
“We’re focusing on making [Prospr] easy to use and accessible so fundraisers can pick it up and be productive immediately without needing to invest in specialist training,” Nathan says.
For Nathan and his team, the Concept $5K competition also provided an opportunity to gain experience in pitching, receive feedback, and grow their company.