2019 Finalists

Robert Celik '14 Unavoidable

Food is essential to human existence, but not all components of what we produce are considered to be useful in modern society. Collective focus has been on how we can reduce 'avoidable' food waste along the supply chain. Very few people are presenting solutions to create value in the 'unavoidable' materials, such as peels, eggshells, and spent coffee grounds. Presently there is a continuous stream of food waste just begging to be repurposed. Significant amounts of energy, fertilizer, and water inputs are invested to produce the food we eat. Billions of dollars of value are being wasted each year based on the definition we assign to certain components of our food. The problem is truly eating a hole in the Canadian economy. At Unavoidable we are reimagining the way specific types of previously neglected food wastes are managed and utilized. 

We collect 'unavoidable' food waste (e.g. coffee grounds and egg shells) from certain players in the foodservice industry at no cost. We will transform the material inputs into valuable products that consumers demand. We will bring the new products back to the cafés and restaurants for it to be marketed and sold to consumers in a closed loop cycle. There are a variety of input materials we are able to repurpose, each with unique properties and end of life uses. With the significant environmental, social, and economic externalities of our food system, the work we are doing is truly Unavoidable.

Pitch Mentor: Dante Vertolli '11

Gabe Gallucci '09 ALTR Inc.

Team members Giancarlo Gallucci, Nicole Gallucci, Brandon Shidlowski, Denis Lipman)

Since its inception, ALTR has expanded into an all-encompassing creative and content house that co-creates and represents musicians, visual artists, and creative brands.

ALTR currently represents musical and visual artists and a portfolio of brands, building its reputation as a hub for 'ALTRnative' thinking that creates sustainable brands/businesses.

In the past six months the team has grown from 1 to 5 and relocated to an 1800 sq. foot facility in Vaughan that includes a full music studio, offices, and a multifunctional ‘live’ room used for music development, content creation, and business workshops. 

Pitch Mentor: Robert Bartucci '96

Liam Herbst '14 RateRover

(Team members Shawn Moss and Adithya Sukumar )

RateRover is a financial product comparison chatbot which recommends users the best financial products based on their lifestyle and spending habits. (Think SnapTravel X Nerdwallet).

Most people go to the wrong sources for advice on financial products which results in missing out on great rewards or unnecessarily spending hundreds of dollars each year. Finding the right financial products is a difficult and tedious process. 

RateRover solves this problem with our simplified, personalized, and charming Facebook Messenger chatbot. Our mission is to provide the simplest solution to find the best financial products for you. 

RateRover is currently for credit cards [getraterover.com]. We will expand into other financial products such as bank accounts, insurance and mortgages in the future.

Pitch Mentor: Giampiero DePasquale ’08

Neal McCarthy '08 Blind Date

Exactly as it sounds, think Tinder without pictures. The idea of the app is simple, users will be matched a variety of criteria through short questions and examining their online profiles. Like a blind date, interactions will initially be limited to chat initially giving users an opportunity to get to know the other person and build quality rapport. Through quality interactions and higher user ratings more opportunities will be unlocked to share more and meet. Options such as unlocking likes, photos, etc. 

Given the renewed focus on privacy, the app will provide realistic privacy and security settings for users and make all commercially reasonable efforts to secure data. A rating system will allow users to provide feedback on each other anonymously and flag users that need to be investigated further. Users will have more control over who can see their information and know how it is being used in the selection process. 

Pitch Mentor: Rowan Comish '12

Grant Whitmore '17 Sublet Connect

(Team members Kyran Bonner ’17 and Charlie Martin ’17)

Sublet Connect is an interactive and new solution for students hoping to enter the sublet market. With comprehensive customization tools and digital check-out systems, Sublet Connect offers students a one-stop-shop experience to rent or sublet rooms over medium to long-term rental periods.
Current room-search avenues are scattered across multiple platforms, none of which are purposed specifically for the student sublet market. To rent a room, students must navigate a plethora of platforms and listings, from Facebook to Kijiji, in hopes of finding a room suited specifically towards theirs wants and needs. 

With Sublet Connect, students will now be able to begin their search along a wide range of customization options: including price, location, amenities, and duration of stay. We also plan to make it much easier for potential listers to establish a profile and market their room directly to those who are most interested. In short, Sublet Connect provides a unique and new opportunity for students looking to easily find a room, as well as for students hoping to earn extra cash while they are away from school.

The student sublet industry remains a niche market, restrained by the lack of an adequate program purposed to bring all customers together in one convenient place. Sublet Connect will change this, and with your help we believe that we can bring students out of the niche market and into the mainstream to interact and solve all the woes currently present in the sublet industry.

Pitch Mentor: Michael Grochmal '95