The St. John’s-based Memorial Centre for Entrepreneurship, or MCE, will hand out $40,000 in prize money to companies founded by Memorial University students during its Mel Woodward Cup pitch competition, to be held today, March 23.

The event, to be held at Memorial’s Signal Hill Campus from 4 to 6 p.m. NST will be a pitching competition for student entrepreneurs who are serious about developing their ventures into bona fide businesses. The winner will receive $25,000 and the runner-up $15,000.

“The top two teams will also receive in-kind prizes from Altitude Media, Gardiner Centre, Genesis, HeyOrca!, KMPG, McInnes Cooper, Perfect Day and TechNL,” said the MCE in a statement.

“The winners of two additional awards will also be revealed. The Fry Family Foundation Entrepreneurship Award for an Early-Stage Idea and the Fry Family Foundation Entrepreneurship Award for Women and Non-binary Leadership are valued at $2,500 each.”

The Woodward Cup began several years ago to provide seed funding for student-led businesses, and has become a major event in the St. John’s startup calendar. The prize money comes from funds provided by the family of the late Mel Woodward, a Memorial alumnus and pillar of the Newfoundland and Labrador construction industry.

In-person space is limited, but online viewing is available. You can learn more and register here.

And here’s a look at the five finalists:

AbbaTek Group

St. John’s

Abdul-Latif Alhassan, CEO

AbbaTek is working on technology to collect and analyze data about environmental issues, starting with microplastics.


Ar-Rayyan, Qatar

Abdelrazek Aly, CEO

Bonocle is developing Monocle — a braille controller for smartphones, making the devices more accessible to blind people.

Notch Embedded

St. John’s

Shane Williams, Founder

Notch sells technology that allows computer hardware-makers to build custom drivers for their products. Drivers are the software that allows a computer to interact with its components and peripherals.

SmartBin Technologies

St. John’s

Aneesh Raghupathy, CEO

SmartBin has designed sensors that can be placed in commercial garbage bins to track how full they are, before an artificial intelligence system suggests optimized routing for garbage trucks.


St. John’s

Rikki Lee Scicluna, Co-Founder

Songflow is an online collaborative platform for musicians to record and edit music.