Eye on the prize: Conrad startups to pitch at Velocity Fund Finals

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Six Conrad startups will pitch at the Velocity Fund Finals (VFF) on Thursday, November 27. The Velocity Fund is a grant program for startups and aspiring entrepreneurs to win funding through competitions held three times per year. Teams compete for a total of $125,000 at the day-long pitch competition. The event is split into two parts: the $5K  competition in the morning, and the $25K competition in the afternoon.

Three Conrad startups will compete for $5K, and three will compete for $25K

Velocity Fund $5K Velocity Fund $25K
Moocow Unicycles Suncayr
Ansik Inc. Vitameter

Finalists: Velocity Fund $5K

Ten companies pitch in the VFF $5K competition for the opportunity to win one of three grants of $5,000, awarded to people's choice, best pitch, and most innovative pitch. The judging panel includes Conrad faculty member Wayne Changas well as Waterloo economics professor Geoff Malleck, and Steve McCartney, Vice President of Communitech's Startup Services Group.


Reno logo



Founded by Master of Business, Entrepreneurship and Technology (MBET) student, Alireza Oliazadeh, Reno is a device that uses body heat to charge smart devices. 


Moocow Unicycles logo


Moocow Unicycles

A recent winner of the Norman Esch Enterprise Co-op (E Co-op) AwardMoocow Unicycles is dedicated to providing the unicyclist community with strong, ergonomic parts. Moocow Unicycles is currently in the E Co-op program.


Ansik logo

Ansik Inc.

Ansik's product, ShockLock, is like a car jack for vehicle hoods and trunks. Two of the company's co-founders, Shiva Bardwari and Yashin Shah, took BET 300: Foundations of Venture Creation to help build the company.                                 

Finalists: Velocity Fund $25K

In the afternoon, 10 different companies will pitch to win one of four $25,000 prizes; an additional $10,000 prize will be awarded to a winning hardware company. Judging the $25K competition will be Ted Livingston of Kik, Mike McCauley of Google, Karamdeep Nijjar of iNovia Capital, and Jean-Sebastien Cournoyer of Real Ventures.


MBLOK logo


MBLOK is a SmartMemory device that allows users to transfer and access files between computers and mobile devices while offline. The MBLOK can fit in your pocket, and provides users with up to 256 GB of private, secure, and protected storage space when connected to a device via Bluetooth. MBLOK's founder, Anton Kabanov, worked on the company during an E Co-op term.

Suncayr logo



Suncayr is developing UV-responsive marker ink that informs users when to reapply sunscreen. The marker can be drawn directly on the skin before applying sunscreen, and when the sunscreen is no longer blocking UV rays, the ink changes colour. Co-founders Derek Jouppi and Andrew Martinko worked on Suncayr during an E Co-op term, and the entire team is currently taking BET 300.


Vitameter logo


Vitameter is a personal handheld device that determines a user's vitamin levels within minutes. Each test is inexpensive and provides the user with the information needed to manage diet and supplements. James MacLean, co-founder of Vitameter, worked on the company during an E Co-op term and is currently taking BET 300.


Anyone can be part of the VFF audience by registering in advance, or can watch the event on Livestream to cheer on their favourite startups. 

Past winners

Conrad startups have a very good track record in the Velocity Fund Finals. Fifteen Conrad companies have won the $25K competition, including Mappedin, Palette, and PetroPredict, and many others have won the VFF $1K (the predecessor of the $5K competition).

Mike Tatham pitching MAJiK Systems at VFF

Bjorn Dawson pitching Grobo at VFF


Velocity Fund Finals Spring 2014 $25K winners MAJiK Systems (left) and Grobo (right).

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