Monday, December 5, 2016

Velocity Fund winners named

Members of the Penta Medical startup with their winning cheques.

A company recently named one of the top female-founded tech startups was among the big winners at the Velocity Fund Finals held Thursday at the University of Waterloo.

Founded by Alexa Roeper from the Faculty of Science and Daniel Choi, a graduate from Mechatronics Engineering, Penta Medical created a wearable device that assists with healing of soft-tissue injuries. Its design features the use of infrared technology on a wearable fabric that will increase the blood circulation of the patient. The company also won an additional prize of $10,000 for best hardware or life-sciences startup.

"As a medical-device startup, we need to cover costs for regulatory processes and the quality management systems we need to make our product," said Roeper, co-founder of Penta Medical. "Our ultimate goal is to build clothing that you can put on and set from your phone to treat any injury on your body, and today’s win is a huge step in that direction.”   

During the competition, 10 companies pitched their businesses to a panel of judges representing the investment, startup and business communities. Judges considered innovation, market potential, market viability and overall pitch.

The following three companies were also grand-prize winners of $25,000 and space at Velocity. Three of the four grand-prize-winning companies are based at Velocity Science.

  • Avro Life Science is developing fun and colourful medicated stickers to deliver seasonal allergy medication to children without the hassle of pills and syrups.
  • Curiato is developing Ceylon Systems, a combined smart mattress and patient management interface that leverages cloud, IoT and artificial intelligence to prevent the occurrence of ulcers.
  • Mirage VR is bringing your imagination into reality with a full-body tracking virtual reality experience.

“More than 60 companies have used the funding from the Velocity Fund Finals to build businesses that solve important challenges facing consumers and businesses around the world,” said Jay Shah, director of Velocity. “Four in five of the companies that have won this competition over the years are still in business today, or have been acquired, and that is a testament to the talent, vision, and hard work of entrepreneurs here at the University of Waterloo.” 

During the VFF event, an additional 10 teams of University of Waterloo students competed for three prizes of $5,000 and access to Velocity workspaces.

The winners of the Velocity $5K are:

  • Chasr Athletics aims to use sports analytics to enhance training for athletes and coaches, by developing a system of “smart” athletic cones that can track and time athletes throughout their drills.
  • Eggplantr is making it easier to establish and maintain food gardens by developing a digital tool to generate and print permaculture planting layout plans on biodegradable weed barriers.
  • VivaSpire develops superior portable oxygen delivery systems for patients in need of oxygen therapy, increasing oxygen output, while also providing additional user comfort, and a more compact profile.

The judges for the Velocity Fund $25K competition were Andy Jenks, partner, Drive Capital; Ted Livingston, CEO, Kik; Mike Shaver, partner, Real Ventures; and Shirley Speakman, partner, Cycle Capital.

The judges for the Velocity Fund $5K competition were Jessica Chalk, founder and CEO, TrafficSoda; Jacqui Murphy, vice-president marketing, Auvik Networks; and Dan Silivestru, co-founder and CEO, bitHound.

Safety Office asks you to get a grip and don't slip

 Don't Slip and Fall" poster with penguin.

Rather than take a cue from the Canada Geese on campus as they walk across the Ring Road without looking both ways, the Safety Office and the Joint Health and Safety Committee is asking members of the campus community to emulate another kind of bird as we slide into the slipperiest of seasons - the penguin.

The new Safety Office "Get a grip" poster."Winterize your feet and walk like a penguin," advises a new poster, now available for download from the Safety Office. "Adjust your pace to surface conditions, extend your arms to improve balance, watch where you are stepping, and point your feet outward."

Every year, the Safety Office prepares prevention posters that can be printed, placed, and otherwise passed around to remind students, faculty, and staff of the perils this season poses to unsuspecting pedestrians. 

Between 2012 and 2014, 39 percent of lost time days at the University were attributable to slips, trips, and falls, the Safety Office reports.

The new poster outlines a number of ways you can protect yourself this winter:

  • Choose slip resistant winter footwear
  • Be attentive and aware when walking; texts and emails can wait
  • Watch for uneven rough and icy areas on walkways and avoid shortcuts

  • Use salt/sand on icy spots from bins located on campus

  • Keep floors clean and dry

  • Notify supervisors of trip hazards

  • Report slips and falls to your supervisor for completion of UW Injury/Incident Report. Forward the completed report to the Safety Office, ext. 33587.

The Safety Office also advises pedestrians to report unsafe conditions, such as ice and snow, to Plant Operations by calling 33793.

Monday's notes

For those of you looking for stocking stuffers this season, the Turnkey Desk in the Student Life Centre has discounted passes for Cineplex, Landmark Cinemas, Princess Cinemas and Apollo Cinemas available for purchase. The Turnkeys now accept debit and credit cards for purchases.

Farewell Reception invitation image.“You are invited to attend Erin Sargeant Greenwood’s farewell party to celebrate her strategic leadership of Waterloo’s Advancement teams,” says a note from the Office of Advancement. Erin has recently accepted the role of Vice President, Advancement at Saint Mary’s University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Please join Erin’s campus colleagues and friends to thank her for eight great years of leading the way in building a model of shared partnership, innovative programs and success for Advancement at Waterloo. Note cards will be available to share your memories or best wishes for Erin.

The event is Friday, December 16 from 3:00-5:00 pm at Alumni Hall in St. Paul’s University. Please RSVP by Wednesday, December 14.

Link of the day

Inventor of General Tso's Chicken dies at 98

When and where

University Club Christmas Lunch Buffet, Monday, November 28 to Friday, December 23, 11:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., University Club.

Instrumental Chamber Ensembles, Sunday, December 4 and Monday, December 5, 7:30 p.m., Conrad Grebel University College.

Lectures end, Monday, December 5.

Animal Studies and the Voice of the Other, Monday, December 5, 5:30 p.m., HH 1108.

Pre-examination study days, Tuesday, December 6 and Wednesday, December 7.

WatITis conference, Tuesday, December 6, Science Teaching Complex.

Faculty Association Fall General Meeting, Tuesday, December 6, 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m., MC 4020. Lunch provided.

GreenHouse Social Impact Showcase, Tuesday, December 6, 4:00 p.m., St. Paul’s Alumni Hall.

Master of Business, Entrepreneurship and Technology (MBET) Program Webinar, Tuesday, December 6, 5:30 p.m.

Women in Math present "Responding to Disrespectful Communications," Wednesday, December 7, 12:00 p.m., MC 5501. 

The Library presents Copyright & Licensing for Teaching, Wednesday, December 7, 12:00 p.m., DC 1568.

Faculty Association Town Hall Meeting for Lecturers, Wednesday, December 7, 12:30 p.m. to 2:00 p.m., STC 0010.

Cognitive Science Confessions: My biggest research mistakes, Wednesday, December 7, 3:00 p.m. to 5:20 p.m., HH 1102.

Retirement reception for May Yan, Wednesday, December 7, 4:00 p.m., Book Store.

Examination period, Thursday, December 8 to Thursday, December 22.

Becoming a better man - Working to end gender-based violence, Thursday, December 8, 9:30 a.m., Renison University College.

LEARN Instructor User Group (CTE686), Thursday, December 8, 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m., EV1 241. Watch the livestream.

Online examination days, Friday, December 9 and Saturday, December 10.

The Office of Research will be closed on Friday, December 9, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., for its annual holiday lunch.

Retirement celebration for Janet Metz of CECA, Friday, December 9, 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., TC 2218.

Lectures in Catholic Experience featuring Shane Claiborne, "The Scandal of Grace," Friday, December 9, 7:30 p.m., St. Jerome’s University: Vanstone Lecture Theatre, Academic Centre - SJ2 1004.

Workshop: Strategies and Stories of Resilience and Transformation, Sunday, December 11, 2:00 p.m., Dunker Family Lounge, Renison University College.

German Studies Forum 2016, hosted by the Waterloo Centre for German Studies. Monday, December 12, 10:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., Registration required.

Deadline for students to be "Fees Arranged," Tuesday, December 13.

WISE Lecture Series featuring Daniela Roeper, Borealis Wind, “Experimental and Computational Optimization of a Wind Turbine Blade De-Icing System,” Tuesday, December 13, 10:30 a.m., CPH 4333.

Gender and Equity Scholarship Series featuring Madhur Anand, “A Sample Size of None: Creating Your Own Career Path,” Tuesday, December 13, 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., MC 5501.

University Club Christmas Dinner Buffet, Wednesday, December 14, 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., University Club.

Network for Aging Research Public Lecture featuring Julie Robillard, Assistant Professor of Neurology, Faculty of Medicine, University of British Columbia, “Aging in a technological world: bridging disciplines to tackle the dementia epidemic,” Thursday, December 15, 10:30 a.m., AHS 1689. RSVP to by noon on Monday, December 12.

Master of Business, Entrepreneurship and Technology (MBET) Program Webinar, Tuesday, December 20, 10:30 a.m.

Waterloo Women's Wednesdays: Holiday Luncheon, Tuesday, December 20, 12:00 p.m., University Club.

Holiday season closure, Saturday, December 24 to Monday, January 2. Most university buildings and services closed.