Velocity launches startup investment fund
This article was originally published on Waterloo Stories.
The University of Waterloo’s entrepreneurship program, Velocity, is launching a startup investment fund in March. The fund will connect early-stage startups to the capital they need to grow their business while offering investors a simple way to invest in a diversified portfolio of startups from Canada’s most productive incubator.
The new fund will replace the grant system used to sponsor the awards for the incubator’s tri-annual Velocity Fund Finals (VFF) pitch competition at Waterloo. The winning startups will receive a minimum investment of $25,000 through the fund.
Waterloo’s VFF competition started in 2011 when Kik CEO and Velocity alumnus Ted Livingston donated $1 million to support emerging startups with early-stage funding and received an additional $1 million from investor Mike Stork.
Velocity’s 91 fund final winners are now worth more than $1 billion
“If you had asked me what my $1-million donation would bring to the Waterloo Region tech ecosystem seven years ago, helping create over a billion dollars in equity value probably wouldn’t have crossed my mind,” says Livingston. “Leveraging that success to raise a venture fund is a great way to build even more capacity to secure the capital early-stage entrepreneurs need near the beginning of their journeys.”
Over the past 10 years, Waterloo’s Velocity program has launched more than 300 companies and $850 million in investments. The new venture fund, will allow investors a simple way to invest in startups in sectors ranging from software to biomedical.
Check out some of the innovative startups currently in the Velocity Garage
- Qidni Labs: Making an artificial kidney
- EMAGIN: Using AI to help water utilities save money and water
- EPOCH: Helping refugees and volunteers connect
Volunteers needed for FIRST Lego League
More than 40 elementary school teams from across Ontario will compete in the FIRST Lego League West Ontario Championships on Saturday, February 9. Teams have spent the past five months working on their Lego robot with the theme "Into Orbit."
Join the Faculty of Engineering's FIRST Robotics Planning Committee as a volunteer to help make the day possible. Opportunities are available as team escorts, scorekeepers, timers, and field re-setters.
Breakfast, lunch and a t-shirt will be provided to all volunteers.
A training information session will be held on Tuesday February 5 at 6:00 p.m. in the Engineering 5 building, room 2004. Pizza will be provided.
The FIRST Lego League competition will take place Saturday, February 9 from 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. in the Physical Activities Complex.
To register as a volunteer, visit the FIRST Robotics website. Once you have registered, navigate to "Volunteer Registration", then "Event Volunteering" and from there you can search for the "FIRST LEGO League FLL Ontario West Provincial Championships" to sign up.
President's Pop-Up Cafe returns
The President’s Pop-up Café is back by popular demand!
After a significant outpouring of interest from students last November, the next Pop-up Café will be held on February 6 from 2:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Students will have an opportunity to meet with President Feridun Hamdullahpur for an informal afternoon of conversation about anything and everything.
This is a chance for 20 undergraduate and graduate students to get to know the President and other top leaders at the University and so they can get to know you too, all over coffee, tea and snacks.
Space is limited with those who register being randomly selected on January 31. Registration is now open until January 29 at 12:00 p.m.
Don’t miss out on this unique opportunity.
Register for Three Minute Thesis by Friday
1 slide, 3 minutes, outstanding ideas.
The Three Minute Thesis (3MT) is a university-wide competition for research-based (thesis & MRP) master’s and doctoral students at the University of Waterloo.
Competitors have 1 static slide and 3 minutes to explain the breadth and significance of their research to a non-specialist audience. Students compete at the Faculty level to advance to the university-wide final competition on March 20. One lucky finalist will be selected to represent UWaterloo at the Ontario Provincial 3MT finals.
Graduate students who are interested in participating can register online. Don’t forget that our annual coaching sessions are happening January 24 and January 31. Registration required, spaces are limited.
For more information, visit the 3MT website.
Staff member missing in California; other notes
University of Waterloo staff member Rick Eastep has been missing for more than a week after hiking California's remote Lost Coast trail, a popular hiking destination in northern California's Humboldt and Mendocino counties.
Eastep works in Information Systems & Technology (IST) as a presentation technologies specialist.
“We are aware of reports of the search for Rick Eastep and have been in touch with his family," says an official statement from the University. "We are deeply saddened by the news that search and rescue teams have suspended their exhaustive search for Rick. We’ll continue to provide whatever support we are able to Rick’s family and co-workers during this difficult time.”
Feds Welcome Week continues today with the Campus Life Fair in the Student Life Centre Great Hall. Attendees will have the opportunity to make some meaningful connections with campus partners and learn about the various opportunities available to get some experience in areas that interest them. The Campus Life Fair runs from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Later today is Beyography, a Beyoncé-themed choreography party in the SLC Lower Atrium from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Just make sure you put everything you own in a box to the left first.
Even later today is NYE 2.0, which is being billed as the Last Bomber Wednesday ever. The party gets started at 9:00 p.m. in the Bombshelter Pub in the Student Life Centre.
Soprano Bethany Hörst and pianist Mary Castello will perform a selection of German lieder at today's Noon Hour Concert, which takes place at 12:30 p.m. in the Conrad Grebel chapel. Exploring themes of birth, love and death, this concert features works by Brahms, Wolf and Schumann.