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Engineering entrepreneurs claim Velocity pitch prizes

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Aspiring entrepreneurs from Waterloo Engineering are members of startups that took six of eight prizes on the line today at the Velocity Fund Finals.

Included were two of the four $25,000 awards for more seasoned companies run by students or recent graduates, as well as the $10,000 bonus for the top hardware or science team.

Winners of the fall 2017 Velocity Fund Finals.

Winners in the $25,000 category at the Velocity Fund Finals pose on stage with their ceremonial cheques.

The $125,000 pitch event is staged three times a year by Velocity, an entrepreneurship program with both on-campus and off-campus programs.

Ten teams made pitches at the Student Life Centre for four $25,000 awards, while 10 early stage startups vied for three prizes of $5,000 in seed funding.

The winning $25,000 teams with ties to Waterloo Engineering were:

  • NanoCnet (Hadi Hosseinzadeh Khaligh, PhD in nanotechnology engineering, 2016; Ehsan Marzbanrad, PhD in nanotechnology engineering, 2016), which has developed a highly flexible, conductive and cost-effective nanomaterial called Nanosilvex for use in conductive thin films for electronics, including touch panels, displays and wearable technology.
  • Tabnex (Mohannad Mostafa, master of electrical and computer engineering, 2018), which helps businesses make smarter, faster hiring decisions by providing real-time data and predictive intelligence on job applicants. The other members of the team are Abdurrahman Muni, Mohamad Muni, Marwan Areibi, Derek Lewandowski, Pablo Morales and Maximillian Saar.

Members of startup Tabnex.

Members of Tabnex, a startup launched to help businesses make smarter, faster hiring decisions by providing data and predictive intelligence on job applicants, celebrate their $25,000 win at the Velocity Fund Finals pitch competition.

The other $25,000 winners were Envoi, which offers retailers infrastructure for same-day delivery, and Shiftride, an on-demand mobility platform to give people access to cars shared by nearby car owners.

NanoCnet also took home the $10,000 prize for the top hardware or science startup.

The competition for $5,000 awards was swept by teams with ties to Waterloo Engineering. They were:

  • GreenSorbs (Kien Tran, 4A chemical engineering; Jack Anderson, 4A chemical engineering; Olsi Goxhaj, 4A chemical engineering; Skylar Bone, 4A chemical engineering), which is designing a sorbent boom to clean up oil spills using a material made from landfill waste.
  • QALM (Shahriar Kabir, 4A environmental engineering; Aniket Verma, 4A environmental engineering; Paul Boyadjian, 4A chemical engineering; Brandon Lui, 4A environmental engineering; Thomas Uhlenbruck, 4A environmental engineering), which has a smart steam trap monitoring solution to make invisible leaks visible.
  • SannTek (Karolyn Mackowiak, 4A nanotechnology engineering; Thomas Dunlop, 4A nanotechnology engineering; Ben Milligan, 4A nanotechnology engineering; Noah DeBrincat, 4A nanotechnology engineering; Chris Taylor, 4A nanotechnology engineering), which is developing a nanotechnology-based sensor to quantify marijuana intoxication.

Winners in the $25,000 category also earn workspace at the Velocity Garage, the largest free startup incubator in the world, in downtown Kitchener.

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