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.
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.
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.