Engineering startups claim three of four $5K prizes

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Early stage startup companies with ties to Waterloo Engineering took three of four $5,000 prizes up for grabs today at the first half of the winter edition of the Velocity Fund Finals.

Forsa, Pulse Home and TagBull were among 10 student teams – whittled down from an initial field of 40 - to make three-minute product pitches for a panel of judges and an audience of onlookers at the Student Life Centre.

Winners of the $5K Velocity Fund Finals pitche event pose with their ceremonial cheques.

Winners of the $5K Velocity Fund Finals pitch event pose with their ceremonial cheques after competing today at the Student Life Centre.

Forsa (Connor Al-Joundi, 4A mechanical engineering) is a project management tool that allows renovators and homeowners to collaborate on projects.

Pulse Home (Emman Haider, 4B systems design engineering, Sara Turner, 4B environmental engineering, and Paula Przybylski, 4B systems design engineering) is a panelized construction technology developed in partnership with Canadian Indigenous communities to address the housing crisis on reserves.

George Utsin of TagBull, one of the four $5,000 winners at the Velocity Fund Finals.

George Utsin of TagBull, one of the four $5,000 winners at the Velocity Fund Finals.

TagBull (George Utsin, David Tsenter and James Hageman, all software engineering, 2020) is a mobile-first dataset labeling platform.

The fourth, non-Engineering winner of $5,000 in equity-free funding to develop their ideas was Animus, which is creating a pair of glasses with neuro-stimulation technology in their frames.

Four startups involved in the competition - including three featuring Waterloo Engineering members - also won $5,000 awards from the Ontario Ministry for Seniors and Accessibility.

The three winning Engineering teams were Atlas Medical (mechatronics engineering), SpecialVR (nanotechnology engineering) and Reka (systems design engineering).

Animus also claimed one of the ministry prizes, making it the big winner with a total of $10,000.

Staged three times a year by the Velocity entrepreneurship program at the University of Waterloo, the event also includes a competition for startups that are further along in their development.

Nine investment-ready companies are slated to make pitches tomorrow at The Tannery in downtown Kitchener during the $50K contest. Four of those startups will win investments to fuel their visions and ambitions.

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