Engineering students successful at Velocity Fund Finals

Friday, July 22, 2016

With only three minutes to pitch their company to a panel of judges, contestants at the Velocity Fund Finals (VFF) must be articulate and engaging, condensing complex ideas into understandable information.

And stakes are high.

$125,000 in prize money is on the line: three prizes of $5,000, four prizes of $25,000 and an additional $10,000 for most innovative hardware startup. This year’s finalists pitched ideas ranging from zinc-ion batteries, artificial intelligence for the water sector and automated inspection solutions for manufacturers. Waterloo Engineers were extremely successful as members of teams that captured three out of the four $25,000 prizes, as well as the $10,000 for most innovative hardware startup. Winners included:

Salient Energy is commercializing a revolutionary new zinc-ion battery that is perfectly suited for storing electricity in the grid. Company founders: Ryan Brown (3A Nanotechnology Engineering), Dipan Kundu (PhD in Li-ion Batteries, Electrochemistry, Inorganic Chemistry, and Materials Sciecnce), Brian Adams (PhD in Materials Chemistry) and Linda Nazar (PhD in Solid State Chemistry).

UpGrain is using low frequency electro-magnetic field stimulation of seeds to increase overall yield by 20%. Company founders: Amir Zhumagulov (MASc in Mechanical Engineering candidate) and Ilyas Ashirov (4B Computer Science).

CubeXLab has created automated vision inspection solutions for manufacturers that are affordable, flexible, and easy to use. Company founders: Mohammad Farshidianfar (Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering, PhD candidate), Saman Sahraei (MASc in Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering) and Ehsan Masnavi (MASc in Systems Design Engineering).

Salient Energy was also awarded the additional $10,000 prize for most innovate hardware startup.

winners to the $25,000 awards

Judges for the VFF $25,000 competition were Chris Best (co-founder and CTO, KIK), Dan Park (Principal, Azure Capital Partners), Devon Galloway (Co-founder & CTO of Vidyard) and Janet Bannister (Partner, Real Ventures).

For the full story, read the news release here.

For more information about the Velocity Fund Finals, please visit: