Congratulations to Nanotechnology Engineering’s Aurora Torrijos and Environmental Engineering’s Dana Shahry whose team, Nebula, won $5,000 in seed money at the 22nd Velocity Fund Finals in July. Their prize includes an offer to live in Velocity Residence, an innovative and entrepreneurial environment where students have access to the latest technologies and the opportunity to learn from a network of mentors and entrepreneurs.
With Nebula, third-year students Torrijos and Shahry are developing systems to provide clean drinking water through fog harvesting.
The Velocity Fund is a grant program for startups. It was established in 2011 after a $1 million donation from Kik founder and Velocity Residence alumnus Ted Livingston. Since then, other successful and generous local business people have added to the endowment fund. Each year it provides $390,000 in equity financing to support local startups.
In an effort to make the competition useful to new business people, Velocity funds are awarded through a process that incorporates an application, interview and a pitch to a panel of industry professionals. Every applicant benefits from the practice involved in honing their business skills. As further evidence of the Velocity program’s encouragement of the entrepreneurs among us, Velocity takes no equity and no intellectual property in return for its grants.