Bridging the gap between student to full-time entrepreneur
Six new early-stage companies will join later-stage founders at Velocity’s incubator in downtown Kitchener
Six new early-stage companies will join later-stage founders at Velocity’s incubator in downtown KitchenerBy Velocity
Beyond Velocity’s well-known incubator in Kitchener’s innovation district, Velocity supports more than 5,000 students per year through on-campus programs, such as Zero, Problem Lab and Cornerstone, designed to give University of Waterloo students an early start in entrepreneurship and create experiences to build key skills for any career path. Introduced during the pandemic, the Cornerstone program helps the most advanced student teams refine their startup ideas and prepare them to start a career in entrepreneurship.
Six early-stage teams who worked on their startups through Cornerstone and other programs at Waterloo are moving into the incubator where they will receive support from Velocity business advisors and product development team as they refine their initial startup idea, business model and proof of concept over the next several months.
“Students have a fantastic opportunity to build out their own ideas and try starting a business while they are pursuing their undergraduate or graduate degrees. The University of Waterloo is a supportive environment where they can access Velocity's abundant free resources to help them test their ideas. By starting early with Velocity's on-campus support, students can de-risk their jump to full-time entrepreneurship upon graduation, when the Velocity Incubator can give them the best chance at success,” says John Dick, Velocity’s director of Campus Programming.
“We here at TAMVOES Health are so excited to be members of Velocity. We have found so much value in working with our advisors to date and are looking forward to working more directly to maximise growth,” says Jessica Lunshof, co-founder at TAMVOES, one of the first companies to join the incubator post-pandemic.
The Velocity Incubator founders, many of which have received venture capital investments, can help guide these six new companies through the unique challenges of building a startup and pursuing private investment.
"While we have a keen understanding of our market and our solution, at this stage, our exposure to the investor side of entrepreneurship is still limited. This is why we really value this opportunity to join the Velocity community and meet with other founders, including founders at the same stage as well as founders who have already gone through raises. We also look to Velocity's advisory team to help us navigate the early-stage Canadian venture capital ecosystem and set the goals and milestones that will guarantee our investor readiness. We are glad to be part of this new program. The mentoring we've received at Velocity is not something I have found anywhere else," says Margaret Mutumba, CEO and co-founder of MedAtlas.
The Southwestern Ontario Health Innovation Partnership also opened a path for companies started by graduates of the Western Medical Innovation Fellowship to join the Velocity ecosystem and benefit from Velocity’s connection to the University of Waterloo to connect with research labs and institutes for additional technical support.
Six companies will join the 51 companies at the Velocity incubator starting in a few days. Five of the teams were founded by Waterloo students and alumni:
For more information about this new program, contact John Dick, Velocity’s director of Campus Programming.
The University of Waterloo acknowledges that much of our work takes place on the traditional territory of the Neutral, Anishinaabeg and Haudenosaunee peoples. Our main campus is situated on the Haldimand Tract, the land granted to the Six Nations that includes six miles on each side of the Grand River. Our active work toward reconciliation takes place across our campuses through research, learning, teaching, and community building, and is co-ordinated within the Office of Indigenous Relations.