Fall 2013 VeloCity Fund Finals winners

An app that lets you anonymously flirt with people nearby and a platform that helps researchers gather data are two of the startup ideas that won $25,000 grants at the eighth VeloCity Fund Finals.

Ten startups competed for four $25,000 grants and the opportunity to build their businesses at the VeloCity Garage workspace.

The four winners are:

Light-bot - Gets kids hooked on Computer Science by playing games.

MetricWire - Accelerates groundbreaking academic research by making it easy to collect rich scientific data via smartphones.

PiinPoint - Uses demographic, real estate, traffic, and municipal data to identify optimal new store locations.

uMentioned - A college location-based app that lets you anonymously flirt and make new friends with people nearby.

"I'm ecstatic. $25,000, no equity," said Danny Yaroslavski, the founder of Light-bot. "The funds will go directly into hiring developers and getting Light-bot into schools as quickly as possible."

MetricWire, which provides a solution for researchers to be able to collect data for their studies using mobile devices instead of paper, also came away a winner.

"I'm just so happy right now," said Brian Stewart of MetricWire. "We're going to use the $25,000 to hire more developers. For now, I have to get back to VeloCity Garage and keep working."

The teams each had three minutes to pitch their startup ideas to a panel of judges. At least one founder on a pitching team must be a current student or a graduate of the University of Waterloo within the past year. VeloCity takes no intellectual property rights or equity in return.

“It was extremely difficult for the judges to make their decision today. The competition for these awards is intense because of the high caliber of teams,” said Mike Kirkup, director of VeloCity.

Another nine young entrepreneurs from the University of Waterloo pitched their startup ideas for one of three $1,000 startup grants.

Helios won a grant for being most innovative. The company developed a technology that continually charges the battery of a cellphone throughout the day using sub-pixel solar cells embedded into the display. These solar cells will be unnoticeable to the naked eye during usage and will channel energy from ambient light to charge the cellphone.

PetroPredict won the people’s choice award and best pitch. PetroPredict is a well integrity prediction engine for the oil and gas industry. It enables subsurface engineers to identify low capital, high reward opportunities in their fields.

Started in March 2011 following a donation of $1 million by Kik Interactive Founder and former VeloCity resident Ted Livingston, the VeloCity Fund Finals award Waterloo students with over $300,000 in grants each year.