Health tech companies woo judges at Waterloo pitch competition

Friday, July 19, 2019

Health tech companies captured the most interest and money at Waterloo’s largest startup pitch competition.

Among the 10 companies vying for the top prize, four companies persuaded the judges that their ideas had the best chance at commercial success. Winners included:

  • Insula Medical, which is developing a compact and ergonomic insulin delivery system
  • WatFly, which is developing an urban electric flight solution 
  • Emergency Response Africa, an EMS technology company that provides care to victims at the scene of an emergency
  • VOYHS, a company that gives trans people the resources to train their voice to boost their confidence and improve their lives

This year’s Velocity Fund Finals $5K competition saw one of the most diverse field of entrants, with 50 per cent female founders and three of the 10 companies led by graduate students.

“We are extremely honoured to win this award and are very thankful to Velocity,” said Sara Salmon, a member of the Insula Medical team in charge of controls design and a mechanical engineering student at Waterloo. “ This award will help us to change the lives of Type 1 Diabetics by allowing us to further develop our product.”

The Velocity Fund Finals (VFF) competition awards each winner a $5,000 prize to help them grow their ideas and start their own business. The Velocity Fund was established in 2011 through a $1 million donation by Kik founder Ted Livingston, himself a Velocity alumnus, as well as a donation 2014 donation by angel investor Mike Stork.

Waterloo’s Velocity program recently launched a startup investment competition where 10 more mature companies vie for one of four $50,000 investments made by startup backers from the business community.

"Creating a culture of entrepreneurship that leads to scaleup companies with massive economic and social impact is fueled by ensuring that new, emerging entrepreneurs and very early-stage startups have the support to get started, that’s what today is about,” said Jay Shah, director of Waterloo’s Velocity program. “The Velocity Fund Finals $5K is a high energy culmination of that support, both in mentorship and providing initial funding to help bring these ambitious ideas closer to reality."

The next $5,000 VFF will take place in November in Waterloo.

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