University of Waterloo startup incubator Velocity unveiled today the ten finalists that will compete for their share of $100,000 in grant funding at the Velocity Fund Finals on Thursday, March 27.

The finalists will pitch their startup ideas for a chance to win one of four grants of $25,000 and a place as one of more than 30 startups operating at the Velocity Garage workspace in downtown Kitchener.

“The Velocity Fund Finals showcase some of the best innovations, business ideas and entrepreneurs coming out of the University of Waterloo,” said Mike Kirkup, director of Velocity. “This early-stage funding helps the startups grow at an accelerated pace, reach markets sooner, and further attract investment and support to become well-established businesses.”

The ten Winter 2014 Velocity Fund finalists are:

Code Connect - a plug-in for Microsoft Visual Studio that dynamically visualizes program control flow as the developer types, making software development and design easier.

Homefed - a trusted intermediary that facilitates the discovery, booking, and payment of home cooked meals, food events, and edible goods.

LastRev - makes it easy for designers to get feedback on their designs from team members.

MAJiK Systems - builds real-time machine monitoring software for factories and machine manufacturers.

Palette - a freeform hardware interface that can be built like Lego to control your favourite software.

PetroPredict - a well integrity prediction engine for the oil and gas industry that enables subsurface engineers to identify low capital, high reward optimization opportunities in their fields.

Roshee - allows companies to manage every step of the corporate purchasing process in one place.

Sparkgig - an online marketplace for hiring performers.

TicketLabs - provides an e-ticketing platform that uses social tools to drive ticket sales.

TrendRadius - provides product management software as a service, including market insights and analytics, for companies to create profitable products that their customers love.

To qualify as a finalist, each startup submitted a written proposal and presented a 3-minute pitch to a panel of judges from the Velocity community. The ten finalists now move on to the Velocity Fund Finals to present 3-minute pitches on-stage before a live audience and a second panel of judges from the business community.

The judges for the $25,000 competition include:

  • JS Cournoyer - Co-Founder & Partner, Real Ventures
  • Devon Galloway - Co-Founder & COO, Vidyard
  • Mike Stork - President, Stork Holdings

An additional ten entrepreneurs from the University of Waterloo will pitch their early-stage startup ideas for one of three $1,000 grants.

The Velocity program fosters entrepreneurship by providing University of Waterloo students with opportunities for startup funding, free workspace, workshops, networking opportunities and access to mentors.

The Velocity Fund awards Waterloo students more than $300,000 in grants each year and the opportunity to build their startups at the Velocity Garage workspace in downtown Kitchener. The fund was started in March 2011 following a donation of $1 million from Ted Livingston, founder of Kik Interactive,and former Velocity resident. At least one founder on a 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. 

Date: Thursday, March 27, 2014

Time: $1,000 competition starts at 11 a.m., $25,000 competition starts at 1 p.m.

Location: Student Life Centre – Great Hall, University of Waterloo, 200 University Avenue West, Waterloo, Ontario

live stream of the Velocity Fund Finals will be available.

Media who wish to attend should register by emailing Nick Manning.

About the University of Waterloo

In just half a century, the University of Waterloo, located at the heart of Canada's technology hub, has become one of Canada's leading comprehensive universities with 35,000 full- and part-time students in undergraduate and graduate programs. Waterloo, as home to the world's largest post-secondary co-operative education program, embraces its connections to the world and encourages enterprising partnerships in learning, research and discovery. In the next decade, the university is committed to building a better future for Canada and the world by championing innovation and collaboration to create solutions relevant to the needs of today and tomorrow. For more information about Waterloo, please visit


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University of Waterloo

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