The University of Waterloo hosts the Velocity Fund Finals this week, where 20 teams of Waterloo students and recent alumni will pitch their innovative startups.
Teams have a chance to win a share of $125,000 in seed money and space at the Velocity Garage. Velocity is a comprehensive entrepreneurship program at Waterloo, and the Velocity Garage is the largest free startup incubator in the world.
Students will have 3 minutes to propose a solution to a problem, and demonstrate the market opportunity, traction and ability of the team to succeed. Ten companies will compete for four prizes of $25,000. Judges will present one winner with an additional $10,000 for the top hardware pitch. Another 10 early-stage startups will compete for one of three awards of $5,000.
Companies competing for the Winter 2017 Velocity Fund $25K are:
- BoltFare is a personal, AI-powered travel agent. It’s a Facebook Messenger chatbot that monitors hundreds of sources around the Internet for airfare deals, messaging users when it finds significant savings on flights they want to book.
- Citius Solutions uses cutting-edge algorithms to provide sorting and routing optimization for the delivery industry.
- Elucid Labs uses artificial intelligence to unlock the potential of spectral imaging, delivering the tricorder for the skin, capable of real-time detection and diagnosis of any skin condition, disease, or cancer.
- EMAGIN leverages artificial intelligence to help water utilities proactively manage their infrastructure in real-time.
- Gamelynx uses cutting-edge web app technology to create games and interactive experiences that bring people together for face-to-face play. Gamelynx combines the fun and social interaction of party and board games, with the convenience and power of mobile web gaming.
- LabsCubed enables companies to create new and innovative materials through enhanced testing methods.
- Marlena Books creates therapeutic recreation products for individuals with Alzheimer’s or dementia. Specializing in hardcopy books that make reading enjoyable and dignifying, Marlena Books is expanding into the tech space with e-books and a recreation app for individuals with more advanced dementia.
- NERv is developing an implantable biochip platform to detect post-operative complications.
- Serenity Bioworks is developing novel medicine formulas to improve the long-term effectiveness and safety of anti-inflammatory medication.
- Terrene makes the process of creating, maintaining, and scaling data pipelines faster, cheaper, and more reliable.
Finalists pitching for the Winter 2017 Velocity Fund $5K are:
- ENVR provides tactile feedback for your virtual reality experience.
- Kinetic Imaging creates high-speed video using a novel technique involving multiple low-cost, high speed cameras, to produce a system that can achieve greater performance at a fraction of the cost.
- Para is a cloud-based application that guides adults in creating a comprehensive estate and end-of-life plan. Users document their wishes and personal information in one place, eliminating paper files, and allowing them to share their information with people of their choosing.
- rePUBLIC connects the Internet of things to public spaces. Users bring their personality into public spaces through an app that allows them to interact with Wi-Fi enabled art installations in real time.
- Rugelach, Roswell and Rufus has created a novel EMS spine board to more accurately weigh children in paediatric emergencies, and provide information on drug dosage/voltage for resuscitation.
- ShiftRide is a car-sharing platform that allows people to rent a car from other people nearby.
- Six Club is a personal styling service for men. Users have style consultations via Facebook Messenger chat, and are shipped recommendations. You pay for what you keep, and ship back the rest for free.
- Vena Medical is creating an endoscope to provide a real-time navigational perspective for physicians, to make interventional procedures faster, easier, and safer for both patients and physicians.
- WeBahn provides up-to-date, real-time information about public transportation in developing countries, where buses are not equipped with GPS systems, to provide reliable information to commuters.
- WildType Biotech uses protein-design technology to redesign and optimize commercial proteins at the molecular level, enhancing clinical effectiveness and making them cheaper to produce and easier to store.
Velocity Fund $25K judges:
- Hongwei Liu; co-founder and CEO, Mappedin
- Ted Livingston; CEO, Kik
- John Murphy; co-founder and managing partner, Hyperplane Venture Capital
- Kathryn Wortsman; fund manager, MaRS Catalyst Fund
Velocity Fund $5K judges:
- Alexander Danco; associate, Social Capital LP
- Jane Klugman; president, Whitney & Company Realty Limited Brokerage
- Nicole LeBlanc; associate director, BDC Capital
Location: Great Hall, Student Life Centre, University of Waterloo
Date: Thursday, March 30, 2017
Time: The $5K competition starts at 11 a.m. The $25K competition starts at 1 p.m., with the event wrapping up at about 3 p.m.
University of Waterloo