Velocity helps students build companies with real-world impact
Get to know how our innovation ecosystem can turn your big idea into a startup
Get to know how our innovation ecosystem can turn your big idea into a startupBy Stephanie Longeway University Relations
You’re probably familiar with the University of Waterloo’s world-renowned incubator, Velocity, but did you know that Velocity also leads student programming and resources on campus? Students exploring entrepreneurship can get support from Velocity at every step of their journey in turning an idea into an early-stage business.
This fall, we will have even more on-campus opportunities with the re-opening of Velocity Science — set to welcome a new wave of student trailblazer’s with a passion for starting a science-based company. We’re also opening the Problem Lab HQ and Velocity Digital creator spaces, in addition to hosting a lineup of in-person events for all skill levels. Students can validate their ideas and develop business strategies through workshops, hackathons, networking, one-on-one coaching and grant funding competitions like the Velocity $5K and more.
Recent Velocity $5K (formerly Concept $5K) startups include The President Braids (spring 2022) and Cauchy Analytics (winter 2022) as well as Maesos Technologies winner of the winter 2022 Problem Pitch.
After winning $5,000 in funding from Velocity this past spring term, founder of The President Braids, Adanna Amechi is excited for what the future holds for her business. “Velocity has the most amazing coaches, they helped me understand what is required of me as a business owner and a startup. They have allowed me to realize that I have so much potential that has been sitting inside me all this time. Most of the things I’ve done this far have been on my own, I’m finally feeling like a part of a community where I’m able to get ideas from people, talk to people and network.”
Velocity and the University of Waterloo startup community offer an inspiring network of talent that welcomes students form all backgrounds and life experiences.
“If you’re thinking of applying to Velocity, just do it,” says Cauchy Analytics founder, James Lowman who plans on continuing his work in Waterloo. “This is an ecosystem that I do not just want to be a part of it, but I want to see it flourish.” Lowman add, “I really do like this area that we are going to be housing Cauchy Analytics here in Waterloo for that exact reason that it has an incredible talent pool.”
With the excitement of a new academic year and more programming on campus, we’re welcoming students back in a big way at the University of Waterloo Innovation Ecosystem event on Tuesday, September 20 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Join us in the SLC and explore all that our entrepreneurial ecosystem has to offer through panel discussions, founder stories, Q&A opportunities, networking and more. Students will be able to connect with advisors and mentors from Velocity, Problem Lab, Zero, Conrad School of Entrepreneurship and Business, GreenHouse (Social Impact Incubator), Grebel Peace Incubator and the Library.
Whether you have experience or not, exploring new ideas, or are looking to take the next step as an entrepreneur, Velocity is here for you.
“I truly believe there is nothing more powerful than a great idea,” says Iris Redinger (BAS ’21), a former Velocity $5K winner and founder of Material Futures. “A great idea not only answers a need for others, but also a need within yourself. Value your ideas. Follow them and visualize where they might lead.”
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 centralized within our Office of Indigenous Relations.