Velocity will continue to be a leader and catalyst for entrepreneurship by redefining it. This is how.
An engrained entrepreneurial spirit has been part of the University of Waterloo since our institution’s inception. It has inspired many of our students to strike out on their own and create ventures that have changed the face of industries and how we live our lives. This legacy took a significant leap in 2008 with the creation of the Velocity Residence program in the Minota Hagey Residence building. This was only the first step in Velocity’s journey.
In 2019, Velocity continues to provide diverse support and programs Waterloo students need to take their ideas and turn them into world-changing ventures. It has been an integral part of our campus for more than ten years. During that time, Velocity companies have raised more than $850 million in investments and created more than 2,250 jobs. These are no small feats for any university incubator and is indicative of how Velocity has become Canada’s most productive startup incubator.
Velocity Fund Developments
At the heart of Velocity today is the Velocity Fund. Along the way the Velocity Fund and the accompanying Velocity Fund Finals has developed into a marquee event for Velocity, across the University of Waterloo and Ontario’s larger startup community. The Fund has provided valuable grant money to startups that are at the beginning of their journey when they need it most.
The Velocity Fund is evolving to offer an AngelList powered venture fund starting this March. This transition to include an investment fund and beyond the grant system that has awarded millions of dollars to dozens of Velocity companies is a natural progression that will enable startup founders to connect with the capital they need as they develop.
The Velocity investment fund will endeavour to meet the growing needs of our startups as the Canadian startup community continues to push for more sources of venture capital funding within our borders. This is a national challenge that we believe will be aided by this transition. The investment fund will also offer accredited investors the opportunity to diversify and invest in a range of startup ventures.
The Velocity Fund Finals pitch competitions will continue as they have in the past and I cannot wait to see the new and exciting ventures our community of enterprising students are developing every day.
The Velocity Residence began a significant entrepreneurial push for our institution, bringing students from across different Faculties, programs and backgrounds but all with the drive to create businesses together. Housed in the Minota Hagey Residence, this on-campus residence was dedicated to Velocity students. Starting this term, the residence building will no longer be dedicated to Velocity, but instead, the services offered to those students will be expanded to every student living in University of Waterloo Residences.
We’ve heard over and over from students on campus that they are in search of entrepreneurship mentoring, support services, events and workshops. Our students continue to embrace and add to our entrepreneurial spirit like nothing we ever expected a decade ago, and the expansion of Velocity programming across university residences is the natural progress of this tremendously driven community.
Driving Entrepreneurship Forward
We are an institution driven by our instincts to be bold and try new things. Our entrepreneurial spirit runs deep within our students, faculty, staff and alumni and as Waterloo continues to evolve we will ensure that our students are offered the support and encouragement through Velocity to create their own ventures.
Our entrepreneurial alumni and faculty have changed Canada and the world in so many ways. Without a doubt I know the best of Waterloo’s entrepreneurial impact on the world is yet to come.