Velocity launches a startup investment fund
New venture fund will connect early-stage startups to the capital they need
New venture fund will connect early-stage startups to the capital they needBy Stephanie Longeway University Relations
The University of Waterloo’s flagship entrepreneurship program, Velocity, is launching a startup investment fund in March. The fund will connect early-stage startups to the capital they need to grow their business while offering investors a simple way to invest in a diversified portfolio of startups from Canada’s most productive incubator.
The new fund will replace the grant system used to sponsor the awards for the incubator’s tri-annual Velocity Fund Finals (VFF) pitch competition at Waterloo. The winning startups will receive a minimum investment of $25,000 through the fund.
Waterloo’s VFF competition started in 2011 when Kik CEO and Velocity alumni Ted Livingston donated $1 million to support emerging startups with early-stage funding and received an additional $1 million from investor Mike Stork.
“If you had asked me what my $1-million donation would bring to the Waterloo Region tech ecosystem seven years ago, helping create over a billion dollars in equity value probably wouldn’t have crossed my mind,” says Livingston. “Leveraging that success to raise a venture fund is a great way to build even more capacity to secure the capital early-stage entrepreneurs need near the beginning of their journeys.”
Over the past 10 years, Waterloo’s Velocity program has launched more than 300 companies and $850 million in investments. The new venture fund, will allow investors a simple way to invest in startups in sectors ranging from software to biomedical.