Playing up safety pays off at the Velocity Fund Finals
On Thursday, March 31st, twenty incredible startups pitched live to a standing-room only audience at the 15th Velocity Fund Finals, held in the Student Life Centre at the University of Waterloo. Hundreds of students, faculty, entrepreneurs, and community members had the opportunity to witness a truly impressive pitch competition and see an impressive array of innovative companies compete for $125,000 in funding.
MC Mike Kirkup, the Director of Velocity, set the tone for the event by giving updates on how far past Velocity Fund winners have come using their funding. Competitors had just three minutes to demonstrate a problem, solution, traction, team fit, and next steps, and the competition was fierce. In the morning, three teams walked away with a $5K cheque: AVRO Life Science, Moocow Unicycles, and Gamelynx, which was selected by the audience for the People’s Choice award.
“The Velocity Fund has enabled the growth of more than 75 companies in Waterloo region, by awarding over $1.5 million in funding,” said Mike Kirkup, director of Velocity. “It is a testament to the University of Waterloo’s entrepreneurial culture to see so many incredible companies today, and we look forward to having them join our community of startups at the Velocity Garage.”
The crowd grew in size and anticipation when the $25K competition began in the afternoon. Also in attendance for the $25K pitches was a special guest, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, Elizabeth Dowdeswell. As the pitches began, the panel of experienced entrepreneurs and venture capital judges sensed the challenge they had ahead of them in selecting four winning teams. In the end Fiix, Landmine Boys, Okey, and Pegasus Aeronautics held up their $25,000 cheques! Pegasus was also the top hardware company, and took home an additional $10,000 prize. All four companies provided a compelling solution to preserve the physical and digital security of its customers.
Congratulations to all of today’s winners! It was a job well done by all competitors, and we extend a big thank you to the many spectators who braved heavy rain to watch the competition. If you were unable to watch the event, be sure to check out the livestream recording. Be sure to come out to the next Velocity Fund Finals in July, as we give away another $125K in funding to emerging startups!