Monthly rundown: March at Velocity
As we say goodbye to winter, and hello to spring, we wanted to update you on a busy month, including celebrations, goodbyes, and new beginnings.
March culminated in the biggest event of every term, the Velocity Fund Finals, where 20 innovative startups pitched to a packed audience at the University of Waterloo to compete for $125,000 in funding. Four teams walked away with a $25K cheque: Fiix, Landmine Boys, Okey, and Pegasus Aeronautics. Pegasus Aeronautics was also the top hardware company, and took home an additional $10K prize. For the $5K competition, the three winners were: AVRO Life Science, Moocow Unicycles, and Gamelynx, which was selected by the audience for the People’s Choice Award. To relive the Velocity Fund Finals, watch the pitches or read our blog post summary of the event.
We also recently announced the departure of Mike Kirkup from his role as Director of Velocity, and his plan to join Velocity startup Encircle as CTO. We are extremely grateful for Mike’s incredible leadership and mentorship over the past four years in developing one of the best entrepreneurship programs in the world. Under his guidance Velocity has developed into the largest free startup incubator in North America, and we wish him all the best in his new endeavours. Read Mike’s thoughts on our blog.
Below is a rundown of news across Velocity programs:
With classes over for the term, our on-campus Velocity programming will resume in May. However, the new Velocity Start space on the 2nd floor of South Campus Hall (SCH) is open 24/7, and all are welcome to use the space. South Side Marketplace, the brand new eatery on campus, officially opens on Monday, April 11! With highly trained chefs offering a menu with a plethora of options, such as: pho, sushi, pizza, sandwiches, middle eastern cuisine, and more, South Side Marketplace is the place to be.
Velocity Residence is a dorm for student entrepreneurs, housing 70 new and returning residents who participate in talks from great speakers, bi-weekly residence dinners, and a thriving entrepreneurial community. Max Humber was the well-deserved winner of The Golden Hoodie, a coveted Velocity hoodie awarded to the resident who best represents the spirit of Velocity.
In addition to having a number of science companies compete in the Velocity Fund Finals, the Velocity Science lab received a visit from the Minister of Science, Kirsty Duncan, as seen in the photo above.
Velocity Garage and Science companies have been busy. Oneset pitched their mobile application for a health and fitness community on CBC’s Dragon’s Den, and had the Dragons breaking a sweat and looking for a deal. Another Velocity startup, Vertical just launched Vertical Speed into beta – the first augmented reality (AR) game that you play on your DJI Drone. If you have a DJI Phantom 3, or Inspire and an Android phone, you can join the beta list and race your drone with drone pilots around the world. ExVivo, a startup creating non-invasive medical diagnostic tools, made it to the finals for TiEQuest Business Venture Competition for a chance to win a $50,000 prize! In addition, UHWK recently broke records by being the first POV wearable camera to be used in a live professional hockey game for the Brampton Thunder. To hype up the atmosphere in the Garage, we installed a gong that companies ring once they make a $100,000 sale. Applyboard, Labforge, and Pitstop were the first few companies to christen the gong, with more on the way! Lastly, we said goodbye to Nicoya Lifesciences after their launch from Velocity and into their new office space.
Between closing down the Velocity Foundry and moving teams to the expanded Velocity Garage, as well as tons of events, March has been an exciting month. With Velocity approaching the home stretch for the Winter 2016 term, make sure to stay tuned for all updates by signing up to our mailing list.