Catching up with Velocity Fund $25K winners, Altius Analytics

This past July, Velocity hosted the Spring 2017 Velocity Fund Finals (VFF), a pitch competition that awards $125,000 each term to startups to help them build their business. We caught up with one of the $25K winners, Benjamin Lee, Co-Founder of Altius Analytics Labs, for a post-VFF update. You can watch their pitch from VFF online.

Altius Analytics Labs is a health tech startup that helps occupational groups better manage musculoskeletal injuries.

How has your company developed since winning VFF?
AAL: It has gotten a lot busier for us, setting up the company and enhancing both our technical and business development. We’ve been working hard on developing our minimally viable product and are ready to begin beta testing come the new year. Since winning, we’ve made a huge push for business development and have some promising collaborations set up for the new year.

What is your company currently working on?
AAL: Currently we are validating our motion capture technology in lab settings, which is a very crucial aspect of our technical development. We are set to begin beta tests with industry partners for the new year, with support from key influencers in our market who are very interested in seeing the results of these tests.

What do you enjoy most about building a startup?
AAL: The freedom is great, but it’s also the biggest challenge I’ve faced to date. I’m forced out of my comfort zone and use all the skill I’ve picked up in my life so far. While building a startup is also one of the most stressful things I’ve done, I feel this experience has made me a stronger and more resourceful person.

What did you like most about competing at VFF?
AAL: Competing at VFF taught me how to pitch. Not just to relay facts to a crowd like more technical presentations I’ve given in the past, but the art and science of doing so in an engaging and thought provoking manner. Pitching is a crucial skill all entrepreneurs need, and VFF is a great opportunity to develop it against other very bright startups in a vibrant environment.

Are there any tips you can give to startups that are pitching?
AAL: 1: Know your company like the back of your hand. Understand your product, commercialization timeline, and path to market. Understand where all the gaps are in your ‘story’ and at least have an idea on how to address them. 2: Practice. Don’t practice it until you get it right; practice it until you can’t get it wrong. 3: Own the stage. You have 3 minutes to convince some very experienced judges why they should give you $25K. Aside from telling a story that makes sense, confidence and presence goes a long way in convincing people to give you money. 4: Relax. There’s a sea of people watching you, and it can get very nerve wracking. One of the worst things you can do is to go on stage locked up with tension. Fear and nerves are a natural part of this process, but don’t let them consume you. Remember to breathe, both on stage and in the moments leading up to your pitch, and use that fear to drive your confidence.

On Thursday, November 30, another twenty startups will compete at the Velocity Fund Finals in the SLC at the University of Waterloo to pitch for their share of $125,000. Don’t miss this event by registering to attend! Come join us for a great event with awesome pitches and free boxed lunches for the first 200 attendees. Audience members and live stream participants will also have a chance to win 1 of 5 Google Home speaker sets!

The Fall 2017 Velocity Fund Finals is sponsored by Thomson ReutersSequoia, and Magna

Thomson Reuters provides professionals with the intelligence, technology and human expertise they need to find trusted answers in the financial and risk, legal, tax and accounting, and media markets. The new Thomson Reuters Toronto Technology Centre will create 1,500 high-quality technology jobs in Canada and accelerate research for cognitive computing, visualization, UX, and cloud development.