Catching up with Velocity Fund $25K winner, ShiftRide

Last November, Velocity hosted the Fall 2017 Velocity Fund Finals (VFF), a pitch competition that awards a share of $130,000 in funding each term to help startups build their business. Next Wednesday, March 28, we will host the 21st Velocity Fund Finals, to witness another 20 startups breaking new ground and pitching their innovative startups (register here). We caught up with some of the $25K winners from last term, Deepak Parpayani, Nima Tahami, and Mohsen Mohsenpour, Co-founders of ShiftRide, for a post-VFF update. Watch their pitch from last term.

Q: How has your company developed since winning VFF?

S: We’ve been super focused on growth and expansion in the KW region. Since winning VFF, we’ve doubled the number of bookings and started onboarding more car owners in the area who want to turn their parked car into earnings.

Q: What is your company currently working on?

S: Currently, we’re working on improving our product and making our onboarding process more seamless both for users and car owners as we continue expanding, signing up more cars every week and giving new users their first experience with ShiftRide.

Q: What do you enjoy most about building a startup?

S: We have paying customers who are coming back every week and sometimes every other day to use ShiftRide and seeing them get access to a better method of transportation within the city in a way that they didn’t have access to before makes us super happy. Also being able to provide this level of convenience motivates us to grow and bring this experience to more and more people.

Q: What did you like most about competing at VFF?

S: The Velocity Fund Finals are about a great founding team, a great startup that’s growing fast and delivering real value to its users, and a great pitch all compressed into a single competition. There are great startups competing every term, and some of them have worked beside you all day, every day before the competition. The feeling of knowing you’re competing with the best of the best and the push towards making a great startup is what we liked the most about VFF.

Q: Are there any tips you can give to startups that are pitching?

S: The best way to improve your pitch is to watch other people pitch. Learn from their mistakes, use what you think is impressive and always keep it short. Other than that, take every opportunity to practice your pitch whether you’re ready or not – there will never be a perfect time for it.

Come join us on Wednesday, March 28, as another twenty startups will take the stage at the Velocity Fund Finals in the University of Waterloo Student Life Centre (SLC) to pitch their startup ventures. Don’t miss your chance to attend the event – register here! Audience members and live stream participants will have a chance to win 1 of 5 Fitbit Flex 2 Fitness Trackers!

The Winter 2018 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.