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Catching up with Velocity Fund $25K winner, A-Line Orthopaedics

Last March, Velocity hosted the Winter 2018 Velocity Fund Finals, a pitch competition that awards a share of $130,000 in funding each term to help startups build their business. Next Wednesday, July 25, we will host the 22nd Velocity Fund Finals, to witness another 20 startups breaking new ground and pitching their innovative startups (register here). We caught up with one of the $25K winners from last term, Tim Lasswell, Founder of A-Line Orthopaedics, for a post-VFF update. Watch their pitch from last term. See also, our update for Fuzzbuzz and Bibu Labs, with another update coming from SannTek.

A-Line Orthopaedics is developing safer, faster and less invasive implants for minimally-invasive spine surgery that improve patient outcomes and surgeon confidence.

Q: How has your company developed since winning VFF?

Tim: Since winning VVF, the A-Line Orthopaedics team has been working full steam towards clinical trials of their DC2 spinal implant system. Velocity funding has allowed us to complete the clinical grade design of the DC2 that will be used for regulatory testing. Additionally, a full patent and PCT has been submitted to protect the company’s intellectual property on a global stage. The support for our start-up has been fantastic as great relationships continue to be forged with both medical device manufactures and surgeons who are all very excited about the implementation of our technology.

Q: What is your company currently working on?

Tim: Right now, our major objective is to begin an investigational trial for the DC2 here in South Western Ontario by this time next year. To meet this timeline, we are currently working through the quality and regulatory requirements for our device and fully expect to have the trial submission done by the end of this year to allow adequate time for review.

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

Tim: It’s amazing exposure, both in the people you meet and the experiences you gain by having to be intimately involved with all aspects of a business. Some days are frustrating but at least they’re never boring! Not to mention everyone in the Waterloo start-up community is awesome and extremely supportive, it’s like a big family.

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

Tim: For us, the best part was being able to network with such a diverse audience in one afternoon. We still keep in touch with many of the contacts that we were introduced to at VVF. Also, it feels pretty good to get a giant check with your company’s name on it.

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

Tim: Stick to the “all killer no filler” formula when writing your pitch. While the general audience may enjoy heartwarming or comedic anecdotes about your company, it won’t do anything to help your score with the judges. Ultimately, you only have three minutes to explain your whole company to a judging panel that isn’t allowed to ask questions after, so keep it simple and state the facts.

Come join us on Wednesday, July 25, 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 pairs of Beats headphones or portable Bluetooth speakers!


The Spring 2018 Velocity Fund Finals is sponsored by Thomson Reuters and Magna.