Velocity debuts new venture fund and invests $200K in four early-stage startups
Startups in the fields of medical imaging, advanced manufacturing, construction, and travel were among the big winners.
This morning, Velocity hosted the (Winter 2019) 24th Velocity Fund Finals (VFF) $25K competition at The Tannery Event Centre in downtown Kitchener for early-stage, investment-ready startups. The competition brought together nine finalists currently incubating in the Toronto-Waterloo Innovation Corridor to share their technology and vision.
A momentous shift from grants to investments
The winners will receive, for the first time in the competition’s history, direct equity investments worth $50,000.
“For the first time in VFF’s seven-year history, we’ve made investments in today’s four winners—not grants. Due to the positive reception from investors, our micro-VC fund that makes these investments possible was able to double support for the 4 winning startups to $50,000 each,” says Velocity’s Director, Jay Shah, “This increased size of the funds is exactly what the new investment model was intended to accomplish and it enables us to better match the size of the ambition, maturity, and quality of startups we are seeing emerging from the University of Waterloo and the Region as a whole.”
After careful deliberation and debate, judges selected four winners that they believe to exemplify VFF: providing the first critical money for high potential, fast-growing startups. The four winners join the previous 91 companies who have pitched and won on the VFF stage, and now represent a combined worth of $1 billion.
Velocity Fund Finals investment winners
The winners are (in alphabetical order):
ClearVoxel (Presented by Yann Gagnon, CEO): ClearVoxel leverages AI and eye-tracking technology to provide a solution that helps radiologists to more quickly detect anomalies and diagnose. WIth VFF investment, they will be able to accelerate their product validation in the field of mammography and breast cancer screening—where over 245 cases of breast cancer are missed on a daily basis.
Glove Systems (Presented by Mohammed-Mahdi Sharif, VP Product Engineering): Glove Systems is a cloud-based solution for the construction fabrication industry. With AI-based technology, workers can visualize the working condition of a component in 3D and check the progress of their work against the design. With an already impressive revenue base, the VFF investment will be used to further grow its sales effort.
SiteVue (Presented by Anthony Coelho, CEO): SiteVue is an intelligent media management solution that improves communication and decreases on-site re-work for construction and development companies. The solution decreases the time and effort of the rework process by allowing teams to review construction images more quickly and with more knowledge. The investment from VFF will be used to accelerate the company’s project roadmap and to unlock further sales.
Tugolo (Presented by Jay Mahoney, Co-founder): Tugolo allows travelers to easily find, customize and book a locally-authentic trip, by connecting them with a local resident who provides everything they need: accommodations, experiences, and services. The investment from VFF will be used to execute the next phase of its customer acquisition strategy.
A sincere thank you from Velocity
We would also like to thank the expert panel of judges who joined us from across North America:
- Dr. Karen Madden, VP, Technology & Innovation, PerkinElmer
- Dave Caputo, Founder & Chair of the Board of Directors, Sandvine
- Rudy Karsan, Managing Partner, Karlani Capital
- Molly McCartin, Partner, Drive Capital
“I am always impressed with the diverse range of industries that are represented on this stage–from biotechnology to construction,” commented Dr. Karen Madden when asked for her final remarks, “This time around, what set the winners apart was their relentless focus on the customer. The winners were crystal clear on how they are going to solve their specific customer’s problems, and how they are going to win against the competition.”
We would also like to thank our presenting sponsor, Thomson Reuters, for their support of Velocity Fund Finals.
We would also like to thank PCK IP for extending their support to this batch and upcoming batch of VFF investment winners in 2019. Each winner is entitled to 1 Lean US provisional patent application and additional in-kind legal consultation at no cost.
Photo Credit: Megpie Photography