VeloCity Venture Fund Winter 2013 applications are now open.
March 3rd, 2013, written submissions due
March 11th, 2013, VeloCity Venture Fund interviews take place
March 26th, 2013: VeloCity Venture Fund Finals & Demo Day
Read about the Application Process. Good luck!
You’ve asked questions & we’ve answered them! Here’s what you needed to know about the VeloCity Venture Fund:
Q: What’s the difference between Demo Day and VeloCity Venture Fund?
A: Demo Day focuses on early stage startups still cutting their teeth in the startup world. As an individual or as part of a small team, the entrepreneurs want to gain experience pitching and receiving feedback from the greater startup community. Any Waterloo student from any faculty can showcase their work at Demo Day.
The goal of VeloCity Venture Fund Finals (VVF) is to help a team get their business started. To be eligible, you must be a current Waterloo student or alumni within one year of graduating, must have at least a 20% equity in the company, a prototype, and the business must be tech-based. When a team wins they also must have a fully formed, cohesive team ready to execute on the business.
Q: What is the earliest stage at which a startup can be considered “competitive” for the VeloCity Venture Fund? At the idea, business plan/lean canvas or demo stage?
A: The goal of VVF is to help a team get their business started. You could simply have an amazing business plan with a solid problem/solution and a very good team (passion and dedication are the key elements we look for). You don’t have to use a demo but it will help demonstrate your ability to execute.
Q: What types of companies are eligible to apply to the VVF competition?
A: We are focused on technology related companies (software and hardware) that are using technology as a core aspect of their business such that the business is not possible without that technology. Service companies such as consulting businesses are not eligible.
Q: For startups with a product, does it need to be aimed at a particular sector such as digital media or can it be any type of product?
A: Products must be technology based and core to the business model for the company. However, we do not require it to be aimed at any particular sector as we currently have VVF winners with businesses that help deliver parcels (BufferBox) to placing advertisements in escalator handrails (Weston Expressions).
Q: Why does VeloCity focus on tech companies?
- Growth – startups should be focused on growth as the primary objective and it is the search for a business that can grow at astounding rates that drives many startups. Software is one great way of being able to achieve these types of growth rates but there are others. Paul Graham does a great job of describing this element in one of his essays. http://www.paulgraham.com/growth.html
- Expertise – The University of Waterloo is well known around the world for being able to build incredibly talented people with tech skills from a variety of programs. We want to leverage those skills as much as possible to help those students build their own companies.
- Ecosystem – the local community has cultivated an amazing ecosystem that supports tech companies including organizations like Communitech, Accelerator Centre and others. Although VeloCity provides a ton of great services it is critical that we also be able to leverage the support of other programs for our companies. We can’t do it all on our own.
Q: When is a company “too mature” to compete for VVF?
A: You are not eligible to apply if your startup has received more than $50,000 in external investment (convertible debt, equity, etc.) not including government grants (e.g. VentureStart) and personally liable loans (e.g. CYBF). Your team MUST have at least one University of Waterloo co-founder who owns at least 20% of the company. The University of Waterloo co-founder(s) must be a current student or graduated from a program within the past year.
Q: What are the responsibilities of VVF winners?
A: All teams will be required to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) covering the basic terms associated with the funding provided by the VeloCity Venture Fund. These terms do not restrict your company in terms of what you can spend the money on, but rather focus on the mechanisms for obtaining the money, including: incorporating, setting up a bank account, etc. You will be hard pressed to find easier money for your company.
Q: Do all of the cofounders need to be out of school for less than a year? Or just one cofounder?
A: To be eligible, at least one co-founder needs to have graduated within the past year.
Q: Can a person be part of more than one team competing for VVF?
A: Yes, absolutely. However, you will NOT be able to pitch for multiple teams during the VVF finals.
Q: Are all of the interviews on a specific day? What happens if we are unable to make it for an interview on that day?
A: We will do our best to reschedule the interview to find something that works for you based on the reason that you are unable to attend. The majority of the teams should be interviewed on the scheduled day.
Q: If I win the VeloCity Venture Fund, can I drop out of the co-op process for the upcoming term?
A: If you win the VVF award and are current co-op student going through the hiring process, you are required to honour any matches or employment commitments you have made for your co-op work term. If you are unemployed, but have attended interviews and are awaiting the results of an employment match, you must immediately contact your CECA Student Advisor if you do not wish to be matched for the position(s) in light of winning the VVF award. If you do not honour your co-op employment commitments or match results, your award money will be revoked.
Q: Can I apply and win VeloCity Venture Fund again with a different idea?