Velocity Graduate Student Startup Fund

Are you considering building a startup from your research? Win $20,000 in funding for your startup and acceptance into the Velocity Garage incubator program.

This $20,000 in funding is made possible through the generosity of Sam Pasupalak, a successful Velocity founder. Pasupalak co-founded artificial intelligence company Maluuba, which was acquired by Microsoft in 2017. Maluuba focussed on teaching machines to think, reason and communicate.

Read about the recent winners of the Velocity Graduate Student Startup Fund

Application Process:

The top eight teams that submit a written application will be invited to a 45-minute interview (5 -10 minute presentation, with 35-40 minutes of Q&A and discussion).


  • Your team must have at least one co-founder who is currently, or has been in the last 12 months, a University of Waterloo graduate student, who owns (or is anticipated to own) at least 20% of the company.
  • You are not eligible to apply if your company (if already incorporated) has received more than $100,000 in external investment (convertible debt, equity, etc.), including government grants. Note this does not include personal scholarship funding (e.g. Canada Graduate Scholarship).
  • Startup ideas must be directly related to your research or adjacent.


The fund occurs annually with applications opening in Winter 2020.

Application Tips:

  • Given the volume of applications we receive, we can’t spend very long reviewing each application. Therefore, it is strongly advised to be concise and use bullet points (full sentences and paragraphs are not appreciated).
  • Answer the question, as it has been asked. We know you’re passionate/excited about your research and its commercial potential and want to tell us all about, but we simply won’t get through it all if you write us essays. For now, we just need our questions answered, directly and concisely.
  • Have someone else who doesn’t already know much about what you’re working on (i.e. not a close peer/colleague) review your application before you submit it.

Please contact Carly at with any questions.

Applications have closed for 2019, thank you for your interest.