In September, with the addition of the Velocity Foundry to the University of Waterloo’s existing Velocity Garage facility, 29 new companies with their teams of budding entrepreneurs were added to the program’s already 25 company-strong roster.
Placing the emphasis on hardware start-ups in the Foundry building frees up the Garage space for students and entrepreneurs who want to focus more on the Saas or app development side of things.
In both facilities, the program facilitates mentorship and access to the resources needed to develop each company’s idea to fruition as a scalable business.
“This marks the largest expansion in Velocity’s history. The Velocity program helps students and entrepreneurs at all levels, from our Velocity Residence and Alpha programs for University of Waterloo students, to our programs aimed specifically at startups,” said Mike Kirkup, director of Velocity. “The peer networking and support that we are able to offer, our mentorship programs and the resources and facilities we can provide to these companies really sets our program apart.”
The Velocity Fund Finals will wrap up on November 27, with a total of over $100,000 awarded to the various pitch finalists and winners. Velocity takes no financial or intellectual property stake in exchange for a winning company’s prize money.
Last December, the three founders of BufferBox, Mike McCauley, Jay Shah and Aditya Bali, gave a donation to Velocity to fund the Velocity Fund Finals, after winning the 2012 Velocity Venture Fund themselves and subsequently attending Y Combinator in Silicon Valley.
BufferBox was acquired by Google that November for a rumoured $25 million.
After a ribbon-cutting ceremony this past September 12, the Velocity Foundry, the new space dedicated to hardware start-ups, absorbed most of the new companies accepted into the Velocity program. It’s an 11,000 square foot facility meant to help develop the next great ideas in the hardware, materials and life sciences space.
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