NanoCnet wins $35,000 at Velocity Fund Finals

Velocity Fund Winners posing with prize money
Velocity Fund Winners posing with prize money

The University of Waterloo’s Velocity program has announced the winners of its latest Velocity Fund Finals.

NanoCnet , Envoi, Shiftride, and Tabnex each received $25,000 in funding, and were admitted to the Velocity Garage startup incubator.

“The Waterloo-Toronto Corridor is punching way above its weight at producing globally competitive, high-growth companies.”
– Jay Shah

NanoCnet, a company developing technology used in consumer electronics, won an additional top hardware prize of $10,000 on top of the $25,000. Founded by two Waterloo PhD graduates from the Nanotechnology Engineering program, NanoCnet is working on developing highly flexible, conductive, and cost-effective nanomaterials. Other areas of development among grand prize winners include Envoi, a same-day delivery service; ShiftRide, an on-demand mobility platform; and Tabnex, a real-time data and predictive intelligence provider for hiring.

A total of 10 companies pitched their businesses to a panel of judges representing the investment, startup, and business communities. The winners were determined based on innovation, market potential, market viability, and overall pitch.

“The current flexible electronics industry is facing major changes. Traditional conductive materials, which are the building blocks of electronics, have serious problems; they are either expensive, non-flexible, or degrade quickly, which limits the performance and form factors of future electronic devices,” said Hadi Hosseinzadeh Khaligh, co-founder and CEO of NanoCnet. “We’re developing a fundamentally different approach using nanotechnology to create a new generation of conductive materials that are easy to fabricate, flexible, and 20 times more durable than existing materials on the market.”

The judges for the Velocity Fund $25K competition were Eva Lau, managing partner of Two Small Fish Ventures; Karamdeep Nijjar, partner at iNovia Capita; Christopher Reid, CEO and founder of Sortable, and Jennifer Smith, senior business executive.

“The Waterloo-Toronto Corridor is punching way above its weight at producing globally competitive, high-growth companies. We’re delighted that so many of the top startups in the Corridor have roots here at the University of Waterloo,” said Jay Shah, director of Velocity. “This is the 20th time we have run the Velocity Fund Finals, awarding more than $2 million in grants to help startups accelerate growth and achieve the biggest impact possible. Term after term we witness those companies go faster, be bolder, and attack their problem with more ambition, in part, thanks to the funding and subsequent incubation this competition offers.”

There were also 10 teams of students that competed for three prizes of $5,000. The winners of the Velocity $5K are:

  • SannTek, which is developing a nanotechnology-based sensor to quantify marijuana intoxication.
  • QALM, a smart stream trap monitoring solution that makes invisible leaks visible.
  • GreenSorbs, which is designing a sorbent boom to clean up oil spills using a material made from landfill waste.

Aeman Ansari

Aeman Ansari is a freelance writer who has been published in many Toronto-based publications, including Hazlitt and Torontoist. When she’s not re-watching Hitchcock movies, she’s working on her collection of short fiction inspired by stories from her grandmother, one of the few women in India to receive post-secondary education in English literature at the time.

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