Today, the University of Waterloo hosted its 17th Velocity Fund Finals, with 20 companies vying for their share of $125,000.
The startups had three minutes to pitch as they were being judged by a panel of experienced venture capitalists and founders. Seven startups in total were awarded a portion of the money.
“I was a venture capitalist for 10 years and I’ve judged a ton of pitch competitions, and this was the best series of pitches in a row I’ve ever seen,” said Jacqui Murphy, VP Marketing at Auvik Networks. “Not only are [competitors] talking about technology, they are talking about markets, and talking to customers before launching; kudos to everyone.”
Four startups won $25,000 each (interestingly, three of them are hardware companies). Avro Life Science, which develops colourful stickers that deliver seasonal allergy medication to children without the hassle of pills or syrups; Curiato, which is developing a smart mattress to prevent the occurrence of ulcers; and immersive VR company Mirage VR were among those that took home the $25,000 prize. Penta Medical, which is developing a wearable that integrates physiotherapy to make treatment of tissue injuries more convenient, won a total of $35,000 after winning an additional $10,000 hardware prize.
The winners of the Velocity Fund’s $5K competition include, Eggplantr, which is developing a digital tool to generate and print permaculture planting layout plans on biodegradable weed barriers; VivaSpire, which is developing compact oxygen delivery systems for oxygen therapy patients; and Chasr Athletics, which was selected for the People’s Choice Award by the audience for their smart athletic cones that track and time athletes throughout their training drills.
The next Velocity Fund Finals are set to take place in March 2017.