Waterloo is one of the hottest startup communities on the planet. Many successful businesses have been born there and today a milestone has been hit. The University of Waterloo’s Velocity startup program announced that over $100 million in funding has been raised since the incubator launched 5-years ago.
This $100 million milestone excludes businesses that have been acquired, such as BufferBox in 2012 by Google, and is from funding from various VCs, angel investors, government programs, $750,000 in grants from the Velocity Fund, plus crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter.
Highlighting Kik, Pebble, which raised $10 million on Kickstarter, and Thalmic Labs, which raised well over $15 million, as being the heavyweights. Velocity noted some of the next generation of companies to be recognized are MappedIn, Palette and Weston Expressions.
Mike Kirkup, director of Velocity, stated “The Velocity approach to supporting young entrepreneurs is making a noticeable impact – our startups have raised over $100 million in just five years. We’re now in a great position to help attract the next $100 million.”
“What differentiates Velocity from other incubators is the positive and tangible impact it has achieved in a very short period of time. Their efforts have contributed to Waterloo becoming a well-known source of tech talent and emerging technology in Canada,” said Michael Mahon, director of strategic investments and initiatives at BDC Venture Capital. “We congratulate Velocity on achieving this important milestone and we look forward to working with them to support the vibrant startup ecosystem that exists in Waterloo.”
Velocity recently announced a group of 35 startups participating in the Velocity Garage Winter 2014 term, many of whom were $25,000 winners at the Velocity Fund Finals last year.