VeloCity Gives 10 Startups the Nod for $100K Competition

University of Waterloo-based student startup and innovation hub VeloCity has named the ten startups that will compete in the organization’s VeloCity Fund Finals on Thursday, November 28.

The finalists will pitch their startup ideas for a chance to win one of four grants of $25,000 and a place as one of over 30 startups operating at VeloCity Garage in downtown Kitchener. To be part of the VeloCity Garage, at least one member of the team must be a current student or alumni.

“The wide range of industries and the diverse business models of these VeloCity Fund finalists shows the breadth of entrepreneurial talent that is fostered at the University of Waterloo,” said Mike Kirkup, director of VeloCity. “The VeloCity Fund Finals process helps to draw out innovators and entrepreneurs from the university and prepare them for the transition into the global startup community.”

The ten Fall 2013 VeloCity Fund finalists are:

GamePress – GamePress lets users create fun mobile games without any programming experience and share them with users around the world.

Light-bot – Light-bot is getting today’s generation of kids hooked on Computer Science by playing games.

MetricWire – MetricWire accelerates groundbreaking research by enabling academic researchers to easily collect rich scientific data via smartphones.

PiinPoint – PiinPoint uses machine learning to identify optimal new store locations while centralizing demographic, real estate, traffic, and municipal data.

Realtime Labs Inc.– Realtime Labs Inc. develops real-time audience feedback technology for a variety of industries including education and entertainment.

Sesame IO – Sesame IO provides a free service that streamlines a teacher’s day from lesson planning to capturing and assessing student work into personalized portfolios.

SparkGig – Online marketplace to connect performers with event planners.

TrendRadius – Defensible Product Decisions. All Customer Feedback. One Simple Solution. Let your Product Managers do what they do best!

uMentioned – uMentioned is a college-based location app that lets you anonymously flirt and make new friends with people nearby.

Velatron Labs Inc. – A personalized tailor app that helps you find or order perfect fitting clothes online.

The finalists underwent a month-long qualification process including a 20-minute pitch to a panel of independent judges from the Kitchener-Waterloo business community. At the VeloCity Fund Finals, the ten final teams will present three-minute pitches on-stage before a live audience, and a second panel of judges.

The judges for the $25,000 competition include:

–       Cameron Hay – Partner, Front Burner Consulting
–       Karam Nijjar – Venture Capitalist, iNovia Capital
–       Mike Stork – President, Stork Holdings

Three $1,000 grants are also up for grabs, as ten student-entrepreneurs will pitch their ideas to the judges as well.

The VeloCity program fosters entrepreneurship by providing University of Waterloo students with opportunities for startup funding, free workspace, workshops, networking opportunities and access to mentors.

Started in March 2011 following a donation of $1 million by Kik Interactive Founder and former VeloCity resident Ted Livingston, the VeloCity Fund awards Waterloo students with over $300,000 in grants each year and the opportunity to build their startups at the VeloCity Garage workspace in downtown Kitchener.

The best part for young startups is that VeloCity takes no intellectual property rights or equity in return. Along with The VeloCity Garage in downtown Kitchener, the VeloCity Residence at the University of Waterloo main campus which houses another 70 entrepreneurial students, and weekly programming to provide students from any faculty access to entrepreneurship workshops and networking opportunities.

VeloCity is funded through the University of Waterloo, the Government of Ontario, and private donors. It is one of the many programs that have upheld the University of Waterloo’s position as Canada’s most innovative university for over 20 years.

A live stream of the VeloCity Fund Finals will be available. The $1,000 competition starts at 11 am while the $25,000 competition starts at 1 PM. Don’t miss it!

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