Waterloo’s VeloCity Garage welcomes 30 new startups

VeloCity, a program that facilitates startup development and funding opportunities for students at the University of Waterloo, announced it has introduced 30 new startup enterprises to the Velocity Garage this fall. Since the program’s establishment in 2008, it has supported the launch of over 45 companies, several of which have been backed by venture capital firms or acquired by major technology businesses. Examples include Kik Interactive, BufferBox, which was acquired by Google in 2012, and Thalmic Labs.


VeloCity introduces 30 startups for fall 2013

WATERLOO, ON, Sept. 12, 2013 /CNW/ – A health monitoring armband, highly scalable transparent energy-efficient electronic display technology, and an online planning tool for teachers are among the many innovations emerging from 30 startup companies operating at the VeloCity Garage this fall.

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

“Since VeloCity’s start five years ago, we have supported the launch of over 45 companies, including Kik Interactive which today has over 80 million registered users; BufferBox, which was acquired by Google last year; and Thalmic Labs, which recently raised over $15 million in funding from outside investors,” said Mike Kirkup, Director at VeloCity. “Together, VeloCity startups have raised over $90 million in funding and created hundreds of employment positions.”

Each startup earned their place at the VeloCity Garage through an application process, or by winning a VeloCity Venture Fund competition. At least one founding member must be a University of Waterloo student or graduate of the University. Startup founders come from University of Waterloo programs ranging from mechatronics, nanotechnology, systems design, mechanical engineering, math, science, computer science, arts and more.

A full list of the startups in the VeloCity Garage is available from the University of Waterloo web site. The companies are:

Blacktree Health – A health monitoring armband that automatically detects calories consumed, stress levels, exercise and sleep quality.
Charity Republic – An online volunteer solution for easily tracking, sharing and ranking experiences.
The Display Rack – A local online comparison shopping destination.
FamilyTales – An online app for families to capture and share their precious memories (stories, pictures, videos and audio clips) in a digital and, optionally, physical storybook that can be passed on for generations.
Fides – A social media predictive analytics tool that provides real-time recommendations for increased social engagement.
Fora – A provider of digital educational content for universities and corporations in Africa, with course content developed by the world’s leading experts from the top universities in Canada and the US.
Happenate – A social platform for making stuff happen through shared decisions, resource gathering and cooperative action.
Kaizena – Kaizena is an online platform focused on student skills improvement by empowering teachers to give highly targeted, personalized, actionable feedback.
Kite – An online service for software developers to automatically set up and configure their entire development environment in the cloud and start building web applications right away.
Lumos – Web services for games.
Lumotune – Transparent electronic displays that can be scaled to as small as a SIM card, or as large as a side of the Empire State Building.
MappedIn – An interactive indoor navigation system available as a mobile app or touchscreen kiosk.
Marmot Labs – Decision.io is a cloud solution that makes it easy to collect and review applications for grants, scholarships, admissions, contests, resumes and more.
Media Spot Me – An online directory where journalists discover experts to interview.
Oikoi – An online service that helps students and young professionals find quality rental accommodations fast in great neighbourhoods across Canada.
Planboard – An online platform for teachers to streamline lesson plans, track curriculum standards, and collaborate with other teachers worldwide.
Planleaf – Project management software that works right out of your inbox.
PumpUp – A mobile fitness coach that automatically designs personalized workout routines based on the user’s equipment, location, skill level, and goals.
Redro – A social networking site for discovering and ordering popular restaurant dishes online based on friends’ rankings and recommendations.
reebee – The best way to browse flyers and discover deals at local retailers on your smartphone and tablet.
SciGit – An online service that allows for easy collaboration on research data and papers.
Sentry Scientific Inc. – Sentry Scientific is developing a smart walker to make walkers safer and increase the independence of seniors.
SmartShare – SmartShare is a platform for transferring any kind of content between devices.
SoundBrush – A mobile app that makes complex music compositions from drawn lines.
Sparkgig – Sparkgig is an online marketplace for local music performers to connect with event opportunities.
Tinkercoin – A fast and easy way to buy Bitcoin digital currency online.
TrendRadius – An online customer feedback analytics tool that measures your product strategy so you can better retain current customers, acquire new customers and ensure the right product-market fit.
Voltera – A printer that enables low-cost circuit boards to be prototyped within minutes using conductive ink and inkjet technology.
WestonExpressions – Linkett gives average televisions mobile and motion-sensor capabilities to make all content interactive and convenient for consumers while providing key analytics to promoters.
WorldVuze – An online education platform where students from kindergarten to grade 12 can share and explore multiple perspectives on any question with other students around the world.

In addition to the VeloCity Garage in downtown Kitchener, VeloCity operates the VeloCity Residence on the University of Waterloo main campus which houses another 70 entrepreneurial students, and runs weekly programming to provide students from any faculty access to entrepreneurship workshops and networking opportunities.

Startup funding is available through VeloCity Venture Fund competitions. Through this fund, VeloCity awards over $300,000 to promising startups each year. Competitions take place three times a year. VeloCity takes no intellectual property rights or equity in return.

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.

About the University of Waterloo
In just half a century, the University of Waterloo, located at the heart of Canada’s technology hub, has become one of Canada’s leading comprehensive universities with 35,000 full- and part-time students in undergraduate and graduate programs. Waterloo, as home to the world’s largest post-secondary co-operative education program, embraces its connections to the world and encourages enterprising partnerships in learning, research and discovery. In the next decade, the university is committed to building a better future for Canada and the world by championing innovation and collaboration to create solutions relevant to the needs of today and tomorrow. For more information about Waterloo, please visit www.uwaterloo.ca

Notes to editors
A full contact sheet for all VeloCity companies is available.

Media are invited to visit the VeloCity Garage. Tours can be arranged by contacting University of Waterloo Media Relations.

SOURCE University of Waterloo

For further information:
Media Contact
Nick Manning
University of Waterloo
[email protected]

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.