VeloCity – An Award Winning Program

Posted on November 22, 2011

If you are a student at the University of Waterloo (or considering becoming one), you have to take a look at the the VeloCity program. For those not familiar with the University of Waterloo it is consistently ranked one of the best schools in Canada by Maclean’s magazine. I wish VeloCity was available when I was there.

VeloCity launched in the Fall of 2008 as a startup incubator based in a student residence. Participants live in the Minota Hagey residence on campus and have access to working space at the Communitech Hub. Students are expected to attend classes during the day and work on their startups during evenings and weekends. Similar to the AC and the Hub, students need to apply to the VeloCity program.

One of the most valuable aspects of VeloCity is being surrounded by like-minded people who are innovative, passionate and energetic. When you add access to thought leaders, established entrepreneurs, and professors, you get a unique mix designed to kick-start successful new companies.

VeloCity has already attracted the support of some successful early stage companies. In the mix of companies working in the VeloCity space is Y Combinator graduate Vidyard, who recently secured $1.65 million in funding.

If that isn’t exciting enough, VeloCity alumnus Ted Livingston donated $1 million to establish the VeloCity Venture Fund. The VeloCity Venture Fund provides winning startups with seed capital of $25,000 to help further accelerate their growth.

(Congratulations to the four winners in the Fall 2011 selectionMappedIn, Exquisine, Maluuba and Bookkite.)

The VeloCity program received the Communitech Tech Impact Award at the Communitech AGM last week recognizing their contribution to the local startup community in the Kitchener-Waterloo region. A fitting award for an exciting institution.


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