Kitchener’s VeloCity Names Its Next 30 Startups

VeloCityGarageEntrance

VeloCity, the University of Waterloo-based startup program, has announced the 30 startups that it will house for the Fall 2013 semester.

They range from a health monitoring armband, highly scalable transparent energy-efficient electronic display technology, and an online planning tool for teachers. One of the startups is even joining the bitcoin craze, creating a faster and more efficient checkout phase for the digital currency.

Created in September 2012, VeloCity 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, VeloCity’s Director. “Together, VeloCity startups have raised over $90 million in funding and created hundreds of employment positions.”

Waterloo students can come to VeloCity with any kind of business idea, tech-related or not (but many of the startups there are typically tech-related). Its goal is to empower students with the resources to run their own business and immerse them in uWaterloo’s vibrant startup culture.

At least one cofounder of each startup must be a Waterloo student or graduate. Startup founders come from University of Waterloo programs ranging from mechatronics, nanotechnology, systems design, mechanical engineering, math, science, computer science, arts and more.

VeloCityGarageWorkArea

The 30 startups operating at the Kitchener-based VeloCity this fall are:

Blacktree Health  A health monitoring armband that automatically detects calories consumed, stress levels, exercise and sleep quality. This device proactively recommends small steps for improvement throughout the day. Pre-orders starting soon.

Charity Republic – An online volunteer solution for easily tracking, sharing and ranking experiences. Also, this month Charity Republic is launching hourrepublic.com, an education solution that enables students to track their volunteer and work activities and connect to opportunities in the community.

The Display Rack  A local online comparison shopping destination. The Display Rack provides real time inventory and prices of products at local stores. Currently in private beta in the US.

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. Sign up and start capturing your family stories today.

Fides  A social media predictive analytics tool that provides real-time recommendations for increased social engagement. Currently in private beta. Sign up today to join the public beta coming soon.

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. 300 courses are currently available in the Fora catalog and 9 pilot projects underway in Nigeria.

Happenate  A social platform for making stuff happen through shared decisions, resource gathering and cooperative action. Pilot projects range from a community build of front-yard libraries to an accessibility renovation for a local family.

Kaizena – Kaizena is an online platform focused on student skills improvement by empowering teachers to give highly targeted, personalized, actionable feedback. To address specific areas for improvement, a teacher highlights the relevant area of the student’s work, then records a voice comment, adds a text comment, and/or attaches a link to any online resource (such as a mini lesson, video or educational game). With over 25,000 educators using the beta worldwide, Kaizena is poised to be at the forefront of education’s transition from paper to digital. Kaizena is available today and works with Google Drive and other cloud-based services.

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. Focus on making great games and we’ll handle the back end.

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. Pilot projects underway.

MappedIn  An interactive indoor navigation system available as a mobile app or touchscreen kiosk. Over 100,000 active monthly users to date. Current customers include the University of Waterloo, Casino Rama, Sheraton Toronto, and Conestoga Mall.

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. Currently in beta.

Media Spot Me – An online directory where journalists discover experts to interview. Media Spot Me also runs expert directories for organizations, including universities.

Oikoi – An online service that helps students and young professionals find quality rental accommodations fast in great neighbourhoods across Canada. Features thousands of easily searchable listings for rooms, sublets, lofts, student housing, and more. Oikoi will be launching their redesigned website later this month. This update will introduce new map search and neighbourhood info features, and expand Oikoi’s reach to major cities across Canada, including Vancouver, Montreal, Calgary, Ottawa, and Halifax. Oikoi currently serves Toronto, Kitchener-Waterloo, and London.

Planboard  An online platform for teachers to streamline lesson plans, track curriculum standards, and collaborate with other teachers worldwide. In use today by over 15,000 teachers. Recognized by the David Suzuki Foundation, Discovery Education, and the Ontario Teachers’ Federation. Available in English, and recently launched in Chinese.

Planleaf – Project management software that works right out of your inbox. Sign up for the beta today.

PumpUp – A mobile fitness coach that automatically designs personalized workout routines based on the user’s equipment, location, skill level, and goals. Users are coached through their routine step-by-step and are kept motivated to stay on track. Over time, the app tailors the exercises based on the user’s previous workouts (sets, reps, weight, etc.) so users see great progress. The PumpUp fitness app is currently available for iPhone, and soon on Android and BlackBerry 10.

Redro – A social networking site for discovering and ordering popular restaurant dishes online based on friends’ rankings and recommendations. Currently in beta with restaurants in Waterloo.

reebee  The best way to browse flyers and discover deals at local retailers on your smartphone and tablet. Download free today for iOS, Android, and BlackBerry 10.

SciGit  An online service that allows for easy collaboration on research data and papers. Used by hundreds of organizations, including CERN – the European Organization for Nuclear Research; Harvard; and MIT. A new version is planned for release this month.

Sentry Scientific Inc.  Sentry Scientific is developing a smart walker to make walkers safer and increase the independence of seniors. The smart walker uses an array of sensors, and a braking system to predict user intention and the environment to avoid dangerous situations. Coming soon.

SmartShare  SmartShare is a platform for transferring any kind of content between devices. It’s ideal for sharing presentations, videos, photos and files instantly from a mobile device to a larger screen, such as a smart TV, computer, tablet or laptop; or to easily move content from one device to another for people on the go. The beta launch of SmartShare apps for OS X and Android is planned for later this year. Web site coming soon at smartshare.me.

SoundBrush  A mobile app that makes complex music compositions from drawn lines. Download today for iPad.

Sparkgig – Sparkgig is an online marketplace for local music performers to connect with event opportunities. Marketplaces launching for Kitchener-Waterloo and Toronto later this year. Web site coming soon at www.sparkgig.com.

Tinkercoin – A fast and easy way to buy Bitcoin digital currency online. Tinkercoin turns a multi-day process into a 10-minute checkout.

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. Finding and fixing mistakes has never been so fast and affordable. Coming soon.

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. Linkett supports payments not only through mobile devices, but also through loyalty and credit cards. WestonExpressions is currently taking preorders on its website at www.linkett.com.

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. For every question asked, student perspectives can be clustered geographically and compared within and between places – city to city, region to region, country to country.

Joseph Czikk

Joseph Czikk

Joseph Czikk previously has written for the National Post, Montreal Gazette, Vancouver Sun, Regina Leader Post, Techvibes and BC Business Online. Joseph often goes crazy on twitter during NHL and NFL games.