Waterloo’s VeloCity Renames Venture Fund, Shakes Up Funding Structure

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Waterloo-based startup incubator, VeloCity, has changed the name of one of its most successful programs, the “VeloCity Venture Fund”.

Now it will be called the “VeloCity Fund“. As the program puts it, the “venture” was meant to include any company, or venture, that wished to apply for the funding. But the name “lead to confusion in the market because VeloCity doesn’t receive any intellectual property or equity from grant winners.”

They are also combined the “VeloCity Venture Fund” and “Demo Day” events starting in January. With the new name, the events will now be simplified to contain all levels of the competition under the umbrella brand of the “VeloCity Fund Finals”. Two different levels will now be created for teams wishing to apply for funding, in the $1,000 round and the $25,000 round.

Any student can apply to the $1,000 round, while the $25,000 round is reserved for teams who are prepared for that level of funding.

The $1,000 program description is as follows:

“Any University of Waterloo student that wants the experience pitching their idea are encouraged to participate in the VeloCity Fund Finals $1K. By taking advantage of this opportunity, you will pitch at our Pitch Night Socials taking place on November 13 & 14th and the ten top pitches will then qualify to pitch at the VeloCity Fund Finals for a chance to win one of three $1K awards.”

The $25,000 program is as follows:

For the $25K award, VeloCity takes no intellectual property rights or equity in return. Teams that want to compete for the VeloCity Fund $25K don’t need to be members of an existing VeloCity program — they just have to be eligible for the VeloCity Garage. This means that one founder (owning at least 20% of the company) must be a current University of Waterloo student or graduated in the last year.

Important Dates for the new “VeloCity Fund”

November 3rd, 2013 11:59PM: Written Submissions Due
November 11th, 2013: Interviews
November 28th, 2013: VeloCity Fund Finals

The VeloCity brand is actually quite large, comprising of a number of programs housed in the University of Waterloo campus that takes its name.

The VeloCity Campus is about helping all entrepreneurially-inclined students at the University of Waterloo. The program gives interested students the practical, real world skills they need to start any kind of business by providing access to hands-on workshops and events.

Meanwhile, The VeloCity Garage is comprised of 7,000 square feet of free co-working space where tech startups can develop, test and implement their startup ideas. The aim is to provide students and alumni with the connections, advice and equipment necessary to build their startups, even after they graduate. Since its creation, over 45 companies have benefited from the resources, community and connections given to them by the VeloCity Garage — and raised over $90 million in funding.

There’s even a VeloCity Residence, which provides a unique opportunity for University of Waterloo students to live in an innovative and entrepreneurial environment right on campus. Students are given access to the latest technologies and the opportunity to learn from a great network of mentors and entrepreneurs.

Joseph Czikk

Joseph Czikk

Joseph Czikk is Managing Editor at Betakit. Prior to Betakit Joseph wrote 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.