Top 10 finalists presented unique solutions from personal DNA synthesizers, 3D mapping, flying cars, and more. The winning startups may one day disrupt trillion-dollar markets.
Disruption has become a cliche term for startups. But for the four winning early-stage startups at the 25th Velocity Fund Pitch Competition, it was the disruptive aspects of their business that ultimately set them apart.
The Competition was hosted in Toronto for the first time at the Bram & Bluma Appel Salon at the Toronto Reference Library with the aim of strengthening the ties between the Toronto-Waterloo corridor and exposing early-stage startups to a greater pool of capital and talent. In front of a panel of investor judges and over 250 attendees, ten finalists took the stage to pitch and compete for one of four $50k investments. The event was also live streamed on Facebook.
The Velocity Fund Pitch Competition exists to refine, showcase, and fund emerging early-stage startups. After 25 competitions, we continue to showcase the best from across Canada, proving our dedication to highlighting today’s most forward-thinking innovators.Jay Shah, Director of Startups at Velocity
Over the past 24 cycles, the competition formerly known as Velocity Fund Finals, has produced 91 $25k grant winners and four $50k investment winners. Collectively, these companies are now worth over $1 billion. Now we can add four more to the list:
- Maple Precision: offering online, 3D mapping platform for city builders–where they can source and present geographic data in minutes.
- SquidBio: creating a device that allows for rapid prototyping of synthetic biology.
- Stacktronic: developing a scalable, flexible, and truly modular battery platform for electric vehicles.
- Watfly: making flying cars. (This startup was also a finalist at the 24th Velocity Fund Pitch Competition and a winner of the last Velocity Fund Finals $5K.)
Each of the top four startups receives a $50k investment, as well as in-kind intellectual property legal services and one provisional patent application, courtesy of PCK IP. All startup finalists gained exceptional exposure to the over 60 investors in attendance, who came looking for the latest in cutting-edge technology and innovation.
“The Velocity Fund Pitch Competition exists to refine, showcase, and fund emerging early-stage startups. After 25 competitions, we continue to showcase the best from across Canada, proving our dedication to highlighting today’s most forward-thinking innovators,” said Director of Startups, Jay Shah. “We’re thrilled to support and fund the four winning startups and their founders, and we look forward to the next Pitch Competition.”
Other trends showcased at the Competition included game-changing idle reduction, advanced analytics, and satellite imagery technologies designed to enact change in industries such as transportation, urban planning, and agriculture.
Velocity is grateful to the esteemed panel of judges, who had the tough job of choosing the top four winners. Thank you to:
- Alex Iskold, Co-founder and Managing Partner of 2048 Ventures
- Victoria Birkett, Partner at Innovation Grade Ventures
- Prashant Matta, Partner at Panache Ventures
- Mohan Markandaier, Managing Partner of Good News Ventures
For a complete list of the 2019 finalists, please go here.
Photo Credit: Megpie Photography