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Velocity's next era is marked by a new partnership between the City of Kitchener and the University of Waterloo:

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Velocity partners with Scale AI to boost AI startups and supply chain productivity

By Adrien Côté and John Cappuccitti

Quick Summary

  • Velocity is partnering with Scale AI to support AI startups looking to disrupt the supply chain space.
  • Early-stage AI startups can apply for Velocity’s Stage 1 program and receive AI-focused support and an opportunity for $10K in non-dilutive investment.
  • Together with Scale AI, Velocity aims to increase AI startups’ the probability of success.

Velocity is excited to announce our partnership with Scale AI [1], the Canadian AI supercluster with the mandate to boost productivity by integrating AI across industry supply chains.

Combining the power of Canada’s supercluster with Velocity’s mission to launch high-impact companies, this partnership will strengthen our support for game-changing AI companies. Specifically, we are looking to identify, recruit, coach, and support exciting startups that are looking to disrupt the supply chain space. 

We welcome all early-stage AI startups to apply to Velocity’s Stage 1 program and receive AI-focused support. More specifically, upon successful completion of our Stage 1 program, eligible startups will receive both continued support from Velocity and Scale AI and $10K in non-dilutive investment to help them commercialize their solution with Scale AI partners.

In true Velocity fashion, we are going to work closely with founders accepted into the program to help them advance their business. When it comes to AI, though, there are some tough realities that founders must face. 

Creating better AI startups

The use of AI as a tool for competitive advantage (i.e. a hammer) is somewhat of a misnomer. As Andreessen Horowitz points out, AI companies have three very unique challenges:

  • They have lower gross margins than other software businesses due to the volume of cloud usage and ongoing human support they require (e.g. OpenAI is rumored to have spent $5-10M USD in cloud compute costs per trained model for GPT-3).
  • They have scaling challenges due to the prevalence of edge cases that exist in the real world.
  • They have weaker defensive moats as AI models become commoditized.

Our specific goal, in partnership with Scale AI, is to increase the probability of success for early stage AI companies competing in the supply chain space. In and of itself, the use of AI is not the magic bullet companies need to succeed. We hope that by pairing high potential AI companies with industry partners who can provide data and insight on real-world problems, we will be on a path to defeating the challenges faced by AI companies.

For more details around eligibility, please see our webpage for further details

Velocity, powered by the University of Waterloo, and Scale AI, are both huge proponents of a startup’s ability to change the world. We look forward to working with innovative teams over the coming years to do exactly that.

[1] The AI-Powered Supply Chains Supercluster (Scale AI) will bring the retail, manufacturing, transportation, infrastructure, and information and communications technology sectors together to build intelligent supply chains through artificial intelligence and robotics. This supercluster will help Canadian small and medium-sized businesses scale up and help ensure Canada is a globally competitive export leader. You can learn more about the Canadian government’s support behind this initiative here.