Join us in downtown Kitchener or remote
Velocity is where great founders build great companies, from idea to Series A.
At Velocity, we help you build start-ups. Using the Velocity approach, you maximize your chance of building a start-up that will have a massive impact and stand the test of time. Depending on your stage of development and which program you are in, we help you succeed by providing unparalleled access to…
- Expert guidance for company development;
- Specialized advisory services from domain experts;
- Office and meeting space;
- Networks of Velocity Alum, investors, and professional service providers;
- Leadership training for the founding team; and
- Resources for hardware, health tech, and deep tech product development
“Velocity is a wonderful opportunity to bring the ideas to life. The prototyping tools and additive manufacturing equipment and machine shop facilities pave the path to proof of concept. The in-kind resources available are invaluable and the advisory on different aspects of business growth plays an important role in the future success of the ventures.”CEO & Co-Founder – Atefeh Zarabadi, AiimSense
Check out our programs and apply today!
“Velocity has significantly invested in building an environment in which early stage technology companies can achieve rapid growth and success.”Tim Lasswell, CEO and Co-Founder at Cobionix
Velocity Seven Pillars Framework
Velocity’s Seven Pillars framework is designed to connect founders with the right training, resources and connections at the right time. As you grow your business through Venture Ready and the Velocity Incubator Program, Velocity advisors will use the seven pillars to create ideal checkpoints that will save you time and accelerate your progress.
Fill out the form below to apply. Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis through the Velocity Incubator and Velocity Fund teams. Incubator program admissions take place every two months while Velocity Fund interviews take place through direct outreach from the Velocity Fund within two weeks of application. An email is sent to you immediately following the submission of your application to guide timeline expectations for future correspondence and feedback.Apply to Velocity
1. Complete the Velocity application form.
2. Review the email with anticipated timelines for interviews and feedback. All teams will receive feedback on their applications and recommendations on next steps with Velocity.
3. Selected teams will be invited to participate in a 15-min conversation to get to know you and understand your interests in joining Velocity.
4. A subset of applicants will be invited to participate in a half-day (for virtual programs) or full-day (for in-person programs) interview. This interview gives us a holistic view of you as a founding team and provides you with insights into whether Velocity is the right place to grow your company.
5. If chosen to join Velocity, we will contact you with next steps.
Velocity has an application success rate of approximately 5%. If you applied but didn’t get in, we encourage you to stay involved with Velocity through the Leadership Training programs and Velocity Community. We recognize that ideas and projects develop substantially over time and highly encourage you to apply again later!
What happens in the Velocity program?
While incubated at Velocity, you will be paired with a dedicated business advisor to connect with, on demand. We trust you to set the best schedule for your business needs, whether that’s regular meetings or ad-hoc connections. We also offer a breadth of connections with corporate and operational partners and can put you in touch with the right business partners at the right time.
Founders can join or leave Velocity at any time, which means we do not have traditional ‘cohorts’. However, we still foster a strong founder network, with both our current residents and alumni, thanks to meetups, Slack groups, events, and more. Our supportive community makes it easier to go through the ups and downs of starting a company.
What do I need to do to apply?
Simply fill out this form. That’s it. If you are selected for an interview, we will reach out shortly and talk about next steps during the interview. There might be a second or a third interview – that’s usually a good sign. Teams who apply typically will have a definite yes or no answer from our team within 2 weeks of the first interview.
If I am accepted, what happens?
You will receive an email notifying you of acceptance and next steps. Your team will be invited to set up shop at Velocity, located at the Tannery, in Kitchener. You will be granted access to desk space, kitchen and shared spaces, meeting rooms, as well as wet labs (BSL-2) and hardware labs, if applicable.
What is your acceptance rate?
Velocity receives hundreds of applications. Our current acceptance rate is around 7% so don’t be discouraged if you don’t get in right away. We encourage you to apply again at a later time if you believe Velocity is the right place for you to build your company.
How much does it cost?
Acceptance into the Velocity is free as is all of our programming, mentorship and access to our facilities for companies incubated.
How long is your program?
We work at your pace. Most companies incubated stay between 1-3 years. You can access our resources and advisors anytime you need them, even after you graduate. Meet our advisors.
I was previously rejected. Can I apply again?
If you applied but didn’t get in, we encourage you to apply again in subsequent months. We recognize that ideas and projects can develop substantially over time.
Does the Velocity Fund invest in all incubated companies?
The Velocity Fund committee reviews incoming applications for investment opportunities. You do not need to have any affiliation to the University of Waterloo to be considered for investment. The Velocity Fund currently invests with cheque sizes ranging from $25K & $250K USD.
What type of companies usually get accepted?
We support and invest in early-stage (pre-seed or seed) companies capable of driving positive, large-scale, global impact through technology, scientific discoveries, and meaningful engineering innovation.
We accept companies from all geo and in all industries. Our current residents are pretty evenly split between software and hard tech, which includes hardware, biotech, healthtech, robotics, ag tech, and cleantech – just to name a few.
We already raised some funding. Can we still apply?
Absolutely. You can apply if you have already completed a raise or even if you are in the middle of a raise. Many of our founders have already raised some amount of capital (grant or investment) before joining Velocity.
I have a great idea for a company but I haven’t started building. Should I apply?
Our selection team looks for proof that you will tackle a billion dollar problem, that the solution you are building is meeting the needs of your customers, and that your team has the skills required to successfully execute on your vision. We particularly like when one of the founders has deep expertise in the space or past experience as a founder, or if the team has a working prototype and can demonstrate early market traction.
If you are a UWaterloo student, there are a variety of on-campus programs to support budding entrepreneurs. Visit the Innovation Portal to get directed to the best resource for your needs.
Can we still apply for YCombinator, IndieBio, Thiel Fellowship, etc. if we join?
We encourage it and will help you with the application process. As of 2021, 40 Velocity alumni have been accepted into YCombinator, 6 were accepted into IndieBio and 9 of our founders received a Thiel Fellowship.
Do you accept solo founders?
While we do accept solo founders, we found the strongest applications are from teams with 2-3 co-founders.
Do one of our founders need to be a Waterloo alumni to apply?
No. We welcome teams from all over the world and from all educational backgrounds.
Do I need to work out of Velocity if I am accepted?
We believe that strong founder-to-founder connections are best made in person. Although our program is an in-person first experience, we are flexible with how you choose to use our space. Working from Velocity (at the Tannery) is encouraged, but not required.
Velocity (at the Tannery) is our base where the energy and collaborative nature of the Velocity community is a big benefit for founders. You are not required to work out of the Velocity Incubator, we encourage you to make the decision which will allow your company to flourish.
Can I work on my company part-time if I am accepted?
Part-time founders are welcome to join the Venture Ready pre-incubator program to de-risk their company. Full-time founder status is required to join the Velocity Incubator Program.