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Join us at Velocity

Velocity is where great founders build great companies

Apply as a Startup Join as a Student

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

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

Application process

Fill out the form below to apply. Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis. An email is sent to you immediately following the submission of your application to guide timeline expectations for future correspondence and feedback.

For Startups, 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. We recognize that ideas and projects develop substantially over time and highly encourage you to apply again later!

If you are joining as a Waterloo student, we will reach out in 3-5 business days to start working with you.

Apply as a Startup Join as a Student

FAQ

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. If joining as a student we will reach out in 3-5 business days to set you up with the most valuable resources you need.

If I am accepted as a Startup, 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 from Startups. Our current acceptance rate is around 5% 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.

If joining as a student, we work with everyone. We will connect within 3-5 business days to see how we can best support!

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 Startup 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 as a Startup. 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.

What type of Startup 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 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. Learn more about student resources on campus.

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 educational backgrounds. However, if joining as a student, a member of your founding team must be at the University of Waterloo.

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.

Ready to join our community?

Apply as a Startup