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Build your startup here.

Velocity is where founders start and build great companies.  

A place to grow

You are a founder amongst founders

  • Join our vibrant community and surround yourself with other founders to get the support you need from peers and alumni founders.
  • Get personalized support from our full-time business advisors and access to Velocity’s network of business and technical expertise.

Focus on building your company

  • Time is your most precious resource. We offer authentic, personalized advice, when you need it. No mandatory meetings or workshops.

“It was always amazing to be in this space and see the companies around us. Seeing everybody work very hard and being very motivated gives us the motivation to keep trying as well. The community is always amazing. It was great having support, seeing people connect and cooperate. Everybody wants everybody else to succeed.

Marcelo Cortes, CTO and Co-Founder at Faire


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

A place to build

Product development labs

  • Develop your products quicker and with less overhead with access to a chemistry lab, BSL-2 lab, the PerkinElmer Customer Demonstration Lab, hardware workshop, and space that can be reconfigured to build what you need.

Office space and free coffee

  • Get desk space for your team, access to shared facilities like fully equipped kitchens, meeting rooms, and even a gym. Receive key administrative and operational support from Velocity, from IT to mailing services.

A place to scale

Investment

  • Receive mentorship from investors, including the Velocity Fund, on how to raise venture capital to scale to your next stage.

And beyond

  • Join a network of founders who are changing entire industries, from health tech, clean tech, robotics, self-driving vehicles, software, finance, and more, and have collectively raised over $4B in investment so far.

Velocity’s knowledge base and mentorship has been pivotal to laying a strong foundation for our company’s continuing growth. From market discovery to raising initial capital, the Velocity mentors have played a key role in pushing our company to move faster and focus on what matters most to building a product people want to buy

Danielle Rose, CEO and Co-Founder at Ceragen

We support and invest in early-stage (pre-seed or seed) companies capable of driving positive, large-scale, global impact.

We accept companies in all industries from the University of Waterloo and from all over the world. Our current residents are pretty evenly split between software and deep tech, which includes hardware, biotech, healthtech, robotics, agtech, and cleantech – just to name a few. Not in one of these industries? That’s okay, we’ll work to trailblaze support.

We specifically look for strong teams that have demonstrated progress in building early-stage, scalable technology companies. At Velocity, our team strives to deliver equitable operational processes and an incubation program that celebrates diversity in its participants. 

Application process

Fill out the form below to apply. Velocity and the Velocity Fund teams look at incoming applications.

Apply to Velocity

1. Complete the Velocity application form.

2. Selected teams will be invited to participate in a screening interview.

3. If chosen to join Velocity, we will contact you with next steps.

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.

Still wondering if Velocity is the right fit?

Read more about some of the current residents and alumni
or check our frequently asked questions below.

FAQ

Logistics

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 using the YC SAFE: MFN, no Valuation Cap, no Discount. Cheques sizes will range between $50K & $200K USD.

Logistics

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?

We ask that at least one of the founders work on the project full-time. We expect all founders to ultimately commit to building the company.

Ready to join our community?

Apply to Velocity