Startups from Waterloo’s Velocity Incubator Have Raised $100 Million in Five Years

The University of Waterloo’s Velocity startup incubator today revealed that companies in the program have raised more than $100 million in funding.

That number comes five years after the program was launched and includes includes funding from venture capitalists, angel investors, government programs, grants from the Velocity Fund, and crowdfunding platforms.

Graduates with notable raises included Kik, Pebble, and Thalmic Labs. Kik’s last raise was a $19.5 million Series B round, while Pebble shattered crowdfunding records when it raised $10 million on Kickstarter. Meanwhile, Thalmic Labs had an incredible 2013, raising one of the most significant venture capital rounds of any Canadian startup that year and also winning 2013 Startup of the Year in the annual Canadian Startup Awards.


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“The Velocity approach to supporting young entrepreneurs is making a noticeable impact; our startups have raised over $100 million in just five years,” says Mike Kirkup, director of Velocity. “We’re now in a great position to help attract the next $100 million.”

The $100 million milestone does not include acquisitions, such as Google’s acquisition of BufferBox in 2012, according to Velocity.

“What differentiates Velocity from other incubators is the positive and tangible impact it has achieved in a very short period of time. Their efforts have contributed to Waterloo becoming a well-known source of tech talent and emerging technology in Canada,” added Michael Mahon, director of strategic investments and initiatives at BDC Venture Capital.

Velocity supports young entrepreneurs by giving them free space, startup programming, and mentorship to turn their ideas into businesses. Velocity also guides companies towards angel investors, venture capitalists and government grant programs. Startups are selected for the Velocity Garage workspace through an ongoing application process, or by winning Velocity Fund competitions.

Velocity has contributed more than $750,000 to the $100 million funding total with grants to emerging startups through Velocity Fund competitions. Previous fund winners include BufferBox and Thalmic Labs.