We are so excited to announce that Metaranx took part in Velocity Incubator's Virtual Stage 1 cohort beginning the week of July 20th 2020. Now, we’ve been formally accepted into Velocity Incubator! We are thrilled to take part and accelerate this exciting chapter of Metaranx's growth. We wanted to share with you what Velocity Incubator is all about, why we applied and wanted to join, what their program offers founders, and how you can apply. Special thanks to the incredible team behind Velocity and especially Scott Rose, John Cappuccitti, and Mila Banerjee who supported us and provided great insights and advisory these past few weeks of Stage 1. We look forward to continuing to grow Metaranx while part of Velocity.
What is Velocity Incubator?
Velocity is an incubator for early-stage, pre-seed tech startups. Their team of successful startup leaders (including those who have had exits) as well as advisors and experts are available to assist founders. The incubator is proudly backed by the University of Waterloo (UW), which is well-known for its alum in the field of STEM. They are also supported by the Government of Canada, the Province of Ontario, and the City of Kitchener. The Velocity incubator program is divided into three stages of "Discover", "Build", and "Scale". Although the program formally ends after "Scale" (Stage 3), they continue to offer support and their office space to their alumni founders.
Velocity was originally founded as a "dormcubator," accepting UW's developers and entrepreneurs who would live together dorm-style. Their program is now divided into Concept for students on campus and Velocity for startups. Velocity has been supporting entrepreneurs since 2008.
Why did Metaranx want to join Velocity Incubator?
We applied to the Velocity Incubator for a few reasons:
- We are an early-stage company with a consumer-facing, scalable technology platform, which fits Velocity’s mission statement
- We are working on our company full-time and are willing to relocate to get the best support when needed
- We want to be in a physical space with other founders to really push our company to grow faster (post COVID!)
- We want the support of mentorship and advisors as we make difficult and defining decisions in our company
- We wanted to participate in Velocity's pitch competitions, which we hear great things about
- Velocity offers its founders access to funding and investors
- Velocity’s program is divided into three meaningful stages that help us achieve our milestones
As an early-stage startup based out of Toronto, applying to an incubator in one of the hottest tech hubs in Canada was a no-brainer. Waterloo is a growing city with a ton of amenities and is abundant in tech talent. The well known Toronto-Waterloo corridor is the second largest technology cluster in North America and boasts over 15,000 tech companies. The opportunity to have an incredible office and lab space available to us, being surrounded by hardworking individuals and experienced advisors, and getting to participate in pitch competitions is exactly what we're looking for in an incubator program.
What does Velocity offer its cohort members?
Members of the cohort, pre-COVID, had access to a ton of resources in the Waterloo area. Being a part of Velocity means having the ability to use their sprawling 37,000 sq. ft. office space, labs, and workshops. Velocity also offers all equipment available in those spaces with unlimited free coffee (necessary!). The first eight weeks of the program for Stage 1 (the “Discover” stage) are virtual and they’re continuing to work with the University of Waterloo to reopen when safe to do so in order to allow their startups access to important lab equipment and meeting rooms.
Velocity also hosts several pitch competitions offering investment funding and are open to University of Waterloo students, alumni, and those involved in Velocity's programs. We really look forward to participating in the Velocity Fund Pitch Competition where three times a year, early-stage startups compete to receive $50K-$100K investments from the Velocity Fund and Velocity Health Tech Fund. This will give us the opportunity to potentially secure funding, pitch to investors and venture capitalists, and also practice our pitch.
Finally, Velocity is a community of other founders who understand the founder journey and experts who can support and advise you. You really can't beat this sense of community and assistance when trying to drive an early-stage company to success. We can't wait to help other founders on their journeys and work alongside those who are trying to achieve the same things we are.
How can founders apply for Velocity?
You can apply to be part of Velocity, Concept, and their pitch competitions on their website. The applications are open to startups and founders around the world. You do not have to be a part of the University of Waterloo to apply or qualify. Lisen and I did not attend the University of Waterloo so don't let that deter you from applying! If you're a founder building a scalable technology company who is working full-time on their company and looking to engage in the Velocity community, then look into applying! The next deadline for applications is September 25th 2020 for the October 22nd 2020 start date.
We look forward to taking part in the Velocity Incubator program and have really appreciated the value we received out of Stage 1. Congratulations to all the companies in this cohort of Velocity! We look forward to connecting with everyone and really pushing our company forward with Velocity as a great support system.