Information for

Velocity Graduate Student Startup Fund

Thursday, December 20, 2018

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Have you considered building a startup from your research?

Thanks to a generous donation by computer science graduate, Sam Pasupalak (BCS 2012, pictured below with Bill Gates), you could win $20,000 in funding for your startup and acceptance into the Velocity Garage incubator program.

Sam Pasupalak co-founded the artificial intelligence company, Maluuba, which was acquired by Microsoft in 2017. Maluuba focused on teaching machines to think, reason and communicate.

Application process

photo of Sam Pasupalak and Bill GatesThe top eight teams that submit a written application will be invited to a 45-minute interview (5–10 minute presentation, with 35–40 minutes of Q&A and discussion). You will receive an email by January 30, 2019 to let you know whether you have been selected for an interview.

All interviews will take place at the Velocity Garage in downtown Kitchener during the day on February 6, 2019. After the interview, your team will be notified if selected as the $20,000 winner. The winning team, as well as the top two finalists, will have professional showcase videos produced about their research, commercialization path and startup ambition. 


Your team must have at least one co-founder who is currently, or has been in the last 12 months, a University of Waterloo graduate student, who owns (or is anticipated to own) at least 20% of the company. 

You are not eligible to apply if your company (if already incorporated) has received more than $100,000 in external investment (convertible debt, equity, etc.), including government grants. Note this does not include personal scholarship funding (e.g., Canada Graduate Scholarship).

Important dates

Applications open: December 10, 2018
Applications close: January 20, 2019 at 11:59 p.m.
Applicants notified if moving on to interviews: January 30, 2019
Interviews at the Velocity Garage: February 6, 2019

Learn more about the application process and tips eligibility. Get your application in before January 20, 2019 at 11:59 p.m. EST.