Author: Alexandra Satok

Velocity Foundry marks busy first year in hardware startup incubation

Top photo: Velocity Director Mike Kirkup at the entrance to the Velocity Foundry, which marks its first birthday this month. Waterloo Region was long known as a makers’ community, where leather tanning, furniture making and general manufacturing of physical goods were common occupations. Today, the region is seeing renewed interest in building hardware. However, this time around, things are a little different. The hardware being built in Waterloo today is intelligent hardware, connected to our homes, offices and the broader physical world. A year ago, the University of Waterloo’s tech entrepreneurship program, Velocity, opened its second incubator to support...

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A maker’s guide to building a startup – the Maker Expo story

Behind every startup lies a question that underlines the problem at hand. For Darin White and his colleagues, the question that confronted them was quite far-reaching: how do we unite a region to celebrate the art of making? The solution they came up with is Maker Expo. Maker Expo is a volunteer-driven, non-profit, one-day gathering of makers. The expo team has high hopes in place for the event’s inaugural launch on Sept.19 at Kitchener City Hall. Organizers expect to host 10,000 attendees at a display of more than 100 makers who have already registered. Maker Expo aims to celebrate...

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Reinventing the red pen: Kaizena raises $900,000 in seed funding

Photo: Kaizena co-founders Maxwell Brodie (left) and Edward Sun in the University of Waterloo Velocity Garage. Change is often uncomfortable, but when it comes to the classroom, using feedback to make changes to your work is what drives improvement. This learning process inspired the creation of Kaizena, a University of Waterloo Velocity company whose name literally means ‘good change.’ Today the company announced it has secured $900,000 in seed funding from some notable investors, including LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner and Keynote Systems founder Umang Gupta, who was an early Oracle vice president. U.S.-based NewSchools Seed Fund and Hong Kong’s...

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Q+A: Laurier doubles down on entrepreneurship with new courses

Photo: Victoria Larke, Founding Manager of the Schlegel Centre for Entrepreneurship at Wilfrid Laurier University (Communitech photo: Alexandra Satok) With much risk and no promise of return, entrepreneurship can be a tough sell for students, against contenders like accounting, finance and investment banking.                            Wilfrid Laurier University has taken a big step in paving entrepreneurship as a more practical path for students, with a new slate of courses, starting this fall, that will streamline entrepreneurship as its own area of undergraduate study. The initiative was designed through...

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Banking execs connect with FinTech startups at sold-out event

Top photo: (from left) Cesar Rainusso from BMO, Mike Henry from Scotiabank, Gabriel Woo from RBC, Rizwan Khalfan from TD and Communitech’s VP of Startup Services, Steve McCartney. When it comes to managing money, Canadian banks have enjoyed a long tradition of safety and predictability. But in today’s digital age, everything is changing – and the financial world is one of the industries most ripe for disruption. And whether as a disruptor or as an aid, tech is playing a key role in how our banks are evolving. On Tuesday night, executives from Canada’s four largest chartered banks gathered...

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