The University of Waterloo has announced that it’s launching a venture fund focussed on healthtech startups.
Dubbed the Velocity HealthTech Fund, it will give early-stage startups the opportunity to compete in a pitch competition, with a chance to win $50,000 in pre-seed funding.
The fund has already funded its first two startups, as it was also announced that Life Sciences Key Technologies received a total of $100,000 jointly from the Velocity Fund and the new healthtech fund, while Caribou received $50,000 from the new health tech fund.
After their first venture fund – simply titled the Velocity Fund, which was launched last April – managed to raise US$1.3 million while investing $600,000 into 12 startups, the executive director of Waterloo’s entrepreneurship program, Adrien Côté, said they saw that there was an appetite from investors in Canada.
“Following the launch of the Velocity Fund last year, it quickly became apparent that there is a significant appetite among individual investors in Canada to get in on early-stage startups,” said Côté. “Focusing our second fund on health tech only made sense given that 38 per cent of the companies we have in our incubator operate in this space, a trend we only see increasing over time. Access to additional early capital allows founders to tackle unique, and often costly, aspects of building a health tech company.”
The new fund was launched to investors four weeks ago and has already met its initial fundraising goals, garnering US$1 million in investments.