Record number of startups part of VeloCity garage

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This month, the VeloCity Garage welcomes eight new startups making their total lineup 35, a record number for the Garage. 

One of the new startups being added to the Garage is Lightbot, which uses video games to teach children basic programming skills. UW computer science student, Danny Yaroslavski, developed Lightbot. 

“I’m extremely excited to be moving into the Garage. The energy and drive of the startups there is inspiring,” said Yaroslavski. 

The expanding number of applicants to the Garage has led VeloCity to begin plans to open Velocity Foundry, a space for startups developing a physical product. Currently there are approximately seven hardware companies at the Garage that will soon move into the Foundry in downtown Kitchener. 

Velocity Foundry will provide startups with many of the same features as the Garage such as workspace, free use of equipment, and mentorship. Some of the startups moving to the new space in the coming months include Neverfrost, a company that has designed a sprayable, transparent anti-frost coating for car windows. 

The Garage accepts new companies on an application basis throughout the term. They were able to accept a higher number of new applicants this term due to the departure of several startups at the end of 2013.

“We’re looking for people who have a cohesive team—that’s one of the biggest things we’re looking for right now,” said Mike Kirkup, the director of VeloCity. 

Kirkup says that on average the Garage conducts five interviews with applicants per month and accepts three new startups. 

There is no set length for companies to stay at the Garage. Kirkup says companies have stayed anywhere from nine months to two years. 

“We’re watching the companies to make sure that they’re continuing to make forward progress, are using the space effectively and they’re getting value.” 

On the flip side, Kirkup says startups have their own responsibility to seek their own space outside of the Garage when they are no longer getting value or begin to outgrow the space. 

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