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Building a new health tech innovation pipeline in Southwestern Ontario



“Building a successful health tech company is different than most tech companies” noted Adrien Côté. “Health tech founders face additional hurdles navigating clinical development, regulatory pathways, quality systems, and finding a profitable path to enter a competitive healthcare market.”

The last year highlighted the critical need for the tech ecosystem to better support health tech companies and strengthen the region’s health tech pipeline to increase Canada’s ability to lead as we build a healthier future for all.

“Velocity has given us access to a world-class laboratory and the space to grow our emerging biotechnology company. It’s secretly the best place in the world to start a biotechnology company without hundreds of millions of dollars in the bank“ - Cody Shirriff, Founder and CEO at Serenity Bio.


Velocity is excited to work with Medical Innovation Exchange and Western University to streamline launching and growing a successful health tech company, supported by a $10-million grant by FedDev Ontario. Of the $10 million, $6.5 million is allocated to Velocity to continue providing critical support for early-stage start-ups and further the exponential growth of the region’s tech ecosystem. Parts of the funding will be allocated to lab equipment for Waterloo’s upcoming Innovation Arena, Velocity’s new home. “Membio would not exist without the University of Waterloo and Velocity” commented Shane Kilpatrick, Membio’s founder and CEO, in a previous interview for the University of Waterloo. “Velocity provided access to research facilities I just didn’t have and Velocity Science, a partnership between Velocity and the Faculty of Science, helped with some of the consumables when I was getting started and didn’t have any money. The experience of learning how to rapidly prototype and test ideas was invaluable, especially because we are trying to do things that have never been done before. You need to be able to learn from failures and test things out. It was critical to have that support.”


Velocity companies have raised more than $2.4 billion USD in funding so far and created more than 5,000 jobs, with over 100 companies deciding to settle in Southwestern Ontario. The new investment will help Velocity expand its current programming to support a growing number of health tech and deep tech founders in the years to come. This follows up the success of Velocity’s first pre-seed Health fund launched in March 2020, with 18 of 19 new Velocity Fund and Velocity HealthTech Fund investments having secured follow on investment so far.

“Velocity has given us access to a world-class laboratory and the space to grow our emerging biotechnology company. It’s secretly the best place in the world to start a biotechnology company without hundreds of millions of dollars in the bank“, noted Cody Shirriff, Founder and CEO at Serenity Bio. Velocity is currently looking for its next Incubator Director. Join us to make a difference in the Canadian tech ecosystem. Candidates for this position are strong leaders with founder experience that deeply understand the work of an early stage entrepreneur, innovation ecosystems, and strategies and mechanics of raising private capital.

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