The University of Waterloo announced this morning that they have received a $1 Million donation from high tech entrepreneur Ted Livingston to support its students' business startup ambitions.
Livingston is a 23-year-old former Waterloo student and the founder and CEO of Waterloo-based Kik Interactive. The donation was made possible by the sale of some of Livingston's personal Kik shares in a recently completed $8 Million round of venture capital funding. The shares, valued at $1 million, were sold to one of three investors to prevent further dilution of other Kik employees' shares.
The donation will be used to help fund VeloCity, the unique residence-based program for student entrepreneurs. Livingston, who studied mechatronics engineering at Waterloo between 2005 and 2009, founded Kik (then called Unsynced) while in the VeloCity residence in the winter term of 2009.
Livingston's generous support of VeloCity has inspired the university to establish a $1-million seed fund for student startups. Over the next several years the fund will provide at least 30 student ventures with $25k, four months of office space, incorporation services and mentoring. In addition, 75 student startups will receive $500 prizes as part of the first stage of the screening process.
Both VeloCity and the amount of the $25k investments have special significance to Livingston. The $25k awards exactly match the amount of money left to Livingston by his grandfather - money that kept Kik afloat and fuelled the company's development in its earliest days.
VeloCity is a student residence-based start-up incubator established in September 2008 at the University of Waterloo. VeloCity is a community that educates and connects talented, like-minded students with each other and with the surrounding start-up community, support, and mentorship.
Photo: Financial Post