Velocity students wrapped up the incubators third semester with a more informal exhibition then previous semesters. The evening was similar to start up or demo camps where teams present their ideas/software for several minutes before taking questions and advice from the audience. The format has proven to be a excellent way for the teams to receive feedback and advice from their peers and the local start up community.
Since the University of Waterloo was ending its summer semester there were noticeably fewer teams presenting compared to past exhibitions. Many of the teams were still working on their projects. Two teams presented completed websites, others such as Sakura River displayed videos, many more presented the concept and business plan of their ideas. There were also a number of mobile apps in the works including a travel management appl and a Virtual Phone app. The two projects that were live have both been in the works for over two semesters.
Find It Off Campus is a sophisticated website that assists students in their search for housing. Waterloo housing listings are displayed over Google maps and a wide range of features enable students to find houses close to campus or near public transportation routes. A new killer features uses Facebook's data to see where your friends are living and if there is any rooms for rent. Its free for landlords and by far the best site for UW students looking for a place to live.
Giftah gave a presentation that demonstrated their gift card marketplace. The website lets users sell gift cards at auction or directly to Giftah. Users can also purchase discount gift cards from major retailers. Their presentation focused primarily on the success of their recent feature that buys gift cards directly from their users. They also held a gift card giveaway with the card going to whoever Tweeted the most flattering Giftah promotion.
The teams all received valuable advice after their presentations from the audience, many people stayed long after the presentation to discuss and advise the Velocity teams. Tech Capital Partners donated Raptors tickets to the team with the best presentation which went to Giftah.
Disclaimer: Techvibes author Henry Finn is Velocity Alumni and is one of the founding members of Giftah.