The statement was made at a Waterloo Engineering event on campus, as Wong announced that three Velocity companies, Acerta, Elucid Labs, and Knote, were the recipients of a collective $400,000 in funding.

The funding is the first in a three year, $2 million Mentor & Venture program from Spectrum 28 that guides and funds innovative University of Waterloo ventures. As part of the program, Wong provides ongoing mentorship, and works with entrepreneurs to enable their growth and success. In parallel, these companies have also been receiving workspace, mentorship, and funding from Velocity, with Acerta being based out of the Velocity Garage, while Elucid Labs works out of Velocity Science, and Knote was a recipient of a $25,000 grant at the Spring 2016 Velocity Fund Finals.

“The question is simply, do you want to live your life fulfilling someone else’s dream, or do you want to create your own?”
– Lyon Wong, co-founder and general partner at Spectrum 28

Acerta began as a research team at the University of Waterloo while Co-founders Greta Cutulenco, Sebastian Fischmeister, and Jean-Christophe Petkovich were working in the Embedded Systems Lab at the Faculty of Engineering. The company works with massive volumes of data from clients in the automotive industry, and uses it to detect anomalies within manufacturing to determine the root cause of problems at an early-stage before they become too costly.

Elucid Labs uses artificial intelligence to unlock the potential of spectral imaging, delivering the ‘tricorder’ for the skin, capable of real- time detection and diagnosis of any skin condition, disease, or cancer. The company recently pitched at the Velocity Fund Finals (watch the pitch), noting that in North America, 80% of all diagnosed cancers are skin cancer, and that 20,000 people a year die from it, with a treatment cost of $8.5 billion. Elucid Labs co-founders Alexander Wong and Iman Khodadad’s goal is to help save lives by developing a tool to treat skin cancer before it’s too late.

Knote offers a natural language processing platform to help companies leverage the power of artificial intelligence in documents and big data processing. Their tools enable companies to support employees by automating routine, time consuming work, and improving efficiency. Founder Ron Glozman is now working out of the Creative Destruction Lab, a Toronto based accelerator.

Photo courtesy of Waterloo Engineering.