Skip to main content

The Globe and Mail

23-year-old tech whiz gives $1-million to Waterloo

Former University of Waterloo student Ted Livingston is donating $1-million (U.S.) to his alma mater. And he's 23.

If there's any doubt that Waterloo is where the money is at, this should make it much more clear.

Mr. Livingston is the founder of Kik Interactive, a Waterloo-based social messaging service that can be used on various mobile platforms -- iPhone, Android, and BlackBerry. That's a big deal, particularly in Canada, where BlackBerry Messenger is the leading text messaging service. (For those of you who don't understand why Kik is so popular, ask a teenager just how much better 'BBMing' is than texting.)

Story continues below advertisement

Earlier this month Kik raised $8-million in venture capital funding from RRE Ventures, Spark Capital, and Union Square Ventures, according to TechCrunch. The million that Mr. Livingston is donating comes from selling some of his personal shares in the financing.

The money will help fund VeloCity, a residence-based program for student entrepreneurs at Waterloo. The university said the fund will provide 30 student ventures with $25,000, four months of office space, incorporation services and mentoring.

Seventy five student startups will also receive $500 prizes as part of the first stage of the screening process.

It should be noted, however, the Kik is being sued by Research In Motion. Mr. Livingston was previously employed at RIM on three occasions. Just after leaving he quickly went about developing Kik, and RIM claims Mr. Livingston infringed on their intellectual property rights.

At the time of the lawsuit Kik called RIM's lawsuit unjustified, and said it plans to "vigorously defend" against it.

Report an error Editorial code of conduct
We have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We expect to have our new commenting system, powered by Talk from the Coral Project, running on our site by the end of April, 2018. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to