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Monday, November 1, 2021 — 9:30 AM to 11:00 AM EDT

Do you think you have the next big idea?

Thousands of UWaterloo students have been behind the hundreds of startups, making Waterloo region the second highest density of startups in the world, according to Communitech.

Join us in an interesting discussion with a couple of entrepreneurs who have secured funding for their startups, an angel investor who has invested in multiple startups internationally, and public servant tasked to support underrepresented entrepreneurs in improving their economic participation.

The panel discussion will be followed by breakout sessions with individual alumni where you can ask questions

Moderator: Vidyut Ghuwalewala

Photo of VidyutVidyut is currently a student in the Arts and Business co-op program in his 3B term. His past co-op experiences have included working at Snapcommerce and investStartford. Vidyut is also the Chief Operating Officer of Social Currant, a youth-led creative studio that works with purpose-driven organizations to create maximum impact, focusing on short form video content and influencer marketing based in Washington DC. In less than a year, it’s grown to a team of 12 employees, more than 25 clients and a network of 200 influencers creating impact.

Meet your Arts alumni!

Muneeba Adil Omar (BA ’05, Political Science)

Photo of Muneeba Adil OmarMuneeba Adil Omar is Director at the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario. She joined the Canadian federal government through the Recruitment of Policy Leaders program in 2008, an initiative aimed at recruiting exceptional candidates into the Public Service. She is also a graduate of the Accelerated Economist Training Program, a two-year leadership development program, during which she worked on a variety of social, economic, and international policy issues. Muneeba was formerly Deputy Director at the Department of Innovation, Science and Economic Development. Prior to this, she held various government positions with the Federal Economic Development Agency of Southern Ontario, Health Canada, and the Department of Finance. Muneeba is the 2013 Faculty of Arts Young Alumni Award recipient.

Tanveer Ali (BA ’09, Political Science)

Photo of Tanveer AliAs a student, Tanveer Ali took advantage of UW’s entrepreneurial community and founded his first company in his third year of his undergraduate degree program. Since then, Tanveer remains an active angel investor, with interest in technology and manufacturing. Tanveer is Co-Founder and CFO of Frontier Nutrition, a company that develops, manufactures, and markets ultra-affordable snacks that satisfy consumer cravings and treat and prevent malnutrition in emerging markets. He is also an Executive Director at Olympic Industries, the largest biscuit manufacturer in Bangladesh, where he has overseen revenue growth from $7 million in 2007 to $140 million in 2017. Tanveer also sits on the boards of a number of tech companies. In 2016, Tanveer established the Ali Arts Entrepreneurship Award which provides $2,500 annually to an Arts undergraduate student enrolled in Year Two, Three, or Four who is pursuing an entrepreneurial endeavour.

*Bio prepared by the Arts Advancement office.

Gabriel Saunders (BA '19, Political Science)

Photo of Gabriel SaundersGabriel Saunders is a 25-year-old social entrepreneur who graduated from the Arts and Business program in 2019 – majoring in Political Science and minoring in Entrepreneurship. Immediately after completing his undergrad, he joined the Master of Business, Entrepreneurship, and Technology (MBET) program at the Conrad School of Entrepreneurship and Business, which he graduated from in 2020.

He is the Founder of Decomp, an early-stage biotechnology start-up that seeks to combat plastic waste pollution through utilizing proprietary plastic-degrading microbes. In September 2021, Gabriel presented Decomp to North America’s top environmental officials at the Commission for Environmental Cooperation’s 28th Council Session.

Gabriel is also the Co-Founder of Turks and Caicos TV (TCITV), an influencer marketing agency bridging influencers to the Turks and Caicos Islands to increase opportunities for Turks and Caicos Islanders. In August 2021, TCITV co-hosted a free basketball camp for kids with former NBA players. TCITV is also followed by influencers, such as DJ Khaled, Chance the Rapper, and Chase DeMoor.

Sarah Sedgman (BA '98, English)

Photo of Sarah SedgmanSarah Sedgman is CEO of LearnExperts, developers of a creator platform that achieves rapid course creation through artificial intelligence (AI), who recently announced the close of its oversubscribed $1.25M seed round with participation from Sand Hill North, MaRS IAF, and Capital Angel, Maple Leaf Angel, and Georgian Angel networks, including six women investors.

Prior to founding LearnExperts, Sarah held a number of executive positions at technology companies such as Cognos, IBM, PTC, and Kinaxis and lead large multi-million dollar learning businesses. Sarah is a known thought leader in the Learning Industry holding board positions on prominent associations such as Customer Education Management Association (CEdMA) and Technology Services Industry Association (TSIA), speaks at many events, and has won several industry awards for innovations in learning and learning products. She is also an Executive Advisor for the Scale-up Program at Invest Ottawa.  

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