Residences that help you turn your ideas into a plan

Launch your ideas through a Waterloo incubator

Whether you have an idea to make the world a better place or for a game-changing business venture, Waterloo can help turn your ideas into reality. 

By participating in dedicated communities around campus, you can collaborate and connect with other future entrepreneurs.

Collaborating with students will happen naturally in your business courses but meeting other like-minded students with a motivation to create can happen through Waterloo's on-campus ideas incubators. You can start as early as your second term in your first year.

The St. Paul’s GreenHouse Social Impact Incubator is Canada's first and only live-in incubator that focuses on social innovation and entrepreneurship.

What is a social incubator?

It's about turning ideas into action to help people and society. Previous GreenHouse participants have saved lives in Ugandan maternal health wards, rebuilt schools after a civil war, and developed a robot to rid the world of landmines.

This incubator provides you with the opportunity to receive mentorship from established entrepreneurs to build your professional networks and to access funding for your idea.

Not only do they connect you with professionals and students, but you will get to address real-world problems through focusing on the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

Students attending workshop in bright room

Students participate in a workshop at Waterloo's GreenHouse social entrepreneurship incubator.

Mentorship for high school students

Samantha Tjong and John Youn co-founded a mentorship program for their Accounting and Financial Management program while they were still in first year, to help high school students make career decisions and determine which post-secondary programs to apply to.

It has been really important for us to learn how to talk to government... and how to enact greater change.

The ongoing program has already helped 2,000 students, although they have subsequently handed it over to the university.

"We are so glad we chose GreenHouse... It has been really important for us to learn how to talk to government, how to be a system change leader, and how to enact greater change."

One of Canada's top entrepreneurship programs

Waterloo's Velocity offers a number of programs for Waterloo student entrepreneurs, including a live-in experience similar to GreenHouse.

Senna Ma, an Arts alumnus, described her experience in the Velocity Residence as a great way to meeting people outside of her faculty.

Every week, teams of students solve weekly business problems that help prepare for situations that may face in the future. In Senna’s case, she was given business financial scenarios to help strengthen her financial skills when she was thinking of creating a business of her own.

"The Velocity staff and students are dedicated in helping you succeed. They monitor your success and provide you with access to the right resources you need to succeed."

Startups launched by Velocity students and graduates have raised more than $700 million

At the Velocity Residence, you'll be surrounded by motivated students pursuing their entrepreneurial dreams and be able to meet startup founders who share their insights for success.