Camelia Nunez, Manager, Corporate Research Partnerships, University of Waterloo

About Camelia

Camelia Nunez, MBET '13, pursued her masters and doctoral studies in the field of Hispanic Linguistics before taking the Master of Business, Entrepreneurship and Technology (MBET) program at the University of Waterloo. She took a year off from her PhD studies to study business at the Conrad Centre where she could develop the necessary skills to pursue the digital linguistic technology business that she was creating on the side during her academic studies, Milao Language.

Camelia Nunez

I create ideas and solve research problems. Most importantly, I enjoy turning research ideas into business innovation opportunities with societal and economic benefits.

She continues to leverage her experiences bridging the worlds of business and academia, as manager of Corporate Research Partnerships at the University of Waterloo. In this role, Camelia works proactively to connect and facilitate partnerships between university researchers and businesses for the purpose of collaborative research and innovation partnerships.

Impact of MBET

  • In MBET, Camelia launched Milao Language, a virtual language-learning environment that offers language learners on-demand opportunities to interact in a target language through text-based conversations that closely mimic real life situations.
  • Camelia worked with fellow student Joe Lee (VP Operations and Strategy) and two other classmates to develop the venture throughout the year-long program.
  • Milao participated in many business competitions throughout the year where they consistently placed in the top 10, including: Ivey Business Plan Competition, Stu Clark Investment Competition, LaunchPad $50K, TieQuest Business Venture Competition, and at the National Business and Technology Conference.

Success to date

  • Following the MBET program, Milao Language marked several key milestones, including: 
    • Accepted as a client at the Waterloo Accelerator Centre.
    • Accepted into Softlandings Uruguay, an incubation program for startup companies.
    • In the first year after graduating from MBET, Camelia had raised $167,000 in funding for Milao Language (from all sources), including a $50,000 Social Entrepreneurship Fellowship grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) and the Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE).
  • Camelia went on to work as Business Development Specialist with Mitacs, serving as a bridge between academics at the University of Waterloo and Wilfrid Laurier University and industry partners. 
  • In her current role as Manager, Corporate Research Partnerships at the University of Waterloo, Camelia helps companies and faculty members match interests, establish partnerships, and secure funding for collaborative research and innovation projects.

Camelia (right) with two TAs for Spanish 101, who helped her beta test Milao.
Photo via Waterloo Arts.

> More about the MBET program

About Milao Language

Milao Language is a virtual environment that offers foreign language learners a unique opportunity to improve their communicative skills in their target language by engaging in text-based conversations that closely mimic real life situations.