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Wednesday, January 16, 2019


Velocity launches startup investment fund

The Velocity Garage in Kitchener.

This article was originally published on Waterloo Stories.

The University of Waterloo’s entrepreneurship program, Velocity, is launching a startup investment fund in March. The fund will connect early-stage startups to the capital they need to grow their business while offering investors a simple way to invest in a diversified portfolio of startups from Canada’s most productive incubator.

The new fund will replace the grant system used to sponsor the awards for the incubator’s tri-annual Velocity Fund Finals (VFF) pitch competition at Waterloo. The winning startups will receive a minimum investment of $25,000 through the fund.

Waterloo’s VFF competition started in 2011 when Kik CEO and Velocity alumnus Ted Livingston donated $1 million to support emerging startups with early-stage funding and received an additional $1 million from investor Mike Stork.

Velocity’s 91 fund final winners are now worth more than $1 billion

“If you had asked me what my $1-million donation would bring to the Waterloo Region tech ecosystem seven years ago, helping create over a billion dollars in equity value probably wouldn’t have crossed my mind,” says Livingston. “Leveraging that success to raise a venture fund is a great way to build even more capacity to secure the capital early-stage entrepreneurs need near the beginning of their journeys.”

Over the past 10 years, Waterloo’s Velocity program has launched more than 300 companies and $850 million in investments. The new venture fund, will allow investors a simple way to invest in startups in sectors ranging from software to biomedical.

Waterloo has hosted 23 VFFs, with each competition awarding $100,000. Former winners include North (formerly Thalmic Labs), Embark TrucksMappedinReebeeExVivo Labs, and Avro Life Science.

Check out some of the innovative startups currently in the Velocity Garage

Volunteers needed for FIRST Lego League

First Lego League banner image.

More than 40 elementary school teams from across Ontario will compete in the FIRST Lego League West Ontario Championships on Saturday, February 9. Teams have spent the past five months working on their Lego robot with the theme "Into Orbit."

A Lego minifig is silhouetted against the curve of a planet's surface.Join the Faculty of Engineering's FIRST Robotics Planning Committee as a volunteer to help make the day possible. Opportunities are available as team escorts, scorekeepers, timers, and field re-setters.

Breakfast, lunch and a t-shirt will be provided to all volunteers.

A training information session will be held on Tuesday February 5 at 6:00 p.m. in the Engineering 5 building, room 2004. Pizza will be provided.

The FIRST Lego League competition will take place Saturday, February 9 from 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. in the Physical Activities Complex.

To register as a volunteer, visit the FIRST Robotics website. Once you have registered, navigate to "Volunteer Registration", then "Event Volunteering" and from there you can search for the "FIRST LEGO League FLL Ontario West Provincial Championships" to sign up.

President's Pop-Up Cafe returns

President Feridun Hamdullahpur speaks with students.

The President’s Pop-up Café is back by popular demand!

After a significant outpouring of interest from students last November, the next Pop-up Café will be held on February 6 from 2:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Students will have an opportunity to meet with President Feridun Hamdullahpur for an informal afternoon of conversation about anything and everything.

This is a chance for 20 undergraduate and graduate students to get to know the President and other top leaders at the University and so they can get to know you too, all over coffee, tea and snacks.

Space is limited with those who register being randomly selected on January 31. Registration is now open until January 29 at 12:00 p.m.

Don’t miss out on this unique opportunity.

Register for Three Minute Thesis by Friday

Three Minute Thesis banner.

1 slide, 3 minutes, outstanding ideas.

The Three Minute Thesis (3MT) is a university-wide competition for research-based (thesis & MRP) master’s and doctoral students at the University of Waterloo.

Competitors have 1 static slide and 3 minutes to explain the breadth and significance of their research to a non-specialist audience. Students compete at the Faculty level to advance to the university-wide final competition on March 20. One lucky finalist will be selected to represent UWaterloo at the Ontario Provincial 3MT finals.

Graduate students who are interested in participating can register online. Don’t forget that our annual coaching sessions are happening January 24 and January 31. Registration required, spaces are limited.

For more information, visit the 3MT website.

Staff member missing in California; other notes

University of Waterloo staff member Rick Eastep has been missing for more than a week after hiking California's remote Lost Coast trail, a popular hiking destination in northern California's Humboldt and Mendocino counties.

Eastep works in Information Systems & Technology (IST) as a presentation technologies specialist.

The story has been covered by the CBC as well as local California outlets including the website kymkemp, which has updates on the search for Rick. 

“We are aware of reports of the search for Rick Eastep and have been in touch with his family," says an official statement from the University. "We are deeply saddened by the news that search and rescue teams have suspended their exhaustive search for Rick. We’ll continue to provide whatever support we are able to Rick’s family and co-workers during this difficult time.”

Campus Life Fair banner.

Feds Welcome Week continues today with the Campus Life Fair in the Student Life Centre Great Hall. Attendees will have the opportunity to make some meaningful connections with campus partners and learn about the various opportunities available to get some experience in areas that interest them. The Campus Life Fair runs from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Illustrated versions of Beyonce in dance poses.

Later today is Beyography, a Beyoncé-themed choreography party in the SLC Lower Atrium from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Just make sure you put everything you own in a box to the left first.

Even later today is NYE 2.0, which is being billed as the Last Bomber Wednesday ever. The party gets started at 9:00 p.m. in the Bombshelter Pub in the Student Life Centre.

Pianist Mary Castello smiles while seated at a piano.

Soprano Bethany Hörst and pianist Mary Castello will perform a selection of German lieder at today's Noon Hour Concert, which takes place at 12:30 p.m. in the Conrad Grebel chapel. Exploring themes of birth, love and death, this concert features works by Brahms, Wolf and Schumann.

Link of the day

Goodbye, Dolly: Carol Channing, 1921-2019

When and where

Chamber Music Ensembles Winter 2019 Auditions open, Monday, January 7 to January 19. See https://uwaterloo.ca/music/ensembles for details.

Free Instructional Classes, Monday, January 14 to Friday, January 18.

Communication for the workplace, Wednesday, January 16 and Thursday, January 17, SCH 228F.

NEW - Exploring Career Pathways, Wednesday, January 16, 10:30 a.m., TC 1112.

Research Ethics drop-in training session, Wednesday, January 16, 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., Dana Porter Library.

Apply to the Master of Business, Entrepreneurship and Technology (MBET) program, Wednesday, January 16, 12:00 p.m., online webinar.

Noon Hour Concert: Wie Melodien, Wednesday, January 16, 12:30 p.m., Conrad Grebel University College Chapel.

QPR Mental Health Training, Wednesday, January 16, 1:30 p.m., NH second floor.

NEW - Information Session for Graduating Students, Wednesday, January 16, 4:00 p.m., STC 0050.

NEW - UW Resume Tips + Review with Google, Wednesday, January 16, 6:30 p.m., AL 116.

Velocity Start: What’s Your Problem?, “Larry Smith’s legendary talk on how find and solve “killer” problems,” Wednesday, January 16, 7:30 p.m., Velocity Start, SCH 2nd Floor

NEW - Information Session for Graduating Students, Thursday, January 17, 11:30 a.m., STC 0040.

NEW - Résumé Tips: Thinking Like an Employer, Thursday, January 17, 1:30 p.m., TC 1208.

Gallery launch for Gichitwaawizi'igewin: Honouring, Thursday, January 17, 4:00 p.m., Kindred Credit Union Centre for Peace Advancement at Conrad Grebel University College.

Book launch — Atomic Assurance: The Alliance Politics of Nuclear Proliferation. Thursday, January 17, noon. Balsillie School of International Affairs.

Medieval Lecture Series, "Felony and the Guilty Mind in Medieval England," featuring Elizabeth Kamali, Harvard Law School. Thursday, January 17, 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., SJ2-1002.

Orchestra@uwaterloo Open Rehearsal. Thursday, January 17, 7 p.m. REV. Register to audition.

Knowledge Integration Seminar: Building a grassroots coalition for the green economy, Friday, January 18, 2:30 p.m., EV3 1408.

Conditioning Classes Registration Deadline, Friday, January 18.

Warriors Volleyball vs. RMC. Residence Night. Friday, January 18, 6:00 p.m., PAC Main Gym

Warrior Women’s Hockey vs Brock – Alumni Day, Bell Let’s Talk. Saturday, January 19, 2:00 p.m., CIF Arena.

Instructional Registration Deadline. Sunday, January 20.

Velocity Graduate Student Startup Fund applications close, “Win $20,000 in funding for a startup and acceptance into the Velocity Garage incubator program,” Sunday, January 20, 11:59 p.m.

Literature reviews for grads (Part A): Organizing research, Monday, January 21, 2:00 p.m., SCH 228F.

Senate meeting, Monday, January 21, 3:30 p.m., NH 3407.

Coping Skills Seminar - Thriving With Emotions, Monday, January 21, 4:00 p.m., HS 2302.

CBB/WIN Lecture featuring Dr. Alessandro Olivo, University College London, “Origins, state-of-the-art and application perspectives of incoherent x-ray phase contrast imaging methods,” Tuesday January 22, 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m., QNC 1501. Registration.

Velocity Fund $5K applications open, “Today’s Velocity Fund winners, tomorrow’s innovative companies,” Monday, January 21.

NEW - Nanostructured flash memory devices based on radical polymers and carbon-based nanomaterials, featuring Giovanni Fanchini, Professor, Department of Physics and Astronomy and Department of Chemistry at Western University, London, Ontario, Monday, January 21, 2:30 p.m. in C2-361 (Reading Room).

The Body Project, Tuesday, January 22, 5:00 p.m., HS 2302.

Waterloo Centre for Microbial Research seminar, “UW, Intellectual Property & You,” Tuesday, January 22, 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m., QNC 1506.

The legal, business, and moral duty to design hardware, software, and human-computer interfaces to be fully accessible to people with disabilities — Why and how, David Lepofsky, Chair, Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act Alliance, Tuesday, January 22, 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., DC 1350.

Volunteer Fair, Tuesday, January 22, 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., SLC Great Hall.

Faculty Research Networking Event: VR & Augmented Reality, Wednesday, January 23, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., GI Collaboration Space (EC1-1323). Please register. Open to faculty and post docs.

Research Ethics drop-in training session, Wednesday, January 23, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., Dana Porter Library.

Vision Science Research Seminar Series, featuring Dr. Michael Barnett-Cowan, “More Than Meets The Eye: Multisensory Integration in Virtual Environments.” Wednesday, January 23, 4:30 p.m., OPT 1129.

Velocity Start: Do People Want Your Sh*t?, “Learn about topics related to market validation,” Wednesday, January 23, 7:30 p.m., Velocity Start, SCH 2nd Floor.

Portfolio & Project Management Community of Practice (PPM CoP) session, “Framing decision making,” Wednesday, January 23, 9:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., EC5 1111. 

Résumé Tips (for employees only), Wednesday, Jan. 23, 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m., TC 1208.​

Research Talks, “Unearthing ancient environments with microbes,” featuring Alexis Dolphin, Andrew Doxey, Kirsten Müller, and Peter Keech. Thursday, January 24, 11:45 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., Davis Centre 1302. Please register as seating is limited.

NEW - WaterTalk, “Building adaptive capacity for water management--the role of knowledge and power,” delivered by Professor Marie Carmen Lemos, Thursday, January 24, 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., DC 1302.

LGBTQ+ Making Spaces workshop, Friday, January 25, 12:30 p.m., NH 3308.

Warriors Basketball vs. Laurier – Battle of Waterloo, Bell Let’s Talk. Friday, January 25, 6:00 p.m., PAC Main Gym.

Warriors Volleyball vs. York – Warrior Recreation League Night, Donor Appreciation Day, Staff and Faculty Day (Email warriorstickets@uwaterloo.ca for a free ticket code sponsored by Campus Dentist). Saturday, January 26, noon, PAC Main Gym.

Waterloo ExL Community of Practice: Games and Simulations in the Classroom, Monday, January 28, 12:00 p.m., DC1301 (DC Fishbowl). RSVP.

Turning Back the Doomsday Clock. Tuesday, January 29, 7:00 p.m., Kitchener Public Library Main Branch.

Student Service Centre Grand Opening, Wednesday, January 30, 2:30 p.m, The Centre, first floor of Needles Hall.

President's Lecture featuring Donna Strickland, Nobel laureate, Wednesday, January 30, 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., J. G. Hagey Hall of the Humanities.

Positions available

On this week's list from the human resources department, viewable on the UWaterloo Talent Acquisition System (iCIMS):

  • Job ID# 2019-3767 - Building Serviceperson 1 – Locksmith - Plant Operations-Building, CUPE
  • Job ID# 2019-3758 - Executive Assistant to the Associate Vice-President, Human Rights, Equity and Inclusion - AVP Human Rights, Equity & Inclusion, USG 7
  • Job ID# 2018-3752 - Stationary Engineer 2nd Class - Plant Operations-Central Plant, CUPE

Internal secondment opportunities:

  • Job ID# 2019-3771 - Advisor, Housing Services - Housing & Residence, USG 5
  • Job ID# 2019-3768 - Alumni Advancement Officer - Dean of AHS Office, USG 8 – 10
  • Job ID# 2018-3677 - Business Systems Analyst – Registrar, USG 9 – 10
  • Job ID# 2019-3772 - Global Engagement Program Coordinator - Dean of Arts Office, USG 6
  • Job ID# 2019-3776 - Grants & Contracts Manager - Office of Research, USG 9
  • Job ID# 2018-3738 - Ideas Co-ordinator - Registrar-Undergrad Recruit, USG 6
  • Job ID# 2019-3765 - International Inbound Activities Coordinator - Waterloo International, USG 8
  • Job ID# 2019-3757 - Library Associate, E-learning and User Experience Assessment – Library, USG 7
  • Job ID# 2019-3775 - Specialist, Communications - Housing & Residences, USG 8