Nestled in the Silicon Valley of the North, the University of Waterloo is intensely entrepreneurial by nature, surrounded by tech sector icons and startups dedicated to innovation, and developing new technologies with global impact.
Engineering's Entrepreneurial Ecosystem
Engineering was the first Faculty at the University of Waterloo, founded by a group of Kitchener-Waterloo businessmen in 1957. These founders ensured that real world experience would be part of every engineer's education - and Waterloo's world-renowned co-op program was launched. At the same time, Waterloo pioneered an inventor-owns-it IP policy, allowing researchers and inventors to easily commericalize their ideas and patents.
This powerful combination led to a complete entrepreneurial ecosystem that supports a culture of collaboration, creativity and relentless risk-taking - cultivating some of Canada's youngest and most successful entrepreneurs. Over 600 companies in Canada and abroad have ties to Waterloo's Faculty of Engineering.
There is an undeniable reputation throughout tech of the kind of engineering talent that comes out of the University of Waterloo. The students here are probably going to be the business leaders of this century."
- Alexis Ohanian
Entrepreneurial Support at Waterloo Engineering
There are multiple programs to help entrepreneurial engineers get started at the University of Waterloo. These include:
- Engineer of the Future Trust
- Engineering Student Capstone Design Project: fourth-year engineering project, challenging students to conceptualize and design a real-world product
- Conrad Business, Entrepreneurship and Technology Centre: Entrepreneurship Option in Engineering, Enterprise Co-op, Bridging Entrepreneurs to Students (BETS), Master of Business Entrepreneurship and Technology (MBET)
- Velocity: Velocity Garage, Velocity Fund, Velocity Residence
- Research Entrepreneurs Accelerating Prosperity (REAP): an entrepreneurial program that hires undergraduate students to develop innovative uses and markets for interactive display technologies.
- Spectrum 28|Waterloo Engineering: Waterloo Engineering has partnered with Spectrum 28, a Silicon Valley venture capital firm, to establish a $2 million venture capital equity fund for engineering undergraduate and graduate students who are seeking ideas or have an idea for an entrepreneurial venture and need cash, mentoring and resources to make it happen.
- Palihapitiya Lau Venture Creation Fund: Now available to all Waterloo Engineering departments, the Palihapitiya/Lau Venture Creation Fund provides two $50,000 awards to university-selected Capstone Design teams whose intention is to transform their Capstone Design project into a promising startup post-graduation.
Waterloo Commercialization Office (WatCo): promotes the commercialization of leading-edge intellectual property opportunities arising from research enterprise.
- Accelerator Centres