Waterloo students and entrepreneurs are visionaries who build careers and businesses from the ground up, creating new ventures and leveraging disruptive technology.
How do we ensure this legacy of success?
With the support of our alumni in Canada and abroad, the Dean of Engineering has created a first in Canada – the Engineer of the Future Fund – a pool of discretionary micro-seed funding for budding entrepreneurs at Waterloo Engineering.
Funding requests may include, but are not limited to Capstone Design projects; direct expenses related to product development, including materials and supplies, prototype development, IP and patent registration.
We recognize our student entrepreneurs can pivot faster with fewer entanglements, if they have the resources.
The Engineer of the Future Fund is intended to “incubate early” – funding viable student projects in the critical startup phase. It can be used for whatever will make the biggest impact when the timing counts.
If you have a product idea or a product in development, can identify a target market, and can outline your or your team’s unique competencies related to the development or commercialization of your idea, you may be eligible for funding from The Engineer of the Future Fund. Learn more about some of the past recipients.
Important: Priority will be given to those projects that have a positive impact on advancing the human condition through innovative engineering. If your project will make a real difference in the lives of people in a lasting way, it will be given preferred status for funding. Each project submitted for funding consideration will be reviewed and evaluated according to this criteria. Official student design teams are not eligible to receive these funds.
The team member(s) must be a registered undergraduate or graduate Faculty of Engineering student or must apply within one year from the Faculty of Engineering June Convocation ceremony.
- At least 50% of the team must be registered undergraduate or graduate students in the Faculty of Engineering.
- Other sources of funding received (i.e. private sector funds, government grants or University funds) will be considered and may impact funding decisions.
Project funding may range from $500 - $2500, based on the merit of the proposal. Smaller proposals may be considered. Costs must be outlined in relation to the overall project budget.
Application and Selection Process
- Applications are due at the end of week 4 of each semester
- To apply please complete the Application Form
- Selected recipients are required to complete a Project Completion Form
It is important to note that the program is a pool of discretionary funding, it is not a competition and funding is not guaranteed. Each application is reviewed on a case by case basis.
Any questions about the application process can be sent here.
"I want to ensure that Waterloo remains the school of choice for the world’s best engineers, building, promoting essential synergies between technical expertise and entrepreneurship. As we strive to build on Waterloo’s excellent reputation and foundation, I believe supporting The Engineer of the Future Fund will enable all of us."
Pearl Sullivan, Dean of Engineering
About the Engineer of the Future Fund
The Engineer of the Future Fund was launched by Terry Cunningham, in June 2013 on the 30th Anniversary of his graduation with a BASc (Mech, ’83) in Menlo Park, California. Terry kickstarted the Engineer of the Future Fund with a $100,000 gift and a challenge to alumni to match his donation.
"This Fund resonates for me because it will allow Pearl to support our undergraduate entrepreneurs and help build Canada’s competitive advantage. The flexibility of this fund will mean that next year at this event some of the students we have funded will be here with a pitch for their own company. You can count on it. Regardless of how long I’ve been down here and how much I love California – I’m still a proud Canadian, and more proud when I hear and read about the outstanding successes of Waterloo’s engineering graduates. As alumni, we are a part of this success story: past, present and future."
Terry Cunningham, President, EVault™, BASc, Mech, ’83