UWaterloo Velocity alumni Henry Shi and Hussein Fazal are changing the face of travel through their startup SnapTravel, while also making time to help current Waterloo students with their entrepreneurial ventures and signing up for the StartUp Pledge to support the next generation of innovators.

 

“The ecosystem at Velocity is extremely founder friendly. You have students, staff and faculty all supporting each other and people to look up to and reach out for help. The community members are genuinely motivated to help each other succeed and it’s amazing to see alumni, who aren’t much older than you, building great companies and giving back to future student success,” says Henry.

With a model that makes booking hotels at the best price as simple as chatting with a friend on Facebook Messenger, the company combines travel agent-like service with convenience and ease. Launched in July 2016, SnapTravel continues to grow and scale, now employing 65 individuals in Toronto and across Europe and Asia. Receiving another $8 million in VC funding in 2017, the company is ready to take their business to new heights.
 

 

Both co-founders honed their skills, found their passion, and gained confidence while attending UWaterloo by taking advantage of all they could while on and off campus.

 

“I chose to study at the University of Waterloo because of its reputation and I wanted to be around talented people,” explains Hussein. “The co-op program was also unique. I graduated with six diverse work terms. The flexibility of the program let me try out different areas, which helped me find my passion.”

 

The computer skills Hussein learned, and the environments he found himself in, gave him readiness to create his first business, AdParlor, which grew to $100+ million in revenue before being sold to AdKnowledge in 2011.

Giving back is core to what SnapTravel is all about. Not only do Henry and Hussein take time out of their busy schedules to mentor students, but they also helped victims of the Philippine floods in 2018 by distributing relief kits.

Henry and Hussein take their giving back one step further by also being advocates for accessible public education via their Fellowship Scholarship program.

Not the type to slow down, the pair plan on continuing to mentor Waterloo students at Velocity with the hope that they can influence future Waterloo alumni on their entrepreneurial journey while continuing to scale SnapTravel and develop their employees around the world.