Entrepreneurship and Impact Series

abstract background image with pink, purple, and bluish tones with pictures of a female speaker, a crowd, and people shaking hands. Titled: Entrepreneurship Speaker Series

The Math Innovation Office is proud to host the Entrepreneurship and Impact Series bringing experienced, successful entrepreneurs to UWaterloo to share their stories and inspire students. This series will feature an impressive lineup of speakers who have used their backgrounds in mathematics and computer science to create startups, build innovative products, and forge their own paths to success. 

Beginning in January 2023, a monthly speaker will be featured and invited to share their advice and experiences on how to apply mathematical skills to create real-world solutions. After the talk, there will be a networking session featuring snacks and refreshments and allow the opportunity to meet fellow students/faculty with similar interests and entrepreneurial experiences or aspirations. 

Upcoming Speakers

Upcoming speakers for the Entrepreneurship and Impact Series feature Faculty of Math Alumni and successful entrepreneurs including:  

Robert Madej headshot

February 13, 2023: Robert Madej

Robert Madej is the Founder and CEO of PureFacts Financial Solutions, a leading provider of end-to-end revenue management software for the wealth and asset management industry. A graduate from the University of Waterloo, Robert has his BMATH, Pure Mathematics (1992) and his MMATH, Pure Mathematics (1994) and is an advocate for encouraging more pure mathematicians to innovate in the entrepreneurial space.

Robert founded PureFacts in 1997 with a vision for worldwide wealth. More than two decades later, he continues to be humbled by PureFacts’ journey. With offices in Canada, the USA, and Europe, the company’s mission is to create meaningful solutions for wealth and asset managers so they can help their investors live their best lives and grow their firms. Today, PureFacts supports the revenue growth of over 100 clients with its fee calculation platform, revenue management tools, and insightful, AI-powered, reporting. For its solution and service delivery, PureFacts has been recognized as a top FinTech solution, receiving the WealthTech100, AIFinTech100, and ESGFinTech100 awards.  

Natalie Gordon headshot

March 21, 2023: Natalie Gordon

Natalie graduated from the Faculty of Mathmatics with a major in Computer Science in 2004. She worked as a software engineer for a number of years before starting her first company. Natalie is the founder and CEO of Babylist, the leading vertical marketplace and commerce destination for babies. The idea for Babylist sparked in 2011 while Natalie was pregnant with her first child and realized the registries on the market lacked guidance and gifting options. Since its launch, Natalie has scaled Babylist as a profitable and sustainable business that’s now the trusted go-to solution for growing families and the gift-givers that love and support them. With multiple revenue streams across commerce and advertising, Babylist drives hundreds of millions of dollars into the $67 billion baby products economy each year. 

Past Speakers

January 2023: Ian MacKinnon

Ian MacKinnon is the founder and CTO of Later.com. Founded in 2014 at a hackathon, Later has grown to become the leading social media and visual marketing platform with over five million of the world's top brands and agencies as users. In April 2022, Later was acquired by Mavrck to create the ultimate creator marketing platform.

At Later/Mavrck, Ian continues his responsibilities as CTO, overseeing the engineering team in its software development efforts as well as spearheading its machine learning and data science initiatives. Ian has a Master's in Computer Science from the University of Waterloo and has previously worked at SAP and Google before joining the Vancouver Startup scene.