President and Vice-Chancellor, Feridun Hamdullahpur invites you to join fellow UWaterloo alumni at the new offices of Embark as we bring together industry experts (who just happen to be former Waterloo students!) for a panel discussion on the challenges of “Building a Canadian Startup in California.”
- Jay Shah, BASc ’11, Director Velocity, University of Waterloo - Moderator, 2012 YCombinator Alumnus
- Rosco Hill, BASc’03, CEO, Perpetua Labs and Founder, Blend Labs
- Alex Rodrigues, former UW Student, CEO & Co-Founder, Embark, 2016 YCombinator Alumnus
- Alexa Roeper, current Science student @ UW, CEO & Co-Founder, Penta Medical, 2018 YCombinator Alumnus
- Marcelo Cortes, former Math/Computer Science student @ UW, CTO & Co-Founder, Faire, 2017 YCombinator Alumnus
7:00 - 7:30 Registration
7:30 - 8:30 Remarks & Panel Discussion
8:30 - 9:30 Networking
$15 (CAD) per person
Space is limited so register early.
In partnership with:
About the speakers
As the Director of Velocity, Jay advocates for entrepreneurship and provides guidance to startups to help them build successful businesses. Jay is passionate about enabling all contributors to the Kitchener-Waterloo startup ecosystem to punch above the region’s collective weight. Jay began his entrepreneurship journey twelve years ago at the University of Waterloo while pursuing a degree in Mechatronics Engineering. During his studies, he co-founded BufferBox, which was ultimately acquired by Google, where Jay worked for 3.5 years before joining Velocity. What Jay finds most interesting about working in the startup world is the lack of a rule book and the fact that early-stage companies can do things in a way that larger companies can’t. When he is not mentoring companies, you can find Jay tinkering with hardware, playing squash, or teaching his parrot new tricks.
Alex is the Co-founder and CEO of Embark. He raised $47M from top Silicon Valley investors - including YCombinator and Sequoia - to fund Embark's ambitious effort to develop the first self-driving trucks in the world. Embark's trucks have driven hundreds of thousands of self-driving miles and are already moving customer's freight in the southwest United States. Alex has had a passion for robotics his whole life, at 13 he won his first robotics world championship and returned to international level robotics competitions another half dozen times in high school and university. Alex studied Mechatronics engineering at the University of Waterloo, where he and his co-founder Brandon developed the first self-driving vehicle in Canada. At 19 Alex became the youngest person to win UWaterloo's $25K Velocity Fund Finals startup competition. Alex has also received the prestigious Thiel Fellowship and in 2018 he was named to Forbes 30 Under 30 list.
Rosco is a serial entrepreneur. His is the CEO of Perpetua Labs, a growthtech company, chairman of Draper AI, an AI R&D company, and the founder of Blend, a category defining fintech company that transformed the US mortgage industry. Prior to becoming an entrepreneur, Rosco served as intrapreneur at Palantir, a company focused on analyzing, integrating, and visualizing data, where he launched new $100M revenue verticals including global banking, regulation and oversight, and the product which evolved into Foundry. Earlier in his career, Rosco worked with Joe Lonsdale and Peter Thiel to start Clarium Labs to help scale Clarium from $1B to $8B. Rosco is an active supporter of entrepreneurship through various angel and venture partnerships. He has a BASc in Computer Engineering from the University of Waterloo and a MASc in Computer Science from the University of Toronto.
Marcelo is co-founder and chief technology officer (CTO) of Faire, which he co-founded with friends and colleagues from Square. As CTO, Marcelo leads Faire’s team of engineers in Kitchener-Waterloo. Prior to Faire, Marcelo was a staff software engineer at Square, where he built Square Cash from a prototype to a large scale product that’s been downloaded more than 30 million times and has millions of monthly active users. Prior to Square, Marcelo was a senior software engineer at Google, where he worked on Hangouts, Google+, and other big projects. He has spent nearly two decades writing code and managing engineering teams and is a proud alumnus of the University of Waterloo, where he majored in computer science.
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