A University of Waterloo program that helped recent graduates and new alumni commercialize their innovations and launch businesses has been given a jumpstart – $60,000 for 40 early-stage startups.

The $2.4 million infusion builds on the success of the Scientists and Engineers in Business program, a pilot project that provided 17 Waterloo entrepreneurs with funds and mentorship to move their innovation into the marketplace.

Ryan Denomme (Nicoya Life Sciences and previous SEB fellow), Peter Braid (MPP) and Gary Goodyear (MP)

Ryan Denomme (Nicoya Life Sciences and previous SEB fellow) demos product for Peter Braid (MPP) and Gary Goodyear (MP)

University of Waterloo entrepreneurs create jobs

“This is a tremendous opportunity to further support our new graduates and recent alumni who are driving innovation across Ontario. Their inventions can be found helping surgeons improve the accuracy of a hip replacement, or in new technologies that may make it possible to screen for cancer using a smartphone. They’re also creating prosperous businesses that generate employment across the province,” says D. George Dixon, vice-president, university research.

The new dollars are part of an $8-million investment in the AC JumpStart program by the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario). The University of Waterloo is one of four local institutions to benefit from the funding. Funded by FedDev Ontario and delivered through the Accelerator Centre in partnership with Waterloo, AC JumpStart provides early stage technology startups with seed capital, mentorship, and market-readiness tools needed to build a business in today’s knowledge economy.

Application process for awards open now

The university has opened the application process for the first round of awards that will see five new entrepreneurs receive up to $60,000 to kick-start their business.

The deadline to apply for one of the five initial AC JumpStart – University of Waterloo awards is 8 a.m. on February 2, 2015. Eight rounds of funding will occur between 2015 and 2018. AC JumpStart is available to graduates who earned their last Waterloo degree, in any discipline, within the past five years. Graduates and alumni entrepreneurs who are passionate about creating new businesses based in Southern Ontario are encouraged to apply.

Find out more about the application process.