John Dick named Director of the Velocity Campus

Monday, November 22, 2021

(A message from Concept by Velocity.) John Dick has been appointed Director of Velocity Campus, which overseesJohn Dick. the Concept, Problem Lab and Zero extracurricular programs. John was no stranger to UWaterloo’s entrepreneurship programming prior to joining Concept as Interim Director in February 2021. In 2012, John co-founded Nicoya, one of UWaterloo’s most notable health tech start-up successes and an original member of the Velocity Science program hosted at ESC.

Velocity created Concept in 2019 to support students interested in building a company, acquiring new skills, and joining a community of peers with similar interests while the Velocity Incubator focused on entrepreneurs ready to commercialize and scale.

“As Interim Director, John successfully oversaw the expansion of Velocity’s campus presence to also support the Problem Lab and Zero programs earlier this year," said Adrien Côté, Velocity's Executive Director. "Concept also added several programs to prepare students to start careers in entrepreneurship upon graduation. Combined, these programs grew to support 5,000 meaningful interactions with over 2000 individual students last year. John’s experience and vision will be an asset to Waterloo as we inspire the next generation of entrepreneurs and innovators."

The new Velocity Campus direction supports a broader view of innovation and entrepreneurship, one that benefits students pursuing any career.

“We believe all students can benefit from developing an innovative mindset which will help them build a great career," says Dick. "Employers need people who can identify problems, propose solutions, and implement their ideas. These steps in innovation apply equally well to the employees of an organization as they do to its founders. When someone tells you to work smarter, not harder, this is what they are talking about."

To support students with diverse goals, backgrounds, experiences and needs, we are focused on designing new programs, many in collaboration with campus partners," Dick continues. "With a full return to campus just around the corner, we look forward to reconnecting in-person communities where students with shared interests can make friends, utilize their skills, and learn from each other.”

Under a mission to work collaboratively and reach more students, the Velocity Campus teams already forged ahead with new programs and powerful collaborations:

  • In addition to the popular $5K Pitch Competition, last year Concept added several new programs, including the Cornerstone Bootcamp designed to find early customers and the Translation program for graduate students and their research groups looking to commercialize their work.
  • The Zero program, buoyed by the success of the Zero Experience, piloted a new 2-day workshop, Zero Work, in collaboration with the Centre for Career Action designed to help students score their next co-op position. Students can already sign up for next term.
  • The Problem Lab held weekly events on Problem Analysis and other engaging topics like, how to conduct an interview, how to start a sustainable organization, and how storytelling can be used to create connections with audiences for any topic. View upcoming events.
  • Next term, Concept in collaboration with Co-operative Education will run the Concept Innovation Stream, a program for co-op credit that helps first-year students gain skills in innovative thinking through content provided by industry partners and team-based project experiences.

With John as director of Velocity Campus, The University of Waterloo will continue to foster a strong and collaborative approach to inspire and support innovative students and their ideas. Learn more about ConceptProblem Lab, and Zero.

Story originally posted in University of Waterloo's Daily Bulletin

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