Launched in June 2016, Waterloo Engineering has partnered with Spectrum 28, a Silicon Valley venture capital firm, to establish a mentoring & venture program for engineering undergraduate and graduate students, as well as faculty members, who are seeking ideas or have an idea for an entrepreneurial venture and want intense mentoring with the potential for seed funding.
What to build beyond your startup
At the heart of this program is intense personal and entrepreneurial mentoring from Lyon Wong, Carolyn MacGregor, Wayne Change and other Spectrum 28 partners in person and online. The insight participants gain into both the startup world and in their own personal development will leapfrog them far ahead of other young entrepreneurs. Intimate workshops, self-discovery, intense discussion and focused activities in an entrepreneurial context will be core activities for selected participants and are intended to refine one's overall capabilities now and in the future.
The focus of these retreat-style workshops will be what to build beyond your startup in terms of personal leadership/founder capabilities, defining your core "wants", understanding how self, money, time and people affect leadership, vision, organization and purpose. Lyon will also direct feedback around specific ideas, as the participants work towards understanding and establishing their "Founder OS".
- Throughout the sessions, you will be encouraged to explore and expand your growth mindset as you are asked to examine your core values and motivations. Established founder teams will gain insight into their founder framework and be able to immediately apply key practices to improve their personal effectiveness.
In conjunction with this program is $2 million in venture capital equity funding available from Spectrum 28 for qualified teams (as determined by Spectrum 28).
“This new program fills a gap in the entrepreneurship ecosystem at University of Waterloo by giving entrepreneurial teams direct access to Silicon Valley industry expertise and faculty mentorship, as well as the chance to receive part of the $2 million seed funding from Spectrum 28,” said Waterloo Dean of Engineering Pearl Sullivan. “This partnership will support our students at the earliest stages of entrepreneurship, which will make for stronger, more successful startups here in Canada.”
Spectrum 28, co-founded by Waterloo Engineering alumnus Lyon Wong (Systems Design Engineering ’03), will provide mentorship and up to $2 million in equity funding for qualified students/companies of their choosing.
NOTE: There is no guarantee of equity funding during any cycle throughout the three-year program. Funding decisions are made according to team readiness and at Spectrum 28's discretion. Individuals participating in mentorship should not have expectations of guaranteed funding.