What happens throughout the 3-year program

This is a dynamic program that evolves and shifts to meet the needs of the participants and the availability of mentors. The structure nominally follows an annual cycle to expose as many students as possible to the mentoring and ideas. During each cycle, selected individuals (based on an application process) will be invited to participate in intense mentoring sessions in person and online. This mentoring is designed for personal self-development as an entrepreneur -- your "Founder OS."  Mentors include Lyon Wong, Prof. Carolyn MacGregor, Wayne Chang, Spectrum 28 partners, previous cohort members, and guests from the entrepreneurial and business worlds.

Unique formats

The format of these workshops varies according to need and participation. All workshops are interactive, including guest speaker engagements that include Q&A. A blend of theatre techniques, feedback exercises, personality typing, visualization and self-reflection are used, which allows this interactive and highly personal session to help you see yourself as a founder. You'll also learn why a diverse team of co-founders – and not just your best friends – will have a better chance of success. 

Funding Readiness Session

Once a year (Spring)  Spectrum 28 will host a session that will give an overview of team progress and "funding readiness." Here teams who are assessed as ready for funding will have the opportunity to be awarded seed capital from the $2,000,000 (CAD) funding that Spectrum 28 has allocated for Waterloo Engineering companies over a three year period. If no team is assessed as investment ready, the event will focus on the why and what the next steps are to becoming fundable. There is no guarantee of funding in any individual year or program session, as it is based on the readiness of teams. The session will usually feature a guest speaker, as well as candid interviews with individuals/teams who are at varying stages of investment readiness. These interviews allow both teams and participants to see what next steps to achieve funding are. 

Information Sessions

On-campus information Sessions held at CPH lobby. 

Ask questions, get answers. See Waterloo Engineering Events page for dates.  

Pop Up Session #1 
What to Build Beyond Your Startup

When: June 9, 2017  3-5pm  Location: QNC Room 1502

Understand if you have what it takes to succeed as an entrepreneur by knowing "what to build beyond your startup." This includes examining your Founder OS.   

  • Successful startups are like a strong marriage, co-founders have to be well matched and not only understand their own strengths and weaknesses, but they must understand, accept and appreciate their partner’s unique personality and character traits, as well as their technical expertise.
  • To identify your internal motivation; frame your idea of success; understand your strengths and weaknesses, and get a better idea of what VCs are looking for in founding teams. 
  • Introduction to a "working model for a founder". 

Mentors & Advisors

  • Lyon Wong, BASc 2003, Spectrum 28; Waterloo Engineering professor, Carolyn MacGregor; and Wayne Chang, Conrad.    

Master Classes

Master Classes:  Lyon Wong and Waterloo Engineering will extend invitations to selected individuals (based upon an application process) to participate in the interactive workshop and mentoring classes. These Master Classes will continue concurrently with spring and fall sessions and are intended to provide intense personal development for entrepreneurial individuals.

  • Invitation to these Master Classes does not guarantee investment but are intended to give participants deep insight into themselves and the entrepreneurial challenges they will encounter.
  • All discussions are confidential and participants are not guaranteed continued mentorship. Emphasis is placed on self-determination, ability to follow through and evidence of commitment to personal improvement.
  • There is no set curriculum and there is a great deal of flexibility in the discussions.
  • Participants who are adaptable to ever-changing circumstances, like the startup world, will thrive and benefit from this unique mentoring opportunity. 

Zero to Hero: Steps to Funding  

When: April 3, 2017, 3-5 pm

Where: EIT 3142

Who should attend: All students and faculty interested in understanding how to become investment ready and those interested in participating in future mentoring sessions. 

Register to attend: Email Carrie

Description: Lyon Wong wraps up the first year of the Spectrum 28 Mentor & Venture Program with a frank discussion on entrepreneurial readiness and getting to the next steps of funding. Teams at varying stages of investment readiness are interviewed, allowing the audience to gain a greater understanding of overcoming failures along the way to get to the funding stage.  His guest is entrepreneur José Tomas Daire who talks about the value of relationships in achieving funding. 

  • Team or teams receiving funding will already know in advance if they have qualified. There are no pitches for funding and no guarantee of funding.  
  • If investment decisions are announced it will be at the sole discretion of Spectrum 28 who will have the final say for funding.
  • Investments will range and require terms to be developed with Spectrum 28.
  • Spectrum 28 will be donating 10% of return back to Waterloo Engineering.  There will be an expectation for successful companies to donate back to Waterloo Engineering in the future.