Connecting Newcomer Youth with GreenHouse Expertise in Social Innovation

GreenHouse Discovery Lab

For the last seven years, GreenHouse has offered a place for students in the UWaterloo community to receive support on starting and launching ventures that have a social impact. On November 26, 2019, GreenHouse went out into the community instead in an effort to offer an opportunity to newcomer youth from across the region who might not otherwise have the chance to learn from the incubator.

One in a million

Aileen learning about her acceptance to Next36


Ever since GreenHouse alumna Aileen Agada began her venture BeBlended – a company focused on the black hair care industry –  she has kept a notebook in which she jots down every idea and possibility that occurs to her. But soon, Aileen might need to add a few extra pages to that notebook.

GreenHouse student speaks at #movethedial

Lynne speaking

On October 2nd, #movethedial, which is dedicated to increasing participation of women in tech brought its event series to Waterloo. Held at community partner Vidyard, #movethedial brought together community members and supporters in a fireside chat setting.

GreenHouse alumni win 5K through Enterprise Co-op

Aileen and Lucas holding 5K cheque

Congratulations to GreenHouse alumni Aileen Agada and Lucas Moffitt.

On September 9th, the first day of Enterprise Co-op both Aileen and Lucas were each awareded $5,000 in funding to support their ventures: BeBlended and Tic Toc Go. BeBlended is an online platform that connects black women with hairstylists and beauty resources, while Tic Toc Go is a venture creating resources for children with Tourette's syndrome, including a soon to be released book.

GreenHouse hosts ecosystem tour

Group photo of St. Paul's staff

On September 20th, GreenHouse hosted an ecosystem tour for St. Paul's staff, exposing them to organizations that support social innovation in the region. The tour was the second installment of a professional development initiative aimed toward improving all employees' understanding of subjects central to the college mission. 

Off to worlds

Pablo and Karina

GreenHouse Alumni Pablo Amaya and Karina Gonzales are off to the University Start-up World Cup (USWC) in Denmark this October. The USWC focuses on the best 40 University Start-ups worldwide and the impact these start-ups have on the United Nations' 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

Blast off for BeBlended

Aileen with BeBlended banner

For many black women, simply walking into a hair salon to get their hair done is not an option. This was the experience that Aileen Agada had in Ottawa while away on a co-op term. It turned out, she had to ask community members where they got their hair done and the same response always happened, “a friend of a friend, of a sister in their basement.” 

Full Soul comes Full Circle

Full Soul

It’s been more than five years since Christina (Marchand) Hassan spent a co-op term working in maternal health in Uganda. After seeing a woman die in childbirth and hearing statistics that said the same number of Ugandan women a day die while giving birth as in an entire year in Canada, Christina came back motivated to make a difference – and came to GreenHouse to help her vision become reality.

Fireside Chat with GreenHouse

panel of GreenHouse alumni sitting in tall chairs, talking to an audience

There was no fireplace at the February 13 fireside chat cohosted by GreenHouse and the Entrepreneurship Society on the idea of creating social impact, but the room was warm with honest, robust discussion and practical insights from the panellist of GreenHouse alumni who are all now pursuing social ventures.

Recognizing that the idea of social purpose businesses might be new for some in the room, panel moderator and GreenHouse Program Coordinator Lexi Salt began by asking the panellist what social impact meant to them.


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