Waterloo Launches New BootCamp for Young Entrepreneurs to Build Future Economy
WATERLOO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Jan. 26, 2010) - The University of Waterloo is drawing on its widely acknowledged strengths in innovation to this summer launch a new type of collaborative training camp. Some of the most promising young entrepreneurs in Canada will come to learn how to help create the country's future economy at the VeloCity Entrepreneur BootCamp.
The forefront initiative, which runs from May to July, will be based in Waterloo's VeloCity, a trail-blazing hybrid student residence and high-tech incubator which in less than two years has spawned several strong start-up companies in mobile communications and digital media through its teamwork approach.
The VeloCity Entrepreneur BootCamp (VEB) will enable top student entrepreneurs to fast track the launch of their technology-based startups. Selected students will be mentored by some of Canada's most experienced and successful entrepreneurs. They will live rent-free at VeloCity and will work out of office space provided at no charge by the Accelerator Centre in Waterloo's research and technology park.
Waterloo joined forces with the Ontario Centres of Excellence's (OCE) Centre for Commercialization of Research to set up VEB. Other key partners include the Accelerator Centre; Communitech, which will provide programming and access to their network of mentors; and the Impact Entrepreneurship Group, which will help promote VEB on campuses across the country.
The students will each receive $3,000 (up to a maximum $9,000 for each team) and own 100 per cent of their intellectual property. As well, they will attend seminars and workshops on important business-related topics. It is the first nation-wide, residence-based program of its kind in North America.
"The new approach of the VeloCity Entrepreneur BootCamp is a model for the future of Canada during these turbulent economic times because we must find new ways to encourage and grow innovation and entrepreneurship," said David Johnston, president of the University of Waterloo. "VEB embodies Waterloo's reputation as the university that prepares young people to solve not only the problems of today, but also those of tomorrow. This initiative brings together enterprising students, who with the support of a leading university, learn teamwork and how to collaborate with the technology incubator, startup and venture capital communities."
At the end of the bootcamp, students will be ready to launch their products or services for the benefit of the Canadian economy. They will also be eligible for additional seed funding through OCE's Centre for Commercialization of Research's new entrepreneur program.
"We are really excited to be part of this pioneering initiative," said Mario Thomas, managing director, Centre of Excellence for Commercialization of Research. "In aiming this program specifically at students we are helping to create a culture of entrepreneurship among young people which is really critical to the long-term development of innovation."
Student applicants have to email their proposals to email@example.com by Feb. 14. Besides a resume, students must submit an overview of their start-up outlining its novelty and marketability as well as a YouTube video promoting the idea. VEB is open to any post-secondary student in Canada.
Applications will be reviewed by an expert panel and decisions made and communicated by the week of Feb. 22.
For further details about VEB, go to www.velocity.uwaterloo.ca.
VeloCity is a student residence-based start-up incubator located on the campus of the University of Waterloo and established in September 2008. It is believed to be the only one of its kind in the world to focus on mobile communications and digital media. In addition to 72 single residence rooms, the facility (Minota Hagey residence) is equipped with a conference room, device lab and large collaboration space. VeloCity connects talented, like-minded students with each other and with the start-up community, enabling them to move quickly on bringing their ideas to life (and to market) with the support, mentorship and profile that VeloCity provides. Several VeloCity alumni have launched their startups in the year and a half since VeloCity's inception including Allerta, Kik, and froshperks.com. For more information, go to velocity.uwaterloo.ca.
About Ontario Centres of Excellence
Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) Inc. (oce-ontario.org) drives the commercialization of cutting-edge research across key market sectors to build the economy of tomorrow and secure Ontario's global competitiveness. In doing this, OCE fosters the training and development of the next generation of innovators and entrepreneurs and is a key partner with Ontario's industry, universities, colleges, research hospitals, investors and governments. OCE's Centres work in communications and information technology, earth and environmental technologies, energy, materials and manufacturing and photonics. OCE is funded by the government of Ontario and is a key partner in delivering Ontario's Innovation Agenda. OCE through its Centre for Commercialization of Research (CCR), an initiative supported by the Networks of Centres of Excellence of Canada, also acts as a catalyst which allows innovative businesses to grow and achieve sustainable, commercial success and global competitiveness.
About the Accelerator Centre
The Accelerator Centre (AC) is a world-renowned, award-winning centre for the cultivation of technology entrepreneurship located in Waterloo, Ontario. Made possible through funding from Federal and Provincial Governments, Ontario Centres of Excellence, the Regional Municipality of Waterloo, the City of Waterloo and the University of Waterloo, along with industry and academic partners, the AC was established to accelerate the creation, growth, and maturation of sustainable new technology companies; to promote commercialization of research and technology rising out of academic institutions such as University of Waterloo, Wilfrid Laurier University, University of Guelph, and Conestoga College; and to generate economic benefit and enhance the strategic importance of Waterloo Region within Ontario and Canada's broader economy.
Communitech is the Waterloo Region hub for the commercialization of innovation, creating economic prosperity by enabling the creation and growth of technology companies. As an industry-led partnership, our goal is to create more successful global businesses for Canada. Communitech supports tech companies at all stages of their growth and development - from start-up and very early-stage companies, to rapidly growing SMEs, to large global players. We deliver strategic initiatives that overcome barriers to Waterloo Region becoming a world-leading tech cluster. Communitech focuses on building a strong culture of tech and start-up, capability in critical areas, and a networked community. Founded by a group of committed entrepreneurs in 1997, Communitech has played a significant role in building a Southwestern Ontario tech cluster of more than 700 companies that now generates more than $15 billion in revenue. We have significant expertise in commercialization, company creation, and company growth. For further details, visit www.communitech.ca.
About the Impact Entrepreneurship Group
The Impact Entrepreneurship Group is Canada's largest non-profit, student-run organization dedicated to encouraging the entrepreneurial spirit amongst youth in Canada and becoming a starting point and catalyst for youth interested in entrepreneurship and leadership. Since 2004, Impact has developed programs both at the national and local level and in the last year alone, the group reached over half a million young people. Consisting of over 100 student volunteers nationwide, Impact is dedicated to driving the entrepreneurial spirit.
About the University of Waterloo
In just half a century, the University of Waterloo, located at the heart of Canada's Technology Triangle, has become one of Canada's leading comprehensive universities with 28,000 full- and part-time students in undergraduate and graduate programs. Waterloo, as home to the world's largest post-secondary co-operative education program, embraces its connections to the world and encourages enterprising partnerships in learning, research and discovery. In the next decade, the university is committed to building a better future for Canada and the world by championing innovation and collaboration to create solutions relevant to the needs of today and tomorrow. For further details, visit www.uwaterloo.ca.