By Ju Hyun Kim
On the case of savy start-ups
Waterloo has a huge startup culture. Whether you have an idea and want to build it up, or just want to experience what it’s like to start your own venture, there are many workshops and programs you can take part in.
One startup incubator that you will hear about frequently is Velocity. Velocity hosts many events and workshops for students through Velocity Start, found on the second floor of South Campus Hall. These workshops range from how to pitch your idea to creating business models. These events can be found on their website. If you are looking for money to get your venture going, Velocity Fund $25K and $5K are pitch competitions where you present your idea or a chance to gain funds.
Velocity also has a live-in community called Velocity Residence, where you can live with and work with other students who are also creating or looking to create their own venture. Although some students come into this program with an idea, you don’t need to come in with one yourself.
St. Paul’s GreenHouse
If you are interested creating social impact, St. Paul’s GreenHouse program is a great place to start. In GreenHouse, you will live at St. Paul’s University College with people in the same program, attending socials together and getting one-on-one mentorship. Because you will be living in St. Paul’s, you also get to participate in activities related to St. Paul’s such as community dinners and ping pong tournaments. You don’t need to start with an idea when you enter the program, but there are a lot of resources to help you here, including your peers. GreenHouse also offers a Social Impact Fund for students in the program, as well as Founders Forums, Discovery Labs, and the Social Impact Showcase for anyone to attend.
Conrad Entrepreneurship, Business, and Technology Centre
If you want to take courses related to entrepreneurship, the Conrad Centre offers courses to teach you about business and entrepreneurship, which you can take to gain a minor in entrepreneurship. The Conrad Centre also has E-Co-op where you can spend four months working on a venture, gaining mentorship, and pitching your idea for funding.
You can even learn more about startups through Entrepreneurship Society. This society hosts events related to student entrepreneurship, as well as a startup showcase every term. Even if you aren’t interested, it is a great opportunity to check out.