EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF VELOCITY
I’m Adrien and I am the Executive Director of Velocity, leading Concept and the Velocity Incubator. I am extremely passionate about maximizing the experience of UWaterloo students and furthering business ideas and technologies that have great potential. At a high-level, I ensure that Velocity’s missions and activities align with, and are well understood in the community. I began at Velocity in 2017 and worked with many startups as the Deeptech and Science Advisor. Before joining Velocity, I led many corporate R&D and product development initiatives at Xerox, and I was a principal investigator at the California NanoSystems Institute at UCLA. I am a proud UWaterloo Science alumnus and lifelong learner, having most recently completed an Executive Master’s in Technology Management at the Lazaridis School of Business and Economics. Outside of work you’ll find me camping, reading or exploring the great outdoors!
Concept Interim Director
I’m John and I am the Interim Director of Concept and manage the Concept Team on campus. I am excited to help design captivating programming that intrigues students and inspires innovative thinking throughout the university. I want to create great experiences that lead to outstanding careers post-graduation for all UWaterloo students, both as employees and entrepreneurs. When I co-founded Nicoya in 2012, I experienced the impact of the Velocity program first hand. It provided the foundational knowledge we needed for a chance at success. I spent 7 years as CSO at Nicoya as the company grew from 2 to 40 people. Last year, I completed my Masters in Business Administration from Lazaridis School of Business and Economics. I love being a student and spent a lot of time in school, completing my bachelors of chemical engineering at McGill University and my PhD at Imperial College of London. Outside of work you can usually find me rowing on the Grand River, competing in an axe throwing league or cooking a big meal at home.
Entrepreneurship Experience Manager
I’m Carly and I lead campus programming and events at Concept. I love implementing new and exciting programs that build students’ confidence so one day they can launch their own startup. Born and raised in the 519, my passion for sports helped me land a spot on the Western University softball team. Ultimately, I decided to go back to my roots and earned my Rec & Business degree from the University of Waterloo. Outside of work you can find me studying for my Masters of Economic Development or exploring the nearby trails with my golden pup, Tilly. Feel free to say hi and shake my hand, or Tilly’s paw.
Nick Di Benedetto
MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS LEAD
I’m Nick and I lead the marketing efforts of Concept, spreading the word about exciting initiatives on campus and beyond. I enjoy graphic design, innovative ideas, and seeing what crazy new technologies the University of Waterloo students are working on. With over 5 years of experience in the world of marketing, I love launching new initiatives and creating a buzz. Outside of work you can catch me out and about with my dog, Dori, or enjoying patios and live music with friends. I manage multiple (highly-competitive) fantasy sports teams and play hockey and soccer (in real-life). If you’ve got insider info or under the radar sleepers, let me know!
ENTREPRENEURSHIP EXPERIENCE COORDINATOR
I’m Colin, I assist in the integration of Concept’s offerings into the UWaterloo community. I am passionate about developing entrepreneurial mindsets in others and channel this passion by drumming up excitement and supporting fun and innovative events. I possess over 5 years of experience in developing student-centered entrepreneurial opportunities and am always excited to hear students’ innovative ideas and connect them with the right people and places on campus. I am a natural multi-tasker, in my free time you can find me playing Civilization (3,5,6), traveling as much as I can, and finishing up my Bachelor of Commerce.
Communications and Experience Integration Assistant
I’m Areeba and I support the Concept team’s administrative operations, programming and marketing activities, and data analysis of Concept’s impact and offerings. I’m a Co-op student pursuing a Chemical Engineering degree at the University of Waterloo. I am passionate about equal education rights for everyone, climate change, and being able to contribute to an environment which encourages others to follow their own interests and develop innovative ideas. In my free time, I enjoy reading, binge-watching Netflix (and Disney +), and listening to music.