The best way to learn about building a startup is from those who have done it.
We’ve developed a fantastic network of campus coaches who are available to work with you one-on-one. Our coaches are either founders themselves or were one of the very first startup employees–so they have been there and done that.
This is a unique opportunity for you to learn from someone with hands-on experience.
“Henrique was easy to talk to and every meeting was like a small step towards a bigger outcome. Coaching helped me understand the problem in detail and figure out a pathway to fulfillment!”aishwarya Bansal, Engineering student
“My favourite coach so far is Lichen. She listened thoroughly while I explained my idea, played devil’s advocate by bringing up reasonable concerns, and offered to help me set milestones to keep me accountable.”Anonymous, Mathematics student
“Rachel Figueiredo provided invaluable information and resources about industry performance, market competition, emerging technologies, and on-campus groups.”Venay Banga, Engineering student
Please Note: In order to help combat the spread of COVID-19 all coaching sessions will be virtual sessions until further notice.
Read about our friendly coaches below. Schedule a 30-minute session with the person you think can best answer your business questions!
Unless stated otherwise, coaching sessions will take place on the 2nd floor of South Campus Hall (SCH) on the main University of Waterloo campus.
Coaching is open to current students and postdocs only. If you are a student that lives in a Waterloo Residence you can also meet with a Student Entrepreneurship Coach.
Please Note: Students who miss more than two sessions without at least eight hours notice will no longer be eligible for coaching sessions. If you need to cancel an appointment with a Coach, please make sure to do so at least 24 hours in advance by using the link in the invite or through a direct email to the Coach.
Abdallah loves strategizing to validate ideas, assess feasibility, create minimalistic prototypes, and find product-market fit. He’s also trying to perfect a pour-over cup of coffee.
Expertise: Problem/idea formulation, pitch coaching, hardware, science, prototyping, IP & patenting, sales
Brad is experienced in building and launching both hardware and software products as a founder. He also knows how to create award-winning pitches.
Expertise: Hardware, software, prototyping, talking to users, pitch coaching, business development
Eric is passionate about entrepreneurship in medicine and biotech and solving real-world problems. He has a Ph.D. in chemical engineering, is a Y Combinator alum and co-founded ExVivo Labs where he was previously CTO.
Expertise: Science, problem/idea formulation, customer discovery, hardware development
Henrique is a sales and marketing expert and he is here to help you 1. See your idea from your customers’ shoes; 2. Come up with a persuasive and compelling pitch; and 3. Find a strategy to get in front of your potential customers and secure early deals. Henrique does 45-minute meetings every day of the week.
Expertise: Sales, customer discovery, talking to users, pitch coaching
Jamie is the Director of Software Innovation at PerkinElmer. He runs the Waterloo Innovation Outpost, global AI and UX/UI teams. Prior to this, he founded a scientific software company.
Expertise: Science, problem/idea formulation, software development, prototyping
Joe is well-versed in marketing and strategy. He has experience as a professional market researcher and is a tech/startup enthusiast.
Expertise: Marketing, research, problem/idea formulation, customer discovery
Lichen is passionate about using design to improve systems that promote privacy and data security and building delightful user experiences.
Expertise: Problem/idea formulation, pitch coaching, design
Matt was the co-founder of POET, a digital signage startup for three years. He is also experienced in UI design and front-end development.
Expertise: Software, prototyping, design, customer discovery, problem/idea formulation
Pablo has founded 3 payment startups in the areas of 3D printing, FinTech and content creation.
Expertise: Software, fundraising, sales
Pat has co-founded or been an early employee at four hardware startups. He’s worn many hats including roles in recruitment, project management, and supply chain.
Expertise: Hardware, prototyping, problem/idea formulation, pitch coaching, customer discovery
Rachel is an Entrepreneurship Librarian. She has a degree in research and has spent 5 years developing a collection of market and industry tools to support UWaterloo entrepreneurs.
Expertise: Research, problem/ideation formulation, IP & patenting
Rachel has spent the past 5 years in startups, starting from being the CEO of a Capstone project turned company, to marketing and product management.
Expertise: Science, IP, legal/incorporation, customer discovery
Youssef is the CEO of NERv, a medical device startup. Prior to founding NERv, he worked on another startup in the entertainment space.
Expertise: Science, IP, problem/idea formulation, legal/incorporation
Zach is the CTO and Co-founder of Kopa and has been through multiple accelerators including YCombinator. He has a strong background in building software startups.
Expertise: Software, fintech, operations, problem/idea formulation
Ian founded Sesame, an education SaaS company with customers across K-12 and post-secondary. He was also a Product Manager at Shopify Plus focused on enterprise merchants and now works at Mattermost.
Expertise: Problem/idea formulation, customer discovery, software, sales
Cole is passionate about the people side of entrepreneurship. He is the co-founder of IntelliCulture (an agriculture tech startup) and has a mix of experience in pitching, customer discovery, and building tech.
Expertise: Pitch coaching, problem/idea formulation, customer discovery, prototyping/mockups
Amr is passionate about entrepreneurship and medtech. As COO at NERv, he wears multiple hats allowing him to gain experience in fundraising, pitching, business strategy, and operations.
Expertise: Sales & biz dev, customer discovery, pitch coaching, legal & IP