1:1 Coaching

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.

One-on-one coaching

Book a coaching session!

Pitch Preparation

book a coaching session!

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.

Think you would be a great coach to students? We’re always looking to add to our network. Learn more about becoming a coach and apply if you think you’re a good fit.

Book a 1:1 coaching session

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.

They’re Friendly, We Promise

Our Coaches

Abdallah El-Falou
Abdallah El-Falou

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 Moon
Brad Moon

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 Blondeel

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 Dias
Henrique Dias

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 McQuay
Jamie McQuay

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 Lee
Joe Lee

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 Zhang
Lichen Zhang

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 Neil
Matt Neill

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 Eder
Pablo Eder

Pablo has founded 3 payment startups in the areas of 3D printing, FinTech and content creation.

Expertise: Software, fundraising, sales

Pat Martinson
Pat Martinson

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 Figueiredo
Rachel Figueiredo

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 Pautler
Rachel Pautler

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 Helwa
Youssef Helwa

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 Waterfield
Zach Waterfield

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 Tao
Ian Tao

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 Powers
Cole Powers

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 Abdelgawad

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