Marc Gibson is moving in full time with Velocity!
If you know Marc Gibson, you know how incredibly enthusiastic and passionate he is about science and entrepreneurship. That’s why Velocity is so proud to announce that he will now be our full-time Life Sciences Advisor!
Marc grew up in Waterloo and is a proud alumnus of the University of Waterloo’s Honours Biochemistry program. He also holds a Master’s degree in Drug Design and Biomedical Science from Edinburg Napier University, in addition to a PhD from the University of Dundee, Scotland. There, while investigating chemotherapies for African sleeping sickness, he became inspired by his advisor, Professor Alan Fairlamb – a trained medical doctor who went on to get his PhD. Fairlamb had discoveries going back nearly three decades, but could not get anyone in industry interested in the drugs he was trying to develop for what are often called “neglected diseases”. Together with other leading researchers, Marc’s advisor instead founded a drug discovery institute in collaboration with the University of Dundee. This entrepreneurial spirit inspired Marc’s own involvement with science startups.
After successfully completing his research in Scotland, Marc returned to Canada where he worked at Mitacs as a business developer, as well as for the University of Waterloo as a strategic initiatives manager. In 2013 he started serving as the Faculty of Science’s liaison to Velocity and established the Velocity Science lab. The Velocity Science lab and programming gained a lot of popularity very quickly, exceeding all expectations. This well-received turn of events caused Marc to fast track his MBA and, lucky for us, inspired him to become a full-time employee at Velocity.
Marc remembers the day he first thought of an entrepreneurship lab in the Faculty of Science very well, because it was the day he decided to become an entrepreneur. He had thoughts of entrepreneurial science possibilities before, but had not realized that it was actually possible until he joined Velocity and met Harry Ghandi from Medella Health. Harry approached Marc in t–shirt and sandals wanting to build a “bio-hacking hub.” Marc, recognizing there were already students in need of a science space for entrepreneurial use, decided to help make this dream come alive. He describes the project as “helping people build an unprecedented program with no road map and a lot of enthusiasm.” We asked Marc if he had any advice gained from building the lab that would be helpful for current and future entrepreneurs, and he had the following to share, “Get started! Come out to an event. Talk to somebody. You’ll see something you didn’t even know was there. There’s no risk involved with just coming out to an event, and it could change your perspective on things.”
Marc admits that because his passion for his work is so great, and the fact that he recently finished full time studies, he doesn’t have much spare time. When he does though he enjoys volunteering for science based charities, travelling and occasionally snowboarding.
Welcome to Velocity (full time) Marc!