Velocity is hiring a Science Lead and Hardware Lead

Do you want to make a direct impact on the startup community in Waterloo region and beyond? Velocity is hiring for two roles, a Science Lead and Hardware Lead, to provide the mentorship, tools, and resources for students and alumni to initiate and develop competitive and sustainable companies rooted in science and hardware innovations. In joining Velocity, you will become an integral part of a leading entrepreneurship program, and an awesome community of entrepreneurs solving global problems.

The Science and Hardware Leads play a pivotal role in the direction and growth of the program, which oversees the Velocity Garage, the largest free startup incubator in the world, as well as a plethora of programming at the University of Waterloo. These programs include Velocity Science, an on-campus lab and community for science startups, the Velocity Fund, a startup pitching competition that awards $375,000 in grants per year, Velocity Residence, a dorm for student entrepreneurs, and Velocity Start, a place for students to discover entrepreneurship through weekly workshops, startup coaching, and more. The successful incumbents will join a high performing and tight-knit team of 15.

Please note, applications are now closed.


The Science Lead will develop, enable, and promote the entrepreneurial talents of students and alumni focused on building companies that leverage scientific innovations. Reporting to the director, the incumbent will oversee the Velocity Science on-campus program, a partnership with the University of Waterloo Faculty of Science, mentoring teams as they work to commercialize science research to solve important problems and develop profitable startups. This is the fastest growing program at Velocity, hosting a 2,500 sq. ft. wet lab, and housing 20 student-led science companies. The incumbent will have a strong working relationship with the Dean of Science, and work with other faculty/staff to assist with mentoring companies, lab operations and forging connections to research.

The ideal Science Lead will have a strong science background, demonstrated drive, and familiarity with the entrepreneurship world, splitting their time between assisting companies in the Velocity Science program, and their progression through our other programs, namely mentoring students and alumni working out of a second, newly developed 1,800 sq. ft. lab at the Velocity Garage in downtown Kitchener. This includes assisting companies that are seeking grants and funding, as well as navigation through regulatory frameworks, researching commercialization partnerships, and a whole lot more. The role also involves cultivating partnerships with other science focused organizations and accelerators around the world that may offer value to our companies.

The incumbent has responsibilities that include incoming company selection, team management, accountability for effective lab operations, mentoring, and exit decisions. They will also oversee the development of a mentorship program and assist with sponsorship, fundraising and income generation. A high degree of organizational abilities, interpersonal acumen and problem solving is required to provide oversight in balancing the multiple priorities, partners, facilities, and programs.

Are you a great fit for this role? Please apply with a resume and letter of interest.


The Hardware Lead will guide the entrepreneurial work of students and alumni focused on building hardware companies on-campus and at the Velocity Garage. Reporting to the director, the incumbent will be the first point of contact for companies who need insight into how to plan, prototype, and manufacture products. The Hardware Lead will have deep knowledge related to the commercialization of hardware companies, including topics related to design for manufacturing, hardware selection, sourcing, selecting manufacturing partners, manufacturing at various scales (from first prototype to customer facing units), and supply change management. The incumbent will also be responsible for implementing best practices in overseeing the workshop and assembly space at the Velocity Garage.

The Hardware Lead will have experience as an entrepreneur, former founder, or employee at an early-stage, fast growing company. They will understand the nature and challenges inherent in starting and growing a business, particularly risks and challenges that are relevant to hardware rooted companies. A clear understanding of the principles and application of key areas of business, especially as they apply to start-ups, is required, including but not limited to product development, marketing, sales, intellectual property, operations management, financing and talent development and management.

At the core of the Velocity mandate is the development of student talent. The incumbent has responsibilities that include incoming company selection, team management, mentoring, and exit decisions. Through a variety of co-curricular education, networking, and experiential development initiatives, the Hardware Lead will encourage students to bring their ideas from concept to market and will help provide the resources and contacts needed to make this happen.

Outreach activities that engage key partners around the world are of critical importance to the success of hardware companies at the Velocity Garage. Through the incumbent’s wide and varied range of contacts, s/he will connect student talent and ideas with the resources and professionals needed to move innovation from concept to reality. Partnerships developed and stewarded include those with senior executives in various sectors, such as startups, venture capital, and hardware suppliers. The incumbent will also assist with sponsorship, fundraising and income generation. Beyond Waterloo the incumbent will focus on Toronto and San Francisco/Silicon Valley as the key hubs for innovation where there is the need for ongoing partnership development.

Are you a great fit for this role? Please apply with a resume and letter of interest.