Meet the Velocity Team
Director of Velocity
As the Director of Velocity, Jay advocates for entrepreneurship and provides guidance to startups to help them build successful businesses. Jay is passionate about enabling all contributors of the Kitchener-Waterloo startup ecosystem to punch above the region’s collective weight.
Jay began his entrepreneurship journey twelve years ago at the University of Waterloo while pursuing a degree in Mechatronics Engineering. During his studies, he co-founded BufferBox, which was ultimately acquired by Google, where Jay worked for 3.5 years before joining Velocity.
What Jay finds most interesting about working in the startup world is the lack of a rule book and the fact that early stage companies can do things in a way that larger companies can’t. When he is not mentoring companies, you can find Jay tinkering with hardware, playing squash, or teaching his parrot new tricks.
As Associate Director, Camelia helps oversee Velocity programs and is committed to strengthening the impact of the Waterloo startup ecosystem. Camelia has been part of the University of Waterloo community for over a decade, working as both a professor, teaching language and entrepreneurship courses, and in the Office of Research as Corporate Research Partnerships Manager.
Camelia previously founded an EdTech startup, Milao Language, and knows first-hand the challenges of launching and leading a venture. Her goal is to ensure students across disciplines and all levels of study are exposed to entrepreneurship and embrace an entrepreneurial mindset in whatever it is they decide to do. She completed her Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Business, Entrepreneurship, and Technology (MBET) at the University of Waterloo, and is currently working towards a Ph.D. in Hispanic Linguistics at Western University. When she is not challenging students to think outside the box, you’ll likely find her doing something fun with her family or you might not find her at all, as she is off discovering another part of the world.
Crista supports the Velocity team as an advisor to social and service business entrepreneurs who are interested in more socially responsible business models. She has been a part of four startups in the leadership development industry, and has worked with not-for-profit boards to help them navigate the transition to more sustainable revenue and earned income models.
In addition to teaching social and ecopreneurship courses at Conestoga College, she is currently completing her Masters, Peace and Conflict Studies from Conrad Grebel College at the University of Waterloo. She is also a certified mediator who provides help for startups struggling with conflict.
Bradley is a business mentor and advisor to early stage startups at Velocity. These companies come to Velocity with an idea, or product prototype and spend several months focused on validating the market for their idea.
Bradley is a graduate of the University of Waterloo and was a former Federation of Students (Feds) President. He has worked at a number of technology companies at various stages of growth and was the first hire at BufferBox, a startup ultimately acquired by Google. Bradley has worked at Google on an emerging logistics platform and most recently worked at Clearpath Robotics, a growth stage hardware company. He is particularly skilled at go-to-market strategy, product enabling partnerships, sales, and early stage business development. Bradley also owns and operates a 160-acre farm in his spare time.
Scott is a hardware mentor and advisor to startups at Velocity who have a hardware element to their product.
Scott has a degree in Computer Engineering from the University of Waterloo and has spent the majority of his career in the Waterloo area. He worked at Blackberry for twelve years in Hardware Engineering as the Manager of Conceptual Prototype Development, as well as the Manager of MEMS Motion sensors. Prior to Blackberry, Scott spent ten years developing machine vision cameras and systems at Dalsa, and at the same time ran his own engineering services company. In his free time, Scott is very active in Scouting.
Adrien is the Business Advisor for science-based startups at Velocity and is passionate about moving technology from the lab towards commercial success. He is able to support teams with his skills in product development and market fit, strategic planning and alliances, and IP.
For 10 years, Adrien was a technology portfolio manager at the Xerox Research Centre of Canada, where he managed a number of R&D partnerships and oversaw technology creation, development, and commercialization projects. Prior to Xerox, he was a principal investigator at the California NanoSystems Institute at UCLA. He began his academic career at the University of Waterloo, receiving a B.Sc. in Applied Chemistry, and went on to complete a Ph.D. in Inorganic Chemistry at the University of Calgary, and a Postdoc at the University of Michigan. Adrien has 25 research publications, holds 46 patents, and recently completed the Executive Masters in Technology Management program at the Lazaridis School of Business and Economics. When he has free time, he fills it with paddling trips, playing ultimate, and cycling.
Campus Relations & Outreach Manager
As Campus Relations & Outreach Manager, Sarah develops and maintains relationships with campus partners and focusses on recruiting the best startups to Velocity. Sarah has been with the University of Waterloo and its programs for the past decade and embraces the enthusiasm and passion that the companies and students embody. She is thrilled to work with the companies and be part of the excitement that these entrepreneurs bring to their startups.
One of her favourite ways to spend her off time is helping family and friends plan events, from birthdays to special events to weddings.
Marketing and Communications Manager
Jude manages the marketing and communications strategy for Velocity, and works with startups to help guide their public relations and growth efforts.
Jude has led the marketing and product development of numerous websites, from enterprise platforms to consumer tech. His efforts have resulted in hundreds of articles in the press and driven the growth of websites from launch to millions of monthly visitors. He also has experience as a researcher on emerging technology trends and worked with digital strategist Don Tapscott in the production of the book Macrowikinomics. As an enthusiast designer and coder, Jude is passionate about the startup world, having built Jobfairr.com, a platform to discover Canadian startups and keep tabs on jobs. He has a degree in Commerce from Queen’s School of Business.
As Programs Manager, Vanessa has a passion for all things events and encourages everyone to get involved and play an active role in the Velocity community. She brings with her a variety of experience; from zip lining in Whistler to working in mental health, but what she is most interested in are planning and running programs. With a degree in Recreation and Business from the University of Waterloo, she finds her role a perfect fit. In her spare time, Vanessa enjoys drinking tea, listening to music, and going on outdoor adventures.
Campus Marketing Lead
Alyana is interested in all things creative and enjoys seeing a project from start to finish. She leads communication initiatives on campus through email, content marketing, and social media channels. Alyana enjoys sharing the success of Velocity companies with the greater community, recruiting University of Waterloo students to Velocity Start, and strengthening the Velocity brand.
Alyana completed her Bachelor’s Degree at the University of Waterloo in Arts & Business, with a major in Fine Arts, and a specialization in Digital Arts Communication. She is currently working towards a Graduate Diploma (GDip) in Business and Entrepreneurship. She has a passion for cooking, documentaries and farmers’ markets.
Campus Programs Lead
Carly found her passion for event planning while pursuing her degree in Recreation and Business at the University of Waterloo. From working as the Student Promotions Coordinator at the Waterloo Warrior game days to supporting events at the University of Waterloo Stratford Campus she brings invaluable experience and energy to Velocity. Carly’s primary goal as the Campus Programs Lead is to get students engaged and excited about their proximity to the most productive startup incubator in Canada!
In her spare time, you can find Carly biking nearby trails or attending a local sporting event. One of her favourite memories was WWOOFING in New Zealand.
Velocity Science Coordinator
As the Velocity Science Coordinator, Jessica oversees the day to day operations of the Velocity Science lab including ordering materials and equipment, safety compliance and supporting teams in their research and development. She is a graduate of the University of Waterloo’s Molecular Biology and Biotechnology program and holds a Master’s degree in Molecular Biology from the University of Western Ontario. As a former researcher and a lifetime lover of science, Jessica enjoys the opportunity to support students who are using science to solve a wide range of problems, paving the way for next-generation technologies. When not geeking out over the types of pipettes in the lab, you can find her cuddled up with her two cats and a cup of tea either reading, knitting or watching Netflix.
Velocity Lab Manager
As the Velocity Lab Manager, Katie oversees the day to day operations of the Velocity Garage lab, including ordering materials and equipment, safety compliance, and supporting teams in their research and development. She is a double graduate of the University of Waterloo, holding both a BSc and MSc in Biology, with a focus on environmental toxicology and water resources management.
A Velocity alumnus with a background in research, Katie is passionate about supporting students using science to solve problems. When not in the lab, Katie can be found brewing small batches of questionable beer, gardening, or playing D&D.
As the Executive Assistant , Hillary provides administrative support to the Velocity team. She completed her Bachelor’s Degree at the University of Waterloo in Arts and Business, with a major in Political Science and a minor in Women’s Studies. Hillary’s favourite part about working at Velocity is contributing to and supporting a passionate community while having the opportunity to meet new people. In her spare time, Hillary enjoys cooking, the occasional yoga class, and exploring the outdoors.
As the Administrative Assistant, Tanis welcomes all of the visitors to the Velocity Garage and provides administrative support to the Velocity team. Her favourite part about working at Velocity is being part of an inspiring community of thinkers and creators. Tanis completed an Honours Rhetoric and Professional Writing degree at the University of Waterloo. When she’s not at the Garage, you can find Tanis playing with her dog, Luna, or attempting to grow her garden.
Michaela De Groot
As the Velocity Programs Assistant, Michaela helps organize awesome Velocity events like the Velocity Start workshops, Velocity Residence Dinners, and the Velocity Fund Finals. She is in her third year of studies at the University of Waterloo, in the Arts and Business program. Michaela is completing a major in Legal Studies and a minor in Psychology. Michaela enjoys reading and going to the beach, especially as the weather gets warmer.
Marketing and Communications Assistant
As the Marketing and Communications Assistant, Jacqueline assists with writing and editing weekly newsletters for Velocity Start, the Velocity Residence, and the Velocity Garage. She is also responsible for running Velocity’s social media platforms, writing weekly blog posts, updating the Velocity website, and boothing at events for students and entrepreneurs.
Jacqueline is in her third year at the University of Waterloo, completing a double major in English- Rhetoric, Media, Professional Communication, and History Co-op. Before joining Velocity, Jacqueline worked as a Communications and Marketing Associate at the University of Waterloo’s Co-op Office. Jacqueline loves cars (Especially BMW’s), the outdoors, and used to be a competitive figure skater!