Velocity Start

Velocity Start is a new 6,000 sq ft space on-campus for people who want to learn about entrepreneurship and collaborate with like-minded people. We also welcome people from any background, regardless of interest in entrepreneurship, who simply want a cool place to work. Resources include lounge and workspace, booking space, weekly workshops, a makerspace with 3D printers and hand tools, startup coaching, and problem lab workshops to help students identify big problems worth solving.

Located on the second floor of South Campus Hall at the University of Waterloo, Velocity Start is the starting place for people who want to explore entrepreneurship on campus. At Velocity Start, you will find the mentorship, tools, and collaborative environment to discover entrepreneurship and drive your entrepreneurial journey.

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All resources are free and open to anyone of any background or faculty. Velocity staff will be on hand to answer any questions about our programs, as well as connect you with the resources you need.

We believe that great food plays a huge role in drawing people together, so Velocity has partnered with the University of Waterloo Food Services, which is currently building the South Side Marketplace, a cafeteria adjacent to Velocity Start, which will offer some of the best food to be found on campus, and is expected to open in March, 2016.

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Each term Velocity Start hosts 17+ workshops, panel discussions, and brainstorming sessions to give students and entrepreneurs the skills and experience to start and grow their business. Each workshop covers a different topic, ranging from creating a business model, customer validation, pitching, and how to build a science startup. These events are a great way to introduce students to entrepreneurship topics, as well as provide the skills, networks, and mentors to grow a business.


Lounge & Workspace

Velocity Start includes comfortable couches, chairs, and work tables. Any student can study, eat, and collaborate with other students at the Velocity Start lounge.

Booking Space

There are three large meeting tables (seats 10 people), which can be used to book meetings for groups that are coordinating entrepreneurship related initiatives. The main workshop space, including a projector, screen, and AV equipment, can also be booked for large events (seats 100 people).

Velocity Start Blueprint of Space



The Velocity Start Makerspace is a 650 sq. ft. facility that provides full-time current students with access to solder and desoldering stations, a CNC router, a drill press, 3D printers, and a variety of hand tools. Access is provided through WatCard and the Makerspace is open 24/7, but access to the CNC router, solder stations, and drill press is only open from 8am-11pm.

Hand tools are now available in the space, and 3D printers are currently being setup.

To receive access to the makerspace, follow these steps:

  • Log in to LEARN. Click the self-registration button in the top menu, and select the Velocity Start Makerspace Orientation and Training course. Review the course materials, and complete the Orientation and Training Quiz. Students must receive at least 80% in order to be granted access.
  • Complete WHMIS training via the Safety Office
  • Complete this form, including a screenshot as proof of WHMIS completion

We will then verify quiz completion, authorize WatCard access, and email you to let you know.
Please allow 3-5 days for us to process your request.

Startup Coaching

Velocity startup founders are available to mentor you as your discover your startup idea, to give you guidance on how to start building your business.


Problem Lab

Want to explore an important problem so you can build a global venture?

Applications are now open to join the Problem Lab’s priority workshops:

What is Google’s biggest problem?

What is the robot’s greatest weakness?

These workshops will use discussion and resources to develop a deep understanding of the problem; the goal is to create a solution with disruptive potential. This is not a brain-storming, blue sky exercise. The small group workshops will provide insight into technologies, marketplaces, companies, and issues, in order to help identify big problems worth solving, which have a high degree of importance and urgency. These Problem Labs are led by Larry Smith, and provide a researched overview of different problems and engaging discussion. They are intended to save students from wasting time on solving problems that are beneath them.

Space is limited. In order to qualify, you MUST be in a degree-relevant program OR be able to demonstrate extracurricular interest or relevant workplace experience. You must also be willing to commit at least 4 hours during the term to the workshops. Workshops will be scheduled to accommodate the participants’ existing academic commitments.

The deadline to apply is May 31, 2016.



Q. Who is welcome in the space?
A. Everyone is welcome at Velocity Start.

Q. I’m not an entrepreneur. Can I still shop, eat, or study?
A. Absolutely.

Q. Can I use the space without purchasing food?
A. Absolutely.

Q. When and why was Velocity Start opened?
A. It opened in January 2016 to address the growing needs of students to discover their entrepreneurial talents.

Q. What do I need to attend the Velocity Start presents workshops?
A. Nothing besides your own enthusiasm. You can register for any single session or all of them. You don’t need an idea or a company to attend.