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 archives 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 partnered with the University of Waterloo Food Services, who built the South Side Marketplace, a cafeteria adjacent to Velocity Start, which offers some of the best food to be found on campus.

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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).




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 set up.

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?

The Problem Lab is led by Larry Smith, and helps people develop a deep understanding of a problem; the goal being to create a solution with disruptive potential. The Problem Lab Archives are available in Velocity Start, and identify big, important, and urgent problems worth solving like cybersecurity, and machine intelligence. Feel free to come by and grab a copy of a researched problem.

The Problem Pitch Competition is a collaboration between the Problem Lab and Velocity, and invites teams of up to four students to choose an important industry problem, and thoroughly research it to understand its history, scope, and impact, before pitching the findings to a panel of judges, to compete for a share of $5,000 in grant funding. The funding won is to be used to fund R&D for a venture that solves the problem identified.

South Side Marketplace

South Side Marketplace, a brand new eatery on campus opened Spring 2016 in partnership with Velocity Start. The menu features a variety of options curated by highly trained chefs like sushi, pho, shawarma, specialty coffee and tea and more to cater to all taste buds. The new eatery provides some of the best food on campus and is run by University of Waterloo Food Services and is adjacent to Velocity Start, located on the second floor of South Campus Hall at the University.


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.