UW launches VeloCity 'dorm-cubator' for student entrepreneurs



    WATERLOO, ON, Sept. 8 /CNW/ - Canada's most innovative university is
launching the world's first student residence designed to enable budding
entrepreneurs to work with like-minded colleagues on mobile communications and
digital media.
    The University of Waterloo is this week welcoming the first group of
students to VeloCity, a 'dorm-cubator' for top students who want to turn their
bright ideas in Web, mobile and digital media applications into successful
businesses. The idea was inspired by such successes as Facebook, Google,
Microsoft and the Blackberry, which also started with students.
    Beginning this fall term, 70 upper-year and graduate students will
develop ideas related to mobile communications and digital media. The
students, who are mainly in the co-op program, come from the faculties of
arts, engineering, mathematics and science. They will form project teams, each
paired with an industry mentor to help them create effective technical and
business strategies.
    At the end of the term, students will present the results of their
collaborative work at a symposium to be attended by industry partners and
potential investors. Under UW's ground-breaking intellectual property policy,
the students would own the rights to their inventions.
    "VeloCity allows some of our most enterprising students to collaborate
with each other and form vital relationships with industry mentors and
investors," says Sean Van Koughnett, founder and director of the dorm-cubator.
"We're optimistic that this mix of talent, ideas, technology and expert
guidance focused in an intense round-the-clock residence environment will
yield some exciting results."
    A public open house of VeloCity will be held Friday from noon to 4:30
p.m. in the Minota Hagey residence on the UW campus. A reception and dinner
begin at 6 p.m., with a keynote address by Mike Lee, chief strategy officer
for Rogers Communications. On Saturday, experienced entrepreneurs will deliver
a series of talks designed to inspire and motivate the students.
    Students will have access to the Rogers Wireless Device lab, equipped
with the latest mobile handsets provided by Rogers Wireless. VeloCity also
features Wi-Fi access, videoconferencing, server space, increased bandwidth
and a LCD wall screen. It also offers a conference room for product
presentations and a large common area for collaborative work among residents.
    Students will also have the opportunity to attend conferences, workshops
and events presenting industry speakers with experience in business,
entrepreneurship and technology.
    "Velocity grabbed my attention as a most stimulating environment for
creativity and entrepreneurship," says Bo Hong Deng, a third-year student
studying pure math and computer science, and a member of UW's ACM Progamming
Contest 'Gold' Team in 2007. "I'm very excited about the possibility of making
new friends and industry connections while beginning my journey to become a
true entrepreneur."
    To be accepted into VeloCity, students were interviewed and asked
in-depth questions about their technical and entrepreneurial savvy. The
dorm-incubator will house 70 students and two dons each term.
    Along with Rogers, other supporters include Apple Canada, Microsoft
Canada, Research In Motion, Google, Communitech, the Infusion Angels
Innovation Centre and the Accelerator Centre on the Waterloo research and
technology park.
    For more information on VeloCity, please visit
http://velocity.uwaterloo.ca/





For further information:

For further information: Sean Van Koughnett, founder and director,
VeloCity, (519) 888-4464 or mailto:smvankou@uwaterloo.ca; Michael Strickland,
UW media relations, (519) 888-4777; John Morris, UW media relations, (519)
888-4435 or mailto:jmorris@uwaterloo.ca


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