COVID-19
Support & Recovery

The Accelerator Centre is open and operating under a business-as-virtual model. This page contains everything that you need to know about the intersection between the AC and COVID-19.

Planning to come to the AC?

Here is what you need to know.

Our Vaccination Policy


The Accelerator Centre (AC) is committed to providing a safe working environment for our employees, our clients, and our community members as our top priority. With the intent of keeping our community safe and healthy, in March of 2020, we took a strategic decision to transition to a remote work model and extended our services remotely. We’ve also pivoted and continuously delivered our flagship program virtually across Canada.

However, we know that many members of our community wish to continue to leverage our physical office spaces as a way to connect and collaborate, and that many people are starting to consider their own return to work plans.

The purpose of our Vaccination Policy and Rapid Testing policy (the “Policy”) is to provide guidelines pertaining to the expectations and requirements of AC community members with respect to COVID-19 vaccination and rapid antigen testing as we work to reopen our facilities.

With the pandemic continuing to impact businesses globally, we believe a multi-prong approach to preventing the spread of COVID-19 is necessary. In line with the approach that organizations and policy makers are taking in across Canada and globally, we also believe that the current set of approved vaccinations is our best line of defense against COVID-19.  While no single effort will completely stop the spread of COVID-19, we have a responsibility to protect our community and do our part to stop the spread within the community in which we operate.


Effective October 29, 2021, all AC community members wishing to access our buildings must provide proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 in order to enter or access AC managed facilities.

Being fully vaccinated means it has been 14 days or more since you received a full course of a COVID-19 vaccination approved by either Health Canada or the World Health Organization. A full course means you have had your final dose of either a two-dose vaccine series or a one-dose vaccine.



Who does this policy apply to?
The policy applies to anyone entering any AC facility, including our buildings at 295 Hagey Blvd and 420 Wes Graham Way in Waterloo. This includes AC staff, mentors, clients, tenants, and guests.

Our space at 44 Gaukel Street in Kitchener is managed by the City of Kitchener. While we strongly encourage that clients, tenants, and community members visiting 44 Gaukel Street adopt these measures as well, the City of Kitchener guidelines should be followed by individuals accessing that building.

Are there exemptions to the vaccination policy?
Yes, but under very limited circumstances. We recognize that there are members of our community who may be medically ineligible for a vaccine. We will consider exemptions on medical grounds only. Please be aware that Ontario recognizes only two reasons for a medical exception to the COVID-19 vaccine; documented allergic reactions and individuals who suffered from adverse reactions to a first does of a vaccine. Documentation of a diagnosis from a qualified medical professional must be provided in order for exceptions to be considered.

Will you still be offering 100% remote programming?
Yes! In August of 2021, we made the decision to continue offering our program with a 100% remote option as a permanent delivery model. 

How are you storing data related to vaccination?
We take your privacy seriously. Data related to proof of vaccine will be kept in a secure location and will only be accessible by our Manager of Operations and Administration and the Chief Executive Officer. This data is collected for the sole purpose of minimizing risks to AC community members and will be destroyed when it is no longer required to ensure the saftey of the community.

Do I still need to wear a mask in common areas if I am vaccinated and have done a rapid test?
Yes. All of our other safety measures remain in place, including masks in common areas, physical distancing, and proper sanitation and hygiene. This multi-layer approach will minimize risk and ensure the facility is a safe environment for everyone.

Where can I find the full Vaccination Policy?
You can view and download the policy here.

Need a vaccination?

If you need to register for a first or second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, visit the Region of Waterloo’s COVID-19 resource page or contact your local public health unit.

You can obtain your proof of vaccination at covid-19.ontariohealth.ca. After accepting the terms of use, you will be prompted to enter your health card number, at which point you can download your receipt(s) from your COVID-19 vaccine(s).

Our Response

The timeline below provides a summary of what we've done to keep our staff, mentors, and clients safe while working to help startups who are contributing to the COVID-19 response and economic recovery of Canada.

August 2021

Phase 1 of our facility reopening plan

Our facilities are currently closed to the public. However, clients continue to have access to their offices spaces and applications are open for 100% remote programming. AC staff are onsite 4 days a week and are implementing enhanced cleaning, PPE, and social distancing policies.

Early April 2020

Free webinar series

Transitioning to work from home presented challenges for many of our clients and community members. In response, we mobilized a series of free webinars that provided advice from our expert mentors and partners on how to navigate work from home, manage remote teams, and practice self care.

Today

Phase 2 of our Facility Reopeing Plan

Under phase 2 of our plan, we've implemented a vaccination policy. Our facilities remain closed to the public, but AC community members are encouraged to return when they feel comfortable and we continue to offer 100% remote programming.
AC staff are onsite 4 days a week and are implementing enhanced cleaning, PPE, and social distancing policies.

Late April 2020

MOBILIZING the startup community

We knew entrepreneurs would be critical in developing and implementing the innovative solutions needed to mobilize a community based response to COVID-19, and we are uniquely positioned to support that innovation through our programming.

In April, we launched the Support and Recovery cohort of our AC JumpStart program to provide funding the mentorship to startups working to bring COVID-19 solutions to the public at an accelerated rate. 8 companies, working on everything from remote work solutions to innovations in sanitation technology were selected to receive grants.

March 2020

Crisis Response

Like many other companies, the AC responded to the COVID-19 crisis by implementing a mandatory work from home policy for all staff and mentors effective March 14, 2020. All events were cancelled and we closed our offices to the public until further notice. During this time, we continued to run 100% remote programming and clients continued to have access to their office spaces, however, everyone was encouraged to work remotely.

Our Clients and Grads Are Stepping Up To Help

Axonify is honouring frontline heros by launching its free Frontline Support Content Hub.
Bonfire developed a COVID-19 Emergency Response Program to offer its platform for free to public sector organizations.
Deep Trekker developed and tested a pair of land-based robots capable of spraying disinfectant or using ultraviolet light to sanitize public spaces such as workplaces and public transit.
eleven-x is creating PPE shield for frontline healthcare workers and developing sensor solutions to facilitate a safe return to the workplace.
Nicoya is offering surface plasmon expertise on data analysis and experimental design at no cost. They also received funding to develop a portable diagnostic test for COVID-19.
Text Now is helping by offering free phones and free services to those in need.
o2 Canada offers premium respiratory protection with best-in-class filtration masks.
The Top Hat platform has been made free of charge to enable the shift to online learning.
Plum is offering free Plum Profiles to help employers understand their teams communications styles as they transition to a work from home model.
Rapid Novor will sequence one anti-body free of charge for different researchers each months during the pandemic. This information could help lead to the development of therapeutics and a vaccine.
Missing the gym? Kids getting restless? Recess Guardians, launched active8 Your Home, to provide free daily play activities for families everywhere.

Think you have a great idea and the determination to make it a success?

Apply to The Accelerator Program and let us help you build a business that thrives.