Today, the Waterloo Accelerator Centre (AC) has announced that CEO, Dr. Paul Salvini, will step away from the organization effective October 9, 2020.
WATERLOO, ON: Today, the Waterloo Accelerator Centre (AC) has announced that CEO, Dr. Paul Salvini, will step away from the organization effective October 9, 2020.
Serving as CEO since 2014, Paul is the organization’s longest-serving executive leader; propelling the AC as it has become Canada’s #1 private business accelerator and one of the top 5 such organizations in the world.
During his tenure, the AC has achieved an incredible track record of success, including:
• Reinventing business support programming with the redesign of The Accelerator Program® as a 4 phase, long-term approach to supporting startups; setting a new global standard for accelerator programming
• Launching Ontario’s most successful seed funding grant program, AC JumpStart, and providing over 300 early stage entrepreneurs with the critical funding needed to launch new ventures
• Advancing support for hardware entrepreneurs by creating the Advanced Manufacturing and Hardware Innovation Lab at 44 Gaukel Street in Kitchener; the region’s first facility dedicated to hardware startups
• Expanding support for the sustainable economy through the launch of the region’s only accelerator dedicated to clean technology development, the TD Sustainable Future Lab, powered by the Accelerator Centre
• Leading the AI innovation landscape; winning AI Accelerator of the Year two years in a row and creating a collaboration program with the Amazon Alexa Fund which provides advanced supports for voice technology companies
• Tripling programming capacity within the organization; increasing the number of startups the AC can support from an average of 35 companies to over 120 companies per year
“We wish to express our deep gratitude to Paul for his contributions over the past 6 years,” says Julie Barker-Merz, Accelerator Centre Board Chair. “His leadership has positioned the organization to confidently continue on its trajectory of excellence while forging an even stronger future that continues to respond to the changing innovation ecosystem. As we look to that future, the AC is well-positioned to continue leading in the sector.”
“I’m enormously proud of what the AC team has accomplished these past six years,” says Salvini. “To see the organization grow and witness the talented team achieve our collective goals is inspiring. We started as a small, niche accelerator. Today, we’re the best program in Canada. That’s incredible.”
“I’d like to thank our fantastic mentor group and my staff team for their unending dedication to serving entrepreneurs, and for building the strong culture and sense of community that makes the AC the best place for the next generation of tech leaders to grow. I am excited for the future of the organization and looking forward to supporting the team over the next month to ensure that momentum doesn’t slow,” Salvini added.
Paul’s next adventure will keep him deeply involved in the innovation ecosystem. Leveraging his years of entrepreneurial experience, he will continue to be a community and innovation leader in support of the Canadian startup sector. He will be sharing more details on that endeavour publicly soon.
A search is underway to hire a new leader. In the interim, John Stevens, VP, Strategy and External Relations, will lead the AC as it continues to deliver world-class programming to entrepreneurs across Ontario.
“It has been an honour to work with Paul,” says Stevens. “What the AC team has built under his leadership is incredible and I’m proud to be leading the team though this transitional period. We’ve built something great, and we will continue to execute on our mission to provide the world’s best accelerator program as we look to the future and plan for how we can make an even greater impact on the Canadian tech sector.”
Julie Barker-Merz, Board Chair
John Stevens, VP Strategy and External Relations
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