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Accelerator Centre CEO Departs, Board Chair to Lead During Transition

As Jay Krishnan Departs the Accelerator Centre, Ruth Casselman Assumes Interim CEO Role

March 26, 2024

March 26, 2024—Waterloo, Ontario—After three successful years as CEO of the Accelerator Centre, Jay Krishnan is leaving the organization to reunite with his family in India. During Krishnan’s time with the AC, the organization underwent a significant shift, launching a number of new entrepreneurial programs for founders here in Waterloo and beyond.

Perhaps the most significant accomplishment during Krishnan’s tenure was the launch of the AC:Studio program, a first-of-its-kind grant funding program supported by FedDev Ontario. The program has brought financial support and mentoring to one hundred southern Ontario-based startups, to date the program has provided over $3.5M in grants to early-stage founders.

Stepping in as Interim CEO is Ruth Casselman. Casselman served on the Accelerator Centre Board of Directors since 2018 and as Chair since 2023. Ruth is also the Board Chair for GTAN, the top private seed investor in Canada.

“I feel an enormous sense of responsibility to ensure that the ecosystem supporting tech founders continues to both drive and serve our community. So many organizations contributed to the success of my startup, and we all owe it to our community to keep these supports thriving and active for the next generation of start-ups and founders.” says Casselman. “I’m thrilled to champion the wonderful staff, mentors, and founders at Accelerator Centre as they dedicate their efforts to innovation growth and economic development.”

Casselman was the founding Chief Operating Officer at Alert Labs Inc., an IoT hardware and analytics company based in the Waterloo Region, specializing in water conservation and environmental analytics for commercial buildings. Alert Labs is an Accelerator Centre graduate, a B Corp certified corporation, and was listed on Deloitte’s Technology Fast 50 in 2023. Alert Labs was acquired in 2018 by Watsco, Inc., a Fortune 500 company listed on the NYSE.

In addition to the experiences gained by founding, growing, and selling a technology company, Ruth’s passion is in ensuring resources are available for the success of the next cohorts of tech start-ups. Future success will be based on the continued collaboration of the ecosystem, including local incubators, accelerators, angel investors, venture capital investors, and the admirable contributions of the Waterloo Region’s distinguished academic partners.

“Accelerator Centre has been a key contributor to the commercialization efforts of our students, professors, and researchers for the past two decades.” shares Dr. Charmaine Dean, Vice-President, Research and International at the University of Waterloo. “We look forward to the University of Waterloo’s continued collaboration with the Accelerator Centre as we focus on driving commercial success for local innovation.”

“The Waterloo Region is a world-renowned high-tech cluster, with more than 1,000 technology firms. Businesses here have access to markets, a highly educated workforce, and a high standard of living.” reports Rod Regier, Commissioner of Planning, Development and Legislative Services at Region of Waterloo. “Accelerator Centre plays an important role in developing the next generation of tech businesses while contributing to the economic and technological advancement of the Region.”

Accelerator Centre will begin the search for a permanent CEO in the coming weeks.

About the Accelerator Centre

At the AC, we exist to help ambitious dreamers impact global change through their businesses. The AC is ranked among the World Top 5 private business accelerators by UBI Global. We offer an extensive selection of customizable opportunities for startups across Canada—allowing founders to rapidly bring their innovation to life. We work with our global partners to bolster the innovation ecosystem in Waterloo and beyond. Learn more at

Media Contact:

Tabatha Laverty
VP, Marketing and External Relations
Accelerator Centre
[email protected]