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Accelerator Centre Welcomes Globally Successful Serial Entrepreneur and Innovation Ecosystem Builder, Jay Krishnan, as next CEO

Venture capitalist and former T-Hub CEO, Jay Krishnan, is stepping into the leadership role at the Accelerator Centre, Canada’s premier incubator. Krishnan, who comes to the AC from venture firm Mantra Capital brings decades of startup experience, extensive venture capital connections and a global perspective to the role.

February 25, 2021
CEO Jay Krishnan

February 25, 2021 - Waterloo, Ontario - The Accelerator Centre’s Board of Directors is delighted to announce the appointment of Jay Krishnan as Chief Executive Officer effective March 1, 2021. 

Jay joins the Accelerator Centre (AC) with an impressive resume of entrepreneurial success – both as a startup founder and within the global business acceleration community. In his last role, Jay was a General Partner at Mantra Capital, an early-stage US-domiciled VC firm. Jay has a keen business acumen, a passion for working with innovative entrepreneurs, and desire to build thriving innovation communities. 

A visionary leader within the entrepreneurial community, Jay knows the startup journey well. Having been involved in the founding stages of 3 companies himself, he has first-hand experience in the startup lifecycle - from seeding, raising capital, scaling and exit; with one company ultimately acquired by a multi-national conglomerate. Prior to his entrepreneurial journey, Jay excelled in product management and product engineering roles at global multinationals including Cisco, Juniper and Cantata-Dialogic in the US and India.

Jay is also a passionate community builder, serving as CEO of T-Hub, India’s top business accelerator, for three years. During his time with the organization, he established T-Hub as a thriving innovation ecosystem, growing the team from 1 to more than 40 internationally based staff and developing programs that supported over 300 companies and created hundreds of jobs.

Leveraging his incredible track record, global expertise, and passion for innovation, Jay’s mandate will include strong collaboration with the Waterloo and global innovation communities and continuing to leverage the AC’s reputation for excellence as Canada’s #1 private business accelerator to increase its impact around the world. 

“The Waterloo innovation ecosystem is known globally for excellence,” says Krishnan. We are witnessing a unique time in history where technology and startups are reshaping our future. I’ve seen first-hand the global impact this community has made, and I am excited to be part of the next story that gets written out of Waterloo Region.

The AC is an incredible, world renowned organization, with a phenomenal track record. The Board of Directors and past leadership has positioned the AC well to increase that impact. It is a wonderful opportunity to leverage my own experience as an entrepreneur and ecosystem builder at such an important time in the organization’s history. I am looking forward to collaborating with the community to launch the AC to the forefront of the global stage. “

The Board of Directors is excited to welcome Jay to the AC and to Waterloo Region,” says AC Board Chair Julie Barker-Merz. “In our extensive, global search for the next leader of the AC, Jay stood out as a visionary leader with a deep understanding of what it takes to be successful entrepreneur and build a thriving community. His depth of experience and global perspective will help propel the AC to the front of the world stage and showcase our impressive portfolio of alumni companies as not only the best-of-the best in Canadian tech, but the best-of-the-best world-wide.”

Waterloo Region is well known as a globally significant innovation ecosystem and an incubator for exceptional talent and ideas,” says Waterloo EDC President and CEO Tony LaMantia. “Jay's appointment as CEO of the Accelerator Centre is a testimony to this, reflecting the organization's impressive global reach and Waterloo's reputation as a welcoming host community for international brain power."

We are thrilled to welcome Jay to the AC,” says John Stevens, Interim CEO and VP Strategy and External Relations. “The AC has made an incredible impact to startups here in Waterloo and around the world for over 15 years. 2020 presented us with new opportunities to pivot to an even more global mindset. The appointment of Jay as CEO is the beginning of a new chapter for the organization. We have our eyes on what’s next and we’re ready to start working with Jay to leverage the organization’s 15 years of success to increase the AC’s impact on the world stage.”

About the Accelerator Centre

The Accelerator Centre (AC) is an award-winning startup accelerator dedicated to building and scaling sustainable, globally competitive companies and giving start-ups the highest probability of long-term success. 

The AC is currently ranked the Canada’s #1 private business accelerator and is among the top 5 such organizations in the world. 

The organization has a strong history of supporting high growth technology companies and has worked with more than 650 startups and created more than 4,000 full-time jobs. Graduates from the program include Canadian success stories Miovision, Axonify, TopHat, TextNow,, eleven-x, Intellijoint and SSIMWAVE. 

For more information contact: 

Tabatha Laverty

Director, Marketing and Communications

[email protected]