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Driven to thrive

We exist to help you actualize your venture, accelerate its growth, and watch it thrive.

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We provide customizable opportunities, because we know your business doesn’t fit in a box.

At the AC, we exist to help ambitious dreamers like you impact global change through your business. We’re your hub for action that provides an extensive selection of customizable opportunities for you to tap into—allowing you to rapidly bring your innovation to life.

Over the past year we have supported over 300 startups, provided mentorship, access to capital, networks, and platforms to scale. These startups have gone on to achieve remarkable success, generating millions of dollars in revenue, creating jobs, and making significant contributions to our community. Download our Annual Report for more.

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Entrepreneurship for Everyone

We're committed to creating a diverse, equitable, and inclusive community for entrepreneurs from all backgrounds.

Diverse teams perform better. Inclusive communities foster the entrepreneurial drive that propels the innovation economy. Our vision is to build the #1 full stack startup hub in the world. To achieve that, a full range of perspectives, experiences, and passions are essential.

In 2022, we launched our 2-year EDI action plan — our roadmap to creating an equitable, diverse, and inclusive AC community.

In support of our vision to create an inclusive community for tenacious entrepreneurs from all backgrounds, we commit to the Government of Canada’s 50 –30 Challenge and to transparently reporting on our progress towards our EDI goals.

woman using a virtual reality headset

Why Waterloo?

Waterloo Region has the second highest startup density on the planet

And it shows. Innovators in Waterloo Region daily create products and services that make waves on a global scale.

the LRT in Waterloo
woman using a virtual reality headset

Waterloo has been known for innovation practically since its inception as a region. The likes of Bauer Hockey Skates, BlackBerry, IMAX, and so many more industry-disrupting ideas all came from this city that is solidified as the place to build a startup.

There’s an infectious hustle here that means entrepreneurs are supported and celebrated. And from the world-renowned University of Waterloo and Wilfrid Laurier, tech multinational headquarters like Google, SAP, and BlackBerry, and our thriving incubator ecosystem, founders are given every single component they need to strengthen their businesses. Waterloo is the most robust and impactful tech business ecosystem in Canada. We can’t wait to help you become a part of it.

the LRT in Waterloo
view from above of group of people working around a table

Our Team

Staff members

We’re made up of experienced leaders that are full of entrepreneurial spirit and share your passion to change the world. Our team is a major part of what makes the AC world-class.

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Ruth Casselman

Interim CEO

Tabatha Laverty

Vice President, Marketing and External Relations

Benjamin Matthews

Vice President, Operations

Mickey Campeau

Director, Programs and Client Experience

Catalina Ochoa

Director, Finance

Mario Escoto Damas

Manager, Acceleration Programs

Ben Richmond

Manager, Coworking and Facilities

Olivia Rogalla

Olivia Rogalla

Manager, People and Operations (on parental leave)

Shelly Xie

Manager, International and Community Programs

Meghan Gervais

Community Engagement Manager

Madison Moore

Specialist, Human Resources

Tessa Uez

Marketing Manager

Adam Dougall

Coordinator, Programs and Client Experience

Garrett Jacobs

Coordinator, Programs and Client Experience

Stephanie Jenner

Coordinator, Office and Administration

Parisa Fataei

Coordinator, Programs and Client Experience

William Wybrow

Coordinator, Programs and Client Experience

Our Team

Core Mentors

Our startups work with our core mentors one-on-one for their full time in the program. Many of our core mentors are founders themselves, meaning they’ve been there and done that. They are experts in their fields and know exactly what it takes to make it in the startup world.

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Lisa Dakin-Bartels

Sales and Customer Experience Enablement

Kevin Elop

Kevin Elop


Rob Farnham

Rob Farnham

Lead Generation and Growth

Steve Fyke

Steve Fyke

UX, UI, and Product Design

Kevin Hood

Kevin Hood

B2B Sales

Hannah Lau

International Marketing

Jackie Lauer

Jackie Lauer

Leadership, HR & Culture

Bob Mathers

Customer Experience

Stu McCrory

Sales Strategy

Tricia Mumby

Direct to Consumer Business Strategy

Devashish Sharma

Product and Growth

Don Thompson

Product Management

Ellyn Winters-Robinson

Marketing and Communications

Our Team

Specialist mentors

Sometimes, you need a little extra support. Our specialist mentors are all industry experts and provide intensive, tactical support in their respective areas of expertise. You’ll learn from the best at the AC.

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Tony Brijpaul

Tony Brijpaul

Entrepreneur and Product Strategy

Joseph N. Amritha De Croos

Medical Devices and Regulatory Affairs

Dave Ellis

Pilot Project and Wastewater Expert

David Perston

David Perston

Manufacturing and Supply Chain Management Specialist

Melissa Durrell

Pitch Coaching

Folake Owodunni

Alumni Mentor

Landon Steele

International Business

Brandon Moffatt

Cleantech Specialist Mentor

Ingrid Polini

Alumni Mentor

Victor Salinas

Alumni Mentor

Lucas Oldfield

CRM and Sales Specialist

Andrea Houle

Recruiting and Performance Management

Hugo Fuentes

Alumni Mentor

Aaron Barth

Alumni Mentor

Michael Becker

Alumni Mentor

Lisa Cashmore

Scaling and Ecosystem Partnerships

Dumitru Olariu

IP Strategy

Board of directors

Julie Barker-Merz

Regional President - Greater Toronto Region, BMO Financial Group

Maija Michell

Senior Vice President, Human Resources at Descartes Systems Group

Rod Regier

Commissioner of Planning - Development and Legislative Services, Region of Waterloo

Bruce Brown

Chief Commercial Officer, Kenota Health

Charmaine Dean

Vice-President of Research, University of Waterloo

Claudia Krywiak

President & CEO at Ontario Centre of Innovation

Jonathan Newman

Vice President: Research, Wilfrid Laurier University

Karim S. Karim

Associate Vice President, Commercialization and Entrepreneurship

Patricia Nielsen

Sales Leader, Startups at Amazon Web Services

Benton Leong

Archangel Funds; Investor, Golden Triangle Angel Network

Angela Larraguibel

Senior Vice President of Founder Services, Communitech

Michelle Chretien

Associate Vice President, Research & Innovation at Conestoga College

Cody Hines

CFO at Alert Labs

Radhika Vaidyanathan

Partner at Gowlings WLG LLP

Brenda Halloran

District Governor at Rotary International

Shann McGrail

CEO and Co-Founder of Devreve, former CEO at Haltech Regional Innovation Centre

Jeffrey Szeto

President and CFO AVANA Capital

Manisha Mawji

Chief Financial Officer at Connect Tech Inc.

Our Locations

The Accelerator Building

295 Hagey Blvd, Waterloo, ON

Established in 2006, our headquarters sees significant foot traffic and regularly hosts a variety of events focused on celebrating entrepreneurship in Waterloo Region.

Our Locations

Catalyst Commons

137 Glasgow St., Unit 201, Kitchener, ON

Meet the world’s largest technology campus for makers. We provide 3 levels of programming in this co-working space to support your company’s needs.


Your next
adventure awaits

We help dreamers actualize their businesses every day. Come be a part of the AC team.

Get in touch

Interested in getting involved?

It’s time to activate your ambition by tapping into the opportunities that help you create, continue to think big, and actualize your business. We can’t wait to hear from you.