University of Waterloo

Associate Director, Startup Development

Requisition ID 2022-8606
Employment Type
Time Type
Hiring Range
$82,629 - $103,286
Job Category
Job Location : Location


Term: 3 Years


The Associate Director, Startup Development is responsible for advisory and early stage programming for student startups and research group startups on campus. This will include the management of the Cornerstone and Translation programs as well as external coaches acting as advisors to student companies. The incumbent will be the link between the Velocity Incubator and Campus to ensure effective flow of information between the two as well as a smooth transition for campus teams to the Velocity Incubator upon graduation. The Associate Director, Startup Development will work closely with the Director, Velocity Campus to design and implement strategies that train entrepreneurially minded students to become successful startup founders.


Cornerstone Head

  • Build and manage the Cornerstone program focused on the creation of viable business plans through customer conversation and validation
  • Work with Velocity campus community leads to select high potential student teams and to join the program
  • Recruit high potential student teams outside the Velocity campus communities to join the program
  • Create and deliver, or coordinate the creation and delivery of, content for the Cornerstone program including workshops, working sessions, etc. This includes the recruitment of good speakers, creation of presentations and other tasks as relevant
  • Participate in 1-to-many presentations/talks and assist with pitch competitions
  • Continuously assess the effectiveness of the program to create successful founders and startups and make strategic adjustments to better deliver on those metrics
  • Attend and speak at various campus events to promote the Cornerstone program

Campus Coaches Manager

  • Recruit, interview and select new Campus Coaches
  • Ensure coaches are providing advice that aligns with Velocity’s vision and promotes Velocity programming for support
  • Maintain communications with Campus Coaches and alert them to any new processes
  • Provide feedback for coaching performance and suggest areas for improvement

Translation Head

  • Work with WatCo to select and assess commercialization potential of research labs interested in spinning out a company
  • Evaluate founding team members for strengths and weaknesses in the creation of their startup
  • Recruit and meet with graduate students and professors to promote the Translation program
  • Manage the timing of Translation teams entrance into the Cornerstone Program
  • Remain up-to-date on each team’s progress, set milestones to be achieved and manage advisory support through Coaches and advisors from Velocity Incubator


  • University undergraduate degree or equivalent experience
  • Experience as founder and working on at least one startup for at least one year, regardless of the final outcome of the company
  • Commercializing technology from a graduate research laboratory an asset
  • Design and delivery of student programming and experiential education an asset
  • High degree of organizational skill, interpersonal acumen and problem-solving ability required to balance multiple priorities, partners, facilities, and programs.
  • High degree of creativity, strategic thinking, entrepreneurial ability, and adaptability.
  • A student-centered mindset and highly developed talent assessment and identification abilities
  • In-depth understanding of the role that entrepreneurship and innovation programs play in the engagement and development of student startups and application of that understanding to increase student success
  • Understanding of the principles and application of key areas of an early-stage startup, including but not limited to product development, intellectual property, cap table management, customer validation and team building
  • Strong strategic, analytical, technical, communication and organizational skills
  • The role involves, commitment to sometimes participate in evening and/or weekend events

Vaccination Requirement Statement

Effective May 1, 2022, the University suspended its Vaccination Requirement. Prior to May 1, pursuant to this Requirement, all University employees were required to submit proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 (subject to the University’s obligations under the Human Rights Code to accommodate employees who were unable to receive a vaccination). The University’s Vaccination Requirement website can be found here:


The pandemic is ongoing and public health advice continues to evolve. Accordingly, the University reserves the absolute right to reinstate the Vaccination Requirement on short notice, and upon such reinstatement you will be required to comply. You shall also be required to comply with any new health and safety policies/requirements implemented by the University from time to time, including new policies/requirements related to mandatory employee vaccination. As the University may need to reinstate the Requirement on short notice, it will continue to collect and maintain up-to-date information on employee vaccination status. Please submit your Covid-19 vaccine status (QR code) to:


Failure to comply with the Vaccination Requirement if it is reinstated, including failure to comply with any future amendments to the Vaccination Requirement, or failure to comply with new health and safety policies/requirements implemented by the University, including those related to new mandatory employee vaccination, shall result in discipline up to and including termination of employment.


The requirement to be vaccinated, if reinstated, will be subject to the duty to accommodate pursuant to the Human Rights Code. If you are unable to be vaccinated for reasons related to a ground protected under the Human Rights Code, you may submit a written request for accommodation with an explanation of the reasons and/or any supporting documentation. If you request accommodation, the University may follow up with you for further information if necessary.

Equity Statement

The University of Waterloo is committed to implementing the Calls to Action framed by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. We acknowledge that we live and work on the traditional territory of the Neutral, Anishinaabeg and Haudenosaunee peoples. The University of Waterloo is situated on the Haldimand Tract, the land granted to the Six Nations that includes six miles on each side of the Grand River.


The University values the diverse and intersectional identities of its students, faculty, and staff. The University regards equity and diversity as an integral part of academic excellence and is committed to accessibility for all employees. The University of Waterloo seeks applicants who embrace our values of equity, anti-racism and inclusion.  As such, we encourage applications from candidates who have been historically disadvantaged and marginalized, including applicants who identify as First Nations, Métis and/or Inuit/Inuk, Black, racialized, a person with a disability, women and/or 2SLGBTQ+.


All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however, Canadians and permanent residents will be given priority.


The University of Waterloo is committed to accessibility for persons with disabilities. If you have any application, interview, or workplace accommodation requests, please contact Human Resources at or 519-888-4567, ext. 45935.


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