Startup Laurier celebrates its 10th Anniversary

Image by Sidney MacDonald

Startup Laurier is celebrating their tenth anniversary as a club as they host a new flagship event, Innovation Alley.

This is to celebrate Global Entrepreneurship Week in collaboration with many start-ups in the Kitchener-Waterloo region.

“I’ve been on Startup since my first year and I’m in my third year right now. I joined because they put on events that actually help students who want to be entrepreneurs, they help them build their skillset and provide them with networking opportunities that no other club can,” said Novera Nasir, co-president of Startup Laurier.

“On top of that, Startup is like family to me. Our team is incredible, we have such great people on our team.”

Startup has won the Lazaridis Students’ Society “Club of the Year” title multiple times, including this past year and has had many of its executive members winning awards for their vice president positions.

“When I was in first year last year, both my O-Day CEO and my don were past Startup members and they suggested I join. I did and I just had the best time. I’m an international student and they felt like a family, I fell in love with it,” said Lance Fernandes, co-president of Startup Laurier.

“I’m in my second year and am now a co-president, I’m just trying to do as much as I can for the club because it’s given me so much. It helped me find my place in first year and now I want to do that for everyone on this club, elevating as much as I can.”

Innovation Alley will be hosting many start-ups from around the region, including the umbrella organization Communitech, which is where many of these start-ups call home, as well as companies like HiRide, BridesMade, Mighty Hawks, Schlegel Laurier’s Launchpad and TD Labs among others.

“Our goal as a club is always to put quality events out, rather that quantity, we won’t push an event out that doesn’t actually provide value to students, I think that’s why we tend to win these awards because our events provide meaning, we are constantly innovating,” Nasir said.

“Innovation Alley is a new event; we’re doing it in honour of Startup’s 10th anniversary but we feel like it will actually provide students with a lot of value which is why I think we do well as a club.”

Startup is also known for their Wintership program where they help students to find a placement in entrepreneurial ventures for part-time work in the winter semester, which may eventually help co-op students find a work placement.

“I think what really makes us stand out is the value we provide to students, we teach them the skills, give them the right resources and connect them with the right people all in the pursuit of making them better entrepreneurs,” Fernandes said.

“I think we’ve been doing that pretty consistently and it’s our main focus. Every event, every workshop no matter what it is we try to stick to that.”

Startup is also hosting a speaker series at Innovation Alley in conjunction with networking and a celebration of both their decade as a club as well as global entrepreneurship week.

“It’s a great place, especially for first and second years who are looking to get experience, we know that a lot of people trying to get into co-op are trying to get work experience and it also introduces them to the culture of working in a start-up which is very exciting,” Fernandes said.

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