Ten years ago, Velocity’s journey began in a residence as a hacker house, where students could pursue an interest in entrepreneurship and build things that excited them. From student dorm to startup incubator, our story is one of working to enable students and founders, and igniting the entrepreneurial spirit at the University of Waterloo. Today, we are pleased to welcome Camelia Nunez as the new Associate Director of Velocity, as she continues to build on Velocity’s legacy and works to guide Velocity’s growth and its impact on the Canadian startup ecosystem.
For Nunez, this is an opportunity to leverage her entrepreneurial background, close familiarity with the post secondary environment, and experience working with students, to advance the entrepreneurial mindset at the University of Waterloo.
Initially setting out to become a university professor, Nunez’s career took a slightly different turn when one day, while working on her doctoral studies in Hispanic Linguistics, she decided to follow her entrepreneurial calling and launch an EdTech startup, Milao Language, a virtual language-learning environment, where people could chat with an artificially intelligent tutor and receive spelling and grammatical feedback in real-time, to help them build a solid foundation for language learning. Through this experience, Nunez has learnt first hand the tremendous benefits of programs like Velocity, for student entrepreneurs.
Passionate about learning and helping students reach their full potential, Nunez has continued to teach at the University of Waterloo for over ten years. From language courses, to entrepreneurship and business courses, as a teacher, she has always challenged her students to think outside the box and dare to choose the unbeaten path.
“It is my goal to continue to push students from all disciplines and levels of study to create innovative opportunities for themselves and embrace an entrepreneurial mindset. I want the entrepreneurial mindset to become ‘the’ mindset on campus; and for those students who decide to launch a company, I want Velocity to provide them with all the right tools to produce a strong startup, that will then go on to make a global impact.”
– Camelia Nunez, Associate Director of Velocity
Most recently, Nunez was part of the Office of Research at the University of Waterloo, where as Corporate Research Partnerships Manager, she worked towards aligning interests between university researchers and businesses to create collaborative research partnerships through innovative projects. Prior to this role, she worked for Mitacs, where she gained a strong understanding of government funding sources and assessing project proposals for funding applications.
Nunez is a highly motivated strategic thinker and relationship builder with a strong multilingual and cross-cultural competence. She earned her BA and Master’s degree in Business, Entrepreneurship, and Technology (MBET) at the University of Waterloo and is currently working towards completing her PhD in Hispanic Linguistics at Western University.
Nunez will help oversee Velocity’s entrepreneurship programs, including Velocity Start, which runs weekly workshops to develop business skills, Velocity Residence, a dorm for student entrepreneurs, Velocity Science, a lab to develop world-class science companies, the Velocity Fund, a pitch competition that awards $375,000 in grants each year, and the Velocity Garage, one of the most impactful startup incubators in the world.