Foot on the pedal: Accelerator Centre marks 10 years of supporting startups
Published Tuesday, May 17, 2016 5:50PM EDT
Last Updated Tuesday, May 17, 2016 6:41PM EDT
A who’s who of Waterloo’s business, technology, university and political classes convened at the Accelerator Centre on Tuesday to celebrate it's 10th anniversary.
Since the centre launched in 2006, a total of 51 startups have come through their doors to get advice and mentoring on advancing their business to the next level.
“We just couldn’t be prouder of the companies that have come out of this place,” said Accelerator Centre CEO Paul Salvini.
Among the dignitaries on hand for the event was Gov. Gen. David Johnston, who was the University of Waterloo's president when the Accelerator Centre was created.
“There’s a remarkable spirit of collaboration here, and a remarkable determination to find ways around obstacles,” he told reporters.
Johnston praised the “wonderful spirit of collaboration” in Waterloo Region, calling it “the best ecosystem for startup companies in the world” and predicting that “the best is yet to come.”
Also present at the festivities were the centre’s current cohort of startups, including Anthony Rinella.
Rinella is a co-founder of VIV Life, an app which offers users suggestions of cafes, bars and restaurants to check out based on their geographic location.
“We can see what people are talking about, and we use that to find what the cool places are,” he said.
According to Rinella, VIV Life’s app has received 5,000 downloads since launching last week.
Rinella said his company moved from Toronto to Waterloo solely due to the reputation the Accelerator Centre garnered by boosting startups such as Clearpath Robotics, Miovision, Kik and Axonify.
“Everyone’s saying ‘Accelerator Centre’ is the place you want to be. We knew we had to come up here,” he said.