The launch of Alacrity Ottawa by the University of Ottawa and Wesley Clover could be seen as the culmination of a story that has been brewing for years.

Consider, after all, the players.

For nearly 15 years, the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Ottawa has worked with its generous graduates to develop a growing number of competitions, resources and study programs with a common goal: to educate students. in engineering on what it takes to bring a winning product to market.

It’s not just about helping engineers understand the role they play in the innovation ecosystem, but also preparing them to become entrepreneurs themselves.

The University of Ottawa founded its Kanata North campus in 2018 as the next step, to connect university research and its brightest young minds to the needs of industry in emerging markets.

Then we have Wesley Clover – a name synonymous around the world with startup daring and innovation that’s also based in Kanata North.

Wesley Clover founded Alacrity in 2009 with its first incubator / accelerator in Victoria, British Columbia. Since then, this initiative has broadened and refined its model with chapters around the world. Alacrity Global educates entrepreneurs, founds new tech startups and secures funding to develop these new businesses.

Despite its growth and success, Alacrity Global did not have a branch in Ottawa.

Until now…

Veronica Farmer is Director of Partnerships and Marketing for the University of Ottawa Kanata North

Through Alacrity Ottawa, the University of Ottawa and Wesley Clover will educate, train and support engineering graduates with mentorship and investment opportunities designed to foster a pipeline of new Canadian tech startups.

“Alacrity Ottawa is for bright minds who want to learn what it takes to become an entrepreneur, but don’t yet have a solid business idea and are looking for an industry challenge,” said Veronica Farmer, Director of Partnerships and Marketing for uOttawa Kanata North. “This is another avenue that complements other entrepreneurial initiatives at the University of Ottawa, such as MakerLaunch and Startup / Scaleup Garages.

Alacrity Ottawa will be supported by Wesley Clover’s L-SPARK technology accelerator in Kanata North, as well as the new Masters in Entrepreneurial Engineering Design (MEED) from the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Ottawa.

Every engineer is a potential entrepreneur

MEED is a two-year program that will launch in September 2021 on the university’s downtown campus. It will provide aspiring entrepreneurs with academic education combined with hands-on business training and experience on how to develop a business idea and turn it into a business.

Hanan Anis holds the NSERC Chair at the University of Ottawa in Entrepreneurial Engineering Design

As students progress through MEED, they will spend time on the University of Ottawa Kanata North campus and do an internship at local tech companies. This will put them at the forefront of developing new technologies in the hottest emerging markets, including 5G + networks, cybersecurity, artificial intelligence and medical technologies.

MEED was created by Hanan Anis, holder of the NSERC Chair at the University of Ottawa in Entrepreneurial Engineering Design and Faculty Coordinator in Entrepreneurship and Innovation.

“I still believe that the best way to learn to be an entrepreneur is to do it,” she said. “We continue to add the building blocks to the University of Ottawa because we believe entrepreneurship is a vital, if not necessary, career option that every engineer should have in their back pocket. It’s not the same kind of job market that existed for our parents and grandparents.

Meeting the health challenges

Given how the world is grappling with a health crisis, Alacrity Ottawa will initially focus on the challenges and opportunities in the digital medical technology space.

Successful candidates will form teams to meet industry challenges. Teams with viable and potentially scalable solutions will be presented to the appropriate investors. If a match is made, a team will secure funding to form a new business and begin their journey as a startup.

“As technologies of all kinds advance at an unprecedented rate, the commitment of the University of Ottawa to play an increasingly relevant role, combined with the experience of Alacrity’s technology and sales teams, in are making a timely initiative that is sure to benefit the city, the Canadian tech landscape and our budding young entrepreneurs, ”said Wesley Clover President Terry Matthews.

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