Situated in Waterloo, Canada, the Accelerator Centre provides a network of facilities dedicated to developing and commercializing startups. They have a wide variety or programs and mentorship available to help entrepreneurs move from startup to scale up. I spoke with Michael Pereira, the Director of Marketing and Community Development about the centre.
In just one sentence, what is your accelerator called and what do you do? (
The Accelerator Centre is an elite incubator located in the heart of Canada’s innovation centre: Waterloo Region. We work with a small group of high potential companies with the goal of building strong, lasting, globally competitive technology firms; and commercializing advanced research technologies.
What makes your program different or unique? And related, what’s your primary value add?
Our biggest differentiator is the depth of mentorship we offer. We have mentors in seven core business areas who work with our Clients for two to three years to ensure they have strong fundamentals not just in technology, but in overall business management.
What do you love the most about working with startups?
- The energy and the creativity – startups are always finding new ways to approach problems and constantly iterating and refining. It’s inspiring and keeps us fueled to do better every day!
- The ideas – we work a lot with research commercialization, so we have the chance to amazing technologies coming to light before they’re part of everyday life. Everything from nanotechnology to quantum cryptography – we work with incredible people who are changing the world.
What is the hardest or most surprising part of working with startups?
Saying no – we can’t accept everyone into the program, but it’s still hard to tell someone with a lot of passion that they’re not the right fit for our program. Fortunately, we’re one of the most thriving ecosystems in the world and we have great partners which means we can ensure that no one gets left on their own.
Do you have a success story to share? Who are the most notable or interesting companies to go through your program?
We’ve been fortunate to have many great success stories. We’ve graduated 50 companies and have a 90%+ survival rate after 2 years beyond graduating the program.
How, if in any way, has Foundersuite helped your companies?
We’ve only recently launched Foundersuite for our Clients – we’re excited to see how it helps their success.
Finally, what is your best tip for running a startup?
Know your market and work tirelessly to solve their problems and surpass their expectations.
Thank you, and have a great day!