Thursday, March 31st, 2011

23-year-old Graduate Donates $1 million to University of Waterloo

A former Waterloo student and entrepreneurial prodigy is saying “thanks a million” to his alma mater.

23-year-old high tech entrepreneur Ted Livingston made a whopping US$1-million donation to The University of Waterloo, earmarked to support students’ business startup ambitions.

“With few responsibilities and surrounded by other talented minds, UW students are uniquely positioned to start world-changing companies,” said Livingston .

“Unfortunately, few investors are willing to bet on young entrepreneurs, especially in Canada, so getting the start-up funds they need is a huge challenge. This fund is a step towards changing that.”

The funding will provide at least 30 student entrepreneurs with $25,000, in addition to four months of office space, incorporation services and mentoring support. As part of the first stage of screening, 75 student businesses will also receive $500. The amount of $25,000 represents the exact amount of money Livingston’s late grandfather left him, which is what Livingston used to launch Kik.

“This is truly a wonderful development for our students who dream of launching their own successful startup,” said Feridun Hamdullahpur, president of the University of Waterloo. “Ted exemplifies the entrepreneurial spirit that so often defines Waterloo and the need to give back that we seek to encourage in all our students.”

Livingston studied mechatronics engineering at Waterloo between 2005 and 2009. He became wildly successful after he founded Kik Interactive (then called Unsynced) while in the VeloCity residence in the winter term of 2009.

Ryan Leclaire
Author: Ryan Leclaire
Ryan has been writing for 7 years and has been featured in Chatelaine, Canadian Living and Cottage life.
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