News Column

Venture Capitalist Chamath Palihapitiya to Pair Engineering Students with Silicon Valley Startups

May 23, 2014



WATERLOO, Ontario, May 23 -- The University of Waterloo issued the following news release:

Venture capitalist and former Facebook executive Chamath Palihapitiya returned to Ontario from Silicon Valley earlier in May to announce a new Social+Capital Partnership Engineering Fellows program that will pair top Waterloo engineering students with innovative startups in Silicon Valley.

The Social+Capital Partnership Engineering Fellows program will place engineering co-op students with thriving start-ups within the Social+Capital portfolio of companies, challenging them with product innovation and development. Engineering Fellows will be selected every quarter and Waterloo's world renowned co-op education program will vet applications.

Already in high demand in Silicon Valley, Waterloo Engineering students earn over $110 million in co-op income annually as part of the world's largest co-op program. Palihapitiya promised more, including a salary 20% higher than other Silicon Valley tech giants and fully vested equity in the portfolio company for which they develop product.

Known in business circles as the unconventional venture capitalist (http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2011/10/06/in-flip-flops-and-jeans-the-unconventional-venture-capitalist/?_php=true&_type=blogs&_r=0), Palihapitiya and his wife Brigette Lau - both engineering graduates of the University of Waterloo - founded Social+Capital as a partnership of philanthropists, technologists and capitalists investing in breakthrough companies in healthcare, education, financial services, mobile and enterprise software. He plans to name five to ten Fellows per quarter.

"I am blown away by the engineering talent in Waterloo," said Palihapitiya. "Our goal is to create the most prestigious program in the co-op landscape. We're offering more money, more equity and exposure to the next swath of billion dollar companies. We are looking for students who want to train to be the next great company founder. We behave like entrepreneurs behave and we want students who think like entrepreneurs."

He urged students to think outside the box and join fledgling startups with the potential to drive billion-dollar growth and change the status quo in fields such as health care and education.

"We ask a lot of our students and it is gratifying to present them with opportunities on the frontier of new technologies that have the potential to improve society," said Pearl Sullivan, dean of engineering at Waterloo.

Attending the Waterloo announcement were Ray Ko (http://www.linkedin.com/pub/ray-ko/1/829/189), Growth Partner at The Social+Capital Partnership (http://s23p.com/); Dhananja Jayalath (http://www.linkedin.com/in/dhananjaj), Founder/CEO of Athos (https://www.liveathos.com/); Jason Fischl (https://www.linkedin.com/in/jfischl), and senior executives from Remind101 (https://www.remind101.com/), brilliant.org (http://brilliant.org/), Wave (https://www.waveapps.com/), intercom.io and CreativeLive (http://www.creativelive.com/).

Before becoming an investor, Palihapitiya was the longest-tenured member of Facebook's senior executive team and helped drive its ascension to one of the most important companies in the world. He is also co-owner and a director of the NBA'sGolden State Warriors.

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Source: Targeted News Service


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