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Beatrice Sacripanti Builds a Wearable Toxic Gas Detector While Living in the Velocity Residence

Fourth-year Nanotechnology Engineering student, Beatrice Sacripanti, was first exposed to Velocity while working as a research assistant for Nicoya Lifesciences – a Velocity Science alumnus company that develops surface plasmon resonance (SPR) sensor products. From there, she learned about the many benefits the Velocity Residence had to offer her as a place to explore entrepreneurship on campus at the University of Waterloo.

Unique to the Velocity Residence are the resources offered to students working on a startup or personal project. For Beatrice, she spent her Fall 2017 term working on a wearable toxic gas detector for miners, firefighters, lab workers, or anyone risking exposure to toxic gases like hydrogen, ammonia, and carbon monoxide. Her detector (which is also her Fourth Year Design Project) is a small, lightweight device that attaches near the user’s face. Through events like dinners with local founders, brainstorming workshops during Bootcamp Week, and networking events at the Velocity Garage, Beatrice was able to receive mentorship from fellow students and founders in the Velocity ecosystem.

“It was great to talk with other companies to see how they’ve scaled up their own project and how they made it happen. A lot of startups start off as a FYDP (Fourth Year Design Project), so it was interesting to talk to people at the Garage who have done that; it was great to get that mentorship.”
– Beatrice Sacripanti, Velocity Resident, Fall 2017

Beatrice also enjoyed the 70-room residence for its independent living accommodations and for its tight-knit community. “Being able to cook for yourself is great, and the kitchens are perfect for baking which I love to do. For studying, you can use the conference rooms to work alone, or mingle in communal spaces,” she said.

For students considering living in the Velocity Residence, Beatrice was adamant that going to events is how you get the most out of the experience. “The events that happen in Velocity are so useful to your career and professional growth; there is much to gain, and you get a nice blue hoodie at the end of the term too if you participate.” She also urges students to take the opportunity to get to know the Velocity Garage and Velocity Science companies at the monthly events. “You get to interact with founders as a person and not just as an audience member, which I think makes a big difference.”

If you’re interested in building your own business, or even just like to work on projects in your spare time, apply to the Velocity Residence for Winter 2018 or Spring 2018. Applications are open to students of any faculty, program, or degree level.