Jay Krishnan

Jay Krishnan

CEO, Accelerator Centre

An innovative thinker with a global mindset, Jay Krishnan believes that the time to invest in Waterloo Region’s ambitious tech entrepreneurs is now. Krishnan, who has more than 20 years of global experience working with businesses in the startup space, took over the role of CEO at the Accelerator Centre in March of 2021 and he’s determined to uncover entrepreneurs who have what it takes to be successful on the world’s stage. Before coming to Waterloo, Krishnan was a General Partner at Mantra Capital and the first CEO at T-Hub, India’s largest startup incubator. He was drawn to Waterloo Region because of the high potential tech talent that is relatively undiscovered on a global scale. 

“Any ecosystem needs to have momentum, density, and diversity, and I think Waterloo has all these three,” Krishnan said. “It still remains untapped, as seen through the lens of the global perspective.”

Krishnan is at the centre of many moving pieces in Waterloo’s tech ecosystem. He believes the region has high-pedigree institutions, producing talented individuals who may not have the tools they need to commercialize their ideas. That’s where the Accelerator Centre comes in to help. “The Accelerator Centre, as an organization, is truly positioned to be in the centre of the track for these companies,” Krishnan said. The organization works closely with founders who may not have the business experience or support to find success on their own, offering support through various programs. 

“Our goal is to take the region and the Accelerator Centre global to generate demand and discoverability of tech developed in Waterloo to the world,” Krishnan said. “We don’t need to confine ourselves to Canada. If anything, I think COVID demonstrated that we can go global by hanging out on the internet.”

Businesses coming to the Accelerator Centre can access a variety of programs, including incubation, story acceleration, and the recently announced AC:Studio program, which focuses on the entrepreneur first before the tech to build-up strong founders and teams. The Accelerator Centre offers in-person and virtual events, funding opportunities, product launch support and mentorship. Companies looking to enter Canada can also do so with support from the team of experts at the Accelerator Centre and by accessing Canada’s Start-Up Visa program. “It really depends on where you are as a company in your lifecycle,” Krishnan said. “We have structured programming that helps you along your journey,” Krishnan said. This structured programming includes high-touch mentorship to help companies with their business ideas and commercialization. The Accelerator Centre also helps generate demand and discoverability for science and tech clients in Waterloo Region.

The Accelerator Centre is working on a key initiative that will make it the most inclusive startup ecosystem in the world. The centre’s EDI plan, a two-year initiative, is fully available to the public and includes internal teams, board members, mentorship models, and entrepreneur programs. “You have to make yourself accountable and transparent,” Krishnan said. 

Heading into the future, Krishnan believes Waterloo Region’s tech talent is poised to lead in the new post-pandemic reality. “If we have the capability, and we do, there should be no reason why we are not appealing to the world.” Jay’s unique entrepreneur-first approach and the raw talent within Waterloo Region make a perfect pairing for global impact.

The visualizations below show Krishnan’s career highlights, along with some of the businesses he’s worked with since joining the Accelerator Centre in 2021.

Do you have an impact story to share? Let us know at connections@profoundimpact.com for a chance to be featured in an upcoming newsletter!


As the first place winner and a finalist of two major awards, Sherry Shannon-Vanstone and Sherryl Petricevic are recognized for their exceptional contributions to the Waterloo Region community.

WATERLOO, ON | MAY 7, 2021 — Profound Impact Corporation, a Waterloo Region-based startup providing a next-generation social engagement and interaction platform, is proud to announce that two of its executive members, Sherry Shannon-Vanstone and Sherryl Petricevic, are
the first place winner and a finalist of two major awards in the Waterloo Region. Sherry Shannon-Vanstone, Founder and CEO of Profound Impact, was named the recipient of the K-W Oktoberfest Rogers Women of the Year STEAM Award presented by Rogers. Sherryl Petricevic,
Account Executive of Profound Impact, was named a finalist for the Fresh Innovators Award presented by Leadership Waterloo Region.

The K-W Oktoberfest Rogers Women of the Year STEAM Award, sponsored by Enbridge, recognizes and pays tribute to outstanding women in the community for their exceptional advancement to the field of science, technology, engineering, arts and math. As a highly regarded serial entrepreneur, mathematician, innovator, philanthropist, mentor, and trailblazer in the field of STEM for young women, the award recognizes Sherry’s efforts and success in paving a future for women in technology. As an involved member in the community, Sherry holds several
active roles as the Founder and CEO of Profound Impact Corporation, Co-Founder and Co-Chair of the Waterloo Region chapter of Women in Communications and Technology (WCT-WR), and Co-Chair of Perimeter Institute’s Emmy Noether Council.

“I am honoured to be the recipient of an award that encompasses the mission I have upheld throughout my career,” said Sherry Shannon-Vanstone. “My hope is that other women in STEM use this award as a reminder that you can achieve anything you put your mind to, and that we have the power and knowledge to make change and innovate beyond measure.”

In its inaugural year, the Fresh Innovators Awards presented by Leadership Waterloo Region recognize changemakers who are digging into Waterloo Region’s challenges, creating solutions, and turning ideas into action. As Co-Chair of the Waterloo Region chapter of Women in Communications & Technology and a regular contributor to the Waterloo Region community, being a finalist for the award amplifies the significant impact Sherryl has made on the Region — from supporting startups through Communitech and the Waterloo Region Economic Development
Corporation to advancing the cybersecurity community and developing mentorship opportunities for young professionals.

“I am grateful to be a finalist for the Fresh Innovators Award in its inaugural year,” said Sherryl Petricevic. “Waterloo Region breeds a culture of creativity and innovation, and it is important that we celebrate the community leaders who are making a difference across all fronts in order to inspire a new generation of changemakers to make an impact.”
As powerhouses in the Waterloo Region community, Sherry and Sherryl have joined forces to pursue Profound Impact Corporation, a digital community and interaction platform set to revolutionize alumni, faculty and student engagement for academic and research institutions
around the world.

Both leaders look forward to what the future holds for their individual careers and their collaborative efforts advancing Profound Impact. With several projects in the works, the recognition from both awards will serve as a driving force behind Sherry and Sherryl’s mission to break barriers for
women everywhere.

For more information about the K-W Oktoberfest Rogers Women of the Year Awards, visit https://www.oktoberfest.ca/woy-nomination-process/.
For more information about the Fresh Innovators Awards, visit
https://leadershipwaterlooregion.org/content/fresh-innovators-awards-nominations For more information about Profound Impact, please visit www.profoundimpact.com.
Profound Impact connects great people to do great things by providing a unique and transformational digital community to measure the worldwide impact of an organization and by facilitating and accelerating connectivity to inspire collaborative solutions to difficult global problems.
Website: www.profoundimpact.com
Facebook: @aprofoundimpact
Instagram: @aprofoundimpact
LinkedIn: Profound Impact Corporation
Twitter: @aprofoundimpact
For media inquiries, please contact:
Madison Lambden
Shannon Dodangoda

Sherryl Petricevic

Sherryl Petricevic

Leader, Innovator and Mentor in the Waterloo Region Community

Sherryl Petricevic is an exceptional leader in the Waterloo Region who continues to achieve excellence and provide opportunities for all members of the community. Sherryl’s career experiences have unleashed her innovative capabilities both personally and professionally, aiding in the advancement of the Women in Communications & Technology (WCT-WR) community. 

When the need for a Co-Chair was established in the Waterloo Region Chapter of WCT, Sherryl was naturally the ideal candidate. As someone who knows the Waterloo Region community ecosystem very well, in addition to lived-experience watching Waterloo Region transform into an innovative, entrepreneurial space with talented, motivated people to solve some of the world’s biggest problems, Sherryl’s expertise is exactly what the role required.

As Co-Chair of WCT-WR, Sherryl has played an active role in spearheading several of the organization’s initiatives and programs. Sherryl spent several months consulting with employers, academic and research institutes and community organizations to identify a gap in the availability of mentorship programs for women within the Waterloo Region. 

Through Sherryl’s leadership, WCT-WR developed a highly-collaborative program called Mentoring Circles to address the gap. Mentoring Circles are designed to provide like-minded professionals in any industry the opportunity to form strategic partnerships with members of the group. The partnerships are intended to help members deal with current career challenges, as well as find the support and tools they need to grow and develop in their careers. Since the inception of WCT Waterloo Region Mentoring Circles in 2019, over 200 participants of all career stages have participated in the program. 

Sherryl’s experience in building partnerships and programs with Communitech and the Waterloo Region Economic Development Corporation has enabled her to support big dreamers as they endeavoured to scale-up their businesses and identify niche needs that demanded solutions. Through a tremendous amount of leg-work in meeting community partners to identify the mentorship gap, Sherryl was able to do the same for WCT. Sherryl played a major role in forming the WCT Executive Committee and ensuring the Waterloo Region Chapter was very active, dynamic and inclusive reaching into far corners of the community and removing any barriers to entry. With a clear vision from the start, Sherryl has been able to execute her plans with laser-precision. The success of the WCT Mentoring Circles program is directly attributed to Sherryl’s dedication and resilience.

We commend Sherryl for her continuous efforts and look forward to her future successes and endeavors in the Waterloo Region community and beyond.

Do you have an impact story to share? Let us know at connections@profoundimpact.com for a chance to be featured in an upcoming newsletter! 

IWD 2021

IWD 2021 Waterloo Region virtual event powered by Profound Impact

Represented in the image above, nearly 400 attendees from four countries participated in the International Women’s Day event hosted on the Profound Impact platform.

Instead of our monthly Profound Connections webinar, this month we hosted the International Women’s Day Waterloo Region virtual event, put on by Women in Communication Technology — Waterloo Region Chapter, exclusively on the Profound Impact platform. Bringing together Waterloo Region community members from all over the tri-cities and townships on our platform allowed for important conversations to happen seamlessly. We hosted nearly 400 registrants and together celebrated the women of our community and the amazing work that they are doing towards ending gender bias and inequality.  

Throughout the all-day event, conversations, affirmations thanking our community through a series of video vignettes, entertainment and musical interludes took place that specifically highlighted women and organizations who have chosen to challenge gender bias and inequity and have helped to create an inclusive world that empowers women and celebrates their achievements.

Speaking remarks were made by incredible women across Waterloo Region involved in various areas of work including science, technology, mentorship, and youth engagement. A few standout remarks include: 

“Everyone can be a mentor to someone else and I think it’s really easy to get caught up in this sort of imposter syndrome of ‘I’m not far enough along in my career to be a mentor or I haven’t got the expertise in this particular area,’ but you do.” 

— Renata Rusiniak, Principal and Founder, Green Horseshoe Solutions

“Take action whether you want to be part of WCT-WR or some other form of mentorship program. Reach out to someone for coffee and push your confidence.” 

— Mansi Baxi, Software Engineer, Manulife

“Some of the best things that make me a strong leader are pieces of my life that I left at home at first.”

— Caitlin Macgregor, Co-Founder & CEO, Plum

“Don’t underestimate yourself. Probe and explore opportunities more before you say no.”

Dr. Deborah MacLatchey, President and Vice-Chancellor, Wilfrid Laurier University

“Take encouragement and run with it.”

Jacqueline Hewson, Vice President and Market Leader, BMO Private Wealth at BMO Wealth Management – Canada

With over six live panel conversations, participants were able to engage in important conversations that revolve around women in our local community. We are grateful for all those who participated and encourage women of all ages to get involved in this empowering and welcoming community. Events like this remind women everywhere how strong we are and the power our voices withhold in unison.