50 & 51

Two businesses founded by Lazaridis School alumni graduate from Accelerator Centre

Waterloo – Two companies founded by alumni of Laurier’s Lazaridis School of Business & Economics are the latest graduates of the Waterloo-based Accelerator Centre. Alaunus, founded by Andrew Ringer, and Traffic Soda, founded by Jessica Chalk, became the 50th and 51st companies to complete the Accelerator Centre program. They were both honoured at a ceremony held at the centre March 10.

The Accelerator Centre helps develop and commercialize technology startups into successful scale-up companies.

Ringer and Chalk are both 2011 graduates of the Lazaridis School’s renowned Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) program.

“This is a significant achievement for both Jessica and Andrew, and a key milestone in the development of their ventures,” said Victoria Larke, manager of the Schlegel Centre for Entrepreneurship at Laurier.

Traffic Soda, an online business development company, helps businesses grow their customer base and drive more traffic to their websites, products and services. Alaunus delivers mobile IT health care solutions such as HealthPlanr, which provides homecare organizations, practices and specialists with a mobile management tool to improve care, coordinate teams, streamline workflows and reduce operational costs.

The connection to the Lazaridis School goes deeper still. Chalk began working on her venture through an entrepreneurship elective course as a student, and Ringer met one of his key mentors — Laurier alumnus and entrepreneur Jeff Nugent — during a co-op work terms at Nugent's company, CWS.

Both Ringer and Chalk are active participants in Laurier’s startup incubator program, LaunchPad, and both are recipients of Laurier's JumpStart funding. The two have also benefited from the Lazaridis School’s formal partnership with the Accelerator Centre, which provided them with free workspace, access to mentors and educational programming.

“It’s always special to see alumni excel, using what they learned at the Lazaridis School to inspire and inform their innovative business ideas,” said Micheál J. Kelly, dean of the Lazaridis School of Business & Economics. “We appreciate our continued relationship with entrepreneurial programs like the Accelerator Centre to help tomorrow’s business and technology leaders grow in this thriving region.”

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