Longtime Accelerator Centre CEO Paul Salvini is set to step down from his role after more than six years with the Kitchener-Waterloo organization.
Salvini is set to depart from the Accelerator Centre (AC) as of October 9. A search for AC’s new CEO is underway. John Stevens, VP of strategy and external relations, is stepping in as interim lead as the search takes place.
“His leadership has positioned the organization to confidently continue on its trajectory of excellence.”
Salvini has been with AC since 2014, making him the organization’s longest-serving executive leader. Salvini led the startup accelerator through a number of changes, including tripling the program’s capacity – increasing the number of startups the AC can support from an average of 35 companies to over 120 companies per year.
During his tenure, Salvini also supported the launch of seed funding grant program, AC JumpStart, which claims to have provided more than 300 early-stage entrepreneurs with the funding to launch new ventures. AC’s The Accelerator Program underwent a redesign during that time, which also saw the creation of the Advanced Manufacturing and Hardware Innovation Lab, focused on hardware startups.
In November 2019, AC was named by UBI Global as one of the top five private business accelerators globally. Since launching in 2006, AC claims to have worked with more than 500 startups, created over 3,650 jobs, and attracted $600 million in investments. Graduates of its programs include Axonify, Clearpath Robotics, Eleven-x, and Miovision, among others.
“We wish to express our deep gratitude to Paul for his contributions over the past 6 years,” said Julie Barker-Merz, AC board chair. “His leadership has positioned the organization to confidently continue on its trajectory of excellence while forging an even stronger future that continues to respond to the changing innovation ecosystem. As we look to that future, the AC is well-positioned to continuing [sic] leading in the sector.”
Salvini has yet to reveal his next move, but AC noted that he will continue to be involved in the innovation ecosystem in order to support the Canadian startup sector.
“I’d like to thank our fantastic mentor group and my staff team for their unending dedication to serving entrepreneurs, and for building the strong culture and sense of community that makes the AC the best place for the next generation of tech leaders to grow,” Salvini said. “I am excited for the future of the organization and looking forward to supporting the team over the next month to ensure that momentum doesn’t slow.”