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Venture capital company GCI donates $1M to Waterloo

A venture capital company is donating $1 million to the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Waterloo to support research and education initiatives involving partners in the Greater China area.

GCI Ventures Ltd., which is based in Toronto and focuses on investing in technology and innovation, will provide funding over five years for international partnerships with institutes and corporations, and to hire a manager at Waterloo to oversee the activities.

Larry Liu is a principal and co-founder of investment firm GCI Ventures Ltd.

“Fundamental to strong international relationships is common understanding between nations, institutions and cultures,” said Pearl Sullivan, dean of Waterloo Engineering. “This new funding will help us to achieve that understanding at a crucial time in history.”

Founded in 2013 to deliver collaborative economic benefits in Canada and the Greater China area, GCI previously invested in several Waterloo startups and participated in Velocity pitch events at the University.

“After investing in several companies coming out of the University of Waterloo, we found our vision - change the world by creating enduring value – fit perfectly with the mission of its engineering faculty,” said Larry Liu, a principal and co-founder of GCI. “That is why we wanted to partner with the University and support its work in international research and education.”

Striving to be the most internationalized university

The GCI donation - announced at a signing ceremony today featuring Feridun Hamdullahpur, president and vice-chancellor of the University - will assist Waterloo as it strives to become the most internationalized university in Canada through on-campus programs and the development of strategic international partnerships.

“I have always dreamed of the day when researchers of different nations, researchers from east and west, can work together without barriers,” said Zhongchao Tan, associate dean of the Engineering International Office at Waterloo. “It is my hope this important commitment by our partners at GCI will help bring that day closer for us all.”

Waterloo Engineering already has many ongoing partnerships in Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan and mainland China.

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