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Outreach Event on March 21st

Students at Waterloo and Laurier have been working on an important and exciting new Project over the past semester that aims to establish the first student-run financial institution in Canada.

Come learn about this worthwhile initiative and check out the progress we’ve made when we have an outreach event this Monday in the SBE Atrium.  Students from both Wilfrid Laurier and Waterloo are welcome to attend.
SBE Atrium,
Wilfrid Laurier’s School of Business and Economics Building
Monday March 21st
Noon – 2 p.m.

Throughout the fall semester, we’ve taken substantial steps towards accomplishing our goal of establishing a student-run financial institution here in our university for Waterloo students. Highlights of the past term include:

•           Highlights of Fall 2010

•           Organizational Growth

•           Velocity End of Term Exhibition

•           Future Advancement and Expansion

1. Highlights of Fall 2010

During this past term we received a lot of exposure and public interest as we pitched out project at the Velocity Pitch Lunch, StartupCampWaterloo, Velocity End of Term Exhibition and the CBET Innovation Fair. We gained further student support when we held a Professional Photoshoot at Wilfrid Laurier University in November.

Many students showed interest in our business plans and objectives, observed when we surveyed over 1000 university students, and 45% of respondents said they would be likely to join a student-run credit union.  We further solidified that business plan when we had a meeting with advisor Peter Chow. Peter Chow is the Senior Vice President of Global Markets and alumni of Waterloo, who provided further insights for the growth and further development of the organization.

2. Organizational Growth

Directors of the Waterloo Banking Project are returning staff members:

Ryan Chen-Wing – Project Leader, Director of Research & Planning

Erica Yao – Senior Director, Director of Human Resources & Training

Tyler Planeta – Director of Marketing & Communications

The Waterloo Banking Project also welcomes several new Associate Directors to the staff this term:

Abirami Ananthan – Associate Director, Staff Orientation

Emily Na – Associate Director, Financial Education

Stanley Rao – Associate Director, Analysis

Jamie Lee – Associate Director, Publishing

Kathy Zheng – Associate Director, Business Plan

Nicole Covello – Business Plan Development

3. Velocity End of Term Exhibition

On Wednesday November 30th, the Waterloo Banking Project was presented at the Velocity End of Term Exhibition by Directors Helena Cao and Ryan Chen-Wing. For the exhibition people browsed each booth and asked questions about the projects they represented. A notable visitor for the Waterloo Banking booth was Bill Tatham, Thatham Centre. Later on in the day, both Helena and Ryan made a two minute pitch about our project in front of the audience.

4. Future Advancement and Expansion

On November 1st 2010, the Georgetown University’s newspaper (The Georgetown Independent) released an article describing their credit union. As described in a past release, The Independent student newspaper features Georgetown’s student credit union, Waterloo Banking Project has drawn inspiration from the Georgetown University Alumni and Student Federal Credit Union before. The GUASFCU was the first student run credit union in the States and the GUASFCU has been operating since 1983, supported by university staff and over 12,000 students and alumni, and holds assets in excess of $15 million.


Do you want to leave a lasting impression on the student community? Have you ever wanted to accomplish a task that would set you apart from every other university student in the country?

Find out more about the Waterloo Banking Project at our General Meeting on Thursday, February 3 at 5:30 in WLU SBE 1220.

We are working to establish the first student-run financial institution in Canada. We would offer retail banking and other financial services to help students graduate with more money, less debt, and better financial skills. Develop strong teamwork and entrepreneurial skills and gain experience through work on diverse projects, and explore opportunities in our different departments – Research & Planning, Marketing & Communications, and Human Resources & Training.

Students from both Laurier and Waterloo are welcome to sign up and attend the meeting and find out more join the Waterloo Banking Project group on Facebook (, and follow @WaterlooBanking on Twitter (

For those interested in the Waterloo Banking Project and wish to attend the meeting, please fill out this online form:


Reporters at The Georgetown Independent student newspaper, Robert Schaus and Roberta Taggart, wrote an informative feature about GUASFCU — Georgetown University Alumni and Student Federal Credit Union.

The Waterloo Banking Project draws portions of its inspiration on the success of this model. The GUASFCU has been operating since 1983, supported by university staff and over 12,000 students and alumni, and holds assets in excess of $15 million. The organization is recognized for its community-based approach that emphasizes great customer service, higher savings rates, and lower borrowing costs. Drawing on these principles, a reputation for integrity and prudence, and an unpaid student staff, the organization is able to remain competitive despite their relatively small size.

Read more »


Due to growth and development of the project, we are now looking for dedicated individuals to fill new executive positions for the Winter 2011 semester.

The hiring process will begin once classes start in January. Please fill out the application form by Friday 7 January 2011. General staff positions will still be available to students after executives are hired.

Brief descriptions on each role and their responsibilities are posted below.
Read more »


Review of Fall 2010 term

Group photo from last staff meeting of the term

The project advanced closer toward our goal of establishing student-run financial services in Waterloo.

We held nine weekly meetings starting with our organizational meeting in September until our closing meeting at the end of November. In addition to the four directors, 22 staff members came out to meetings and contributed work, research and ideas over the course of the term. We met with two advisors, an executive and a professor.
Read more »


Directors Helena Cao and Ryan Chen-Wing represented the project at Waterloo VeloCity’s end of term exhibition and pitch event on Wednesday 30 November.

For the exhibition people could browse the booths and ask questions of each company or project. Bill Tatham, after whom the Tatham Centre is named was one of the people who took an interest in the Waterloo Banking Project, asking several questions.

Helena Cao at Waterloo Banking Project booth at UW VeloCity's end of term exhibition

Later in the afternoon it was time for the two-minute pitches.

Helena Cao and Ryan Chen-Wing at the Waterloo VeloCity pitch competition

Watch the video of the pitch or view the slides and read the speaking notes below.

Read more »


Meeting with advisor Peter Chow

The directors of Waterloo Banking Project met with Peter Chow, an advisor for the project on 28th of October in Velocity Residence’s conference room at the University of Waterloo.

Peter Chow serves as the senior VP of global markets in Citigroup Global Transactions and is also an alumnus from the University of Waterloo.
Read more »


In the spring we implemented a market research survey to gage the interest among students in student-run financial services. We have yet to fully analyze the data, but we did present some interesting findings to students at our staff meeting last week.

Our survey run over about two weeks received more than 1,000 responses roughly equally balanced between Waterloo students and Laurier students with a few from Conestoga College.

While the details will be important, a vital question is whether students will join our organization as members and customers. When asked, 45% of respondents said that they would be likely to join a student-run credit union.

Another hopeful result was that 21% of respondents reported using financial services from an institution other than from one of Canada’s five largest banks, which shows an openness to alternatives.

Here are more of the results:
Read more »


Professional Photo Shoot @ Laurier


Celebrate Global Entrepreneurship Week with Waterloo Banking Project!

Get into the business spirit with our FREE professional photo shoot. Get a snazzy profile picture for Facebook or LinkedIn to impress your friends or employers.


Tuesday, November 9th


Laurier’s SBE Atrium (

All you have to do is:
1) Suit up
2) Show up
3) Have some fun

Participates will receive their photos in their emails one week after the event.

For more information, please email

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