Fast Forward with Cios

Career and experiential learning 
Entrepreneurship Hub

By Lucas Chiazza

Coordinateur de programme et projets spéciaux | Program and Special Projects Coordinator, Carrefour de l'entrepreneuriat | Entrepreneurship Hub

A home key in a lock on door.
Breaking free: How Cios is disrupting the world of lease agreements with lease break coverage.

Welcome to “Fast Forward,” a series that shines a spotlight on the enterprising alumni of the University of Ottawa’s Startup Garage program. From innovative startups to thriving ventures, discover the resilience, creativity and determination driving the next generation of entrepreneurial leaders forward.

What is Cios?

Cios (pronounced “keys”) started in 2022, inspired by the lived experiences of founders Terry Wang and Victor Peter. Terry and Victor were shocked by how expensive it was to get out of a lease. After taking a deeper dive into lease breaking, they couldn’t believe how many others were experiencing the same problem. And thus, Cios was born!

What started as a sub-leasing contract marketplace has since pivoted into what Cios is today: a startup that partners with leading property managers and owners to offer lease break coverage, giving apartment renters the complete freedom to move when they need to, without fear of expensive lease break penalties. 

The Startup Garage impact

For Terry and the Cios team, Startup Garage was a good experience because they left the program with a different mindset. They had a better understanding of how their business worked and how to take it to the next level. Connecting with mentors made the Cios team more effective and getting advice from people who had been in their shoes was instrumental in the growth of their business.

Looking back on his Startup Garage experience, Terry says, “So much stuff has changed.” What started off as a couple of guys working on a project that somewhat worked, but in Terry’s words, “really didn’t work at all,” has grown and developed into what Cios is today.

Working on a business idea? Interested in joining the Startup Garage program?

Startup Garage is a year-round accelerator program for entrepreneurs at the University of Ottawa who want to start and grow their business. Founders get access to peer-to-peer networks, mentorship, advisory services, capital, space and resources to take their idea from conception to launch to growth.

Startup Garage is ideal for students, researchers and recent alumni looking to pursue entrepreneurship within any context or industry. Our curriculum supports entrepreneurs at all levels, whether they’re looking to materialize an idea into a business, scale their existing startup operations or anything in between.

Learn more about Startup Garage!