Ontario Invests $1.2 Million to Foster Growth in Waterloo Region
Province Supports Communitech’s Expansion to Help Tech Companies Start, Grow and Succeed
Ontario is investing $1.2 million to help Waterloo Region-based innovation hub Communitech expand to support more start-ups and high-growth companies.
The expansion is a partnership between Communitech, Google Canada, the University of Waterloo, the City of Kitchener and the province, and will result in more support for innovative entrepreneurs in the region.
The Communitech Hub now occupies 80,000 square feet in the Lang Tannery building. The expansion means Communitech will be able to offer additional services, including:
- An expanded Start-up Services program, which currently provides mentorship, training and connections to more than 500 start-ups per year
- More work space for start-ups and small- to mid-sized businesses
- Innovation zones to bring start-ups together with companies of all sizes to collaborate on projects
- More training programs aimed at mid-sized businesses
- Expanded corporate innovation programming designed to help global brands increase the speed of new products to market
Investing in entrepreneurs and fostering innovation is part of the government's economic plan to build Ontario up and deliver on its number-one priority to grow the economy and create jobs. The four-part plan includes helping more people get and create the jobs of the future by expanding access to high-quality college and university education. The plan is making the largest infrastructure investment in hospitals, schools, roads, bridges and transit in Ontario's history and is investing in a low-carbon economy driven by innovative, high-growth, export-oriented businesses. The plan is also helping working Ontarians achieve a more secure retirement.
- Communitech launched in 1997 and is a public-private partnership that supports a network of more than 1,000 companies.
- Communitech is part of the government’s Ontario Network of Entrepreneurs, which pools together resources to support entrepreneurs.
- Ontario’s investment in Communitech aligns with recommendations from the Premier’s Highly Skilled Workforce Expert Panel to position all Ontarians to meet the needs of the province’s dynamic economy.
- Ontario's five-year, $400-million Business Growth Initiative is helping to grow the economy and create jobs by promoting an innovation-based economy, helping small companies scale-up and modernizing regulations for businesses.
“Communitech is a vital partner for our government as we work to foster innovation in the province. We welcome the opportunity to work together, along with Google Canada and the University of Waterloo, to support entrepreneurship in Waterloo Region. Helping start-ups bring their new technologies to market is vital to our ability to grow our innovation economy — and ultimately compete and win in the global economy.”
“I applaud the efforts of Communitech, Google Canada and the University of Waterloo to strengthen Waterloo Region’s start-up ecosystem. We are pleased to support this expansion, and help more entrepreneurs build innovative companies, create local jobs and power the Ontario economy into the next generation.”
“Communitech is a leader in Ontario’s vibrant and growing digital economy. Working together, we can build on Ontario’s strengths in research, innovation and entrepreneurship, grow the digital economy and create the technology-based jobs of today and tomorrow.”
“This expansion will allow us to help accelerate the growth of high-potential companies, while making more room for start-ups and our corporate innovation partners. Overall, it provides the foundation to meet our goal of helping to build 10 new $100-million companies in Waterloo Region over the next 10 years.”
“Transformational research and startup companies emerging from the University of Waterloo are fuelling the growth of the Waterloo Region innovation ecosystem. Our ongoing partnership with Google, Communitech, the City of Kitchener and the Government of Ontario will ensure that our province can continue to rely on Waterloo region to be a catalyst as we build an economy and high tech ecosystem that is among the best in the world.”
“When you look at the Waterloo-Toronto corridor, there may not be a more exciting place on the planet to be a start-up these days. Communitech plays a critical role in this ecosystem, nurturing Canada's next generation of tech visionaries. We're thrilled to see additional investment in this incredibly talented community.”
“Kitchener is proud to continue investing in Communitech’s growth and development. Within five years of the city’s initial grant, Communitech has helped develop Kitchener’s reputation as a critical node in one of the most dynamic start-up ecosystems in the world. With their $1.2 million commitment to Communitech’s expansion, the Province is contributing not only to Ontario’s economy; they are ensuring that we will continue to reap the benefits that Communitech brings: job creation, evolutionary transformation of our downtown, our city and region, and a world-class reputation for innovation.”