National Post Article Names Waterloo As Ontario’s New Tech Capital

Posted by Henry Finn

Last week the National Post ran an article titled, Technology the new engine of central Canada. The article offers a mix of stories about Waterloo’s tech start up culture and looks at the jobs the technology industry has created in the region.

The article begins with a look at Waterloo based software start up AideRSS and their product PostRank which finds and ranks useful content online. The company which was launched by Ilya Grigorik with $3 million in seed capital has grown quickly. Grigorik and PostRank’s new chief executive, Carol Leaman have turned the idea into a valuable software package for PR and marketing firms that use PostRank to track messages across the web in real time. In eight months AideRSS has grown from four to eleven employees, and over the next year staff may once again double.

While the once strong auto parts manufacturing industry in the region bleeds jobs the small tech community is generating $15 billion per year, and the employment growth rate has risen 7%. Tech firms in Waterloo region employ over 28,000 people and 2,000 new jobs are waiting to be filled.

Mike Lazaridis, co-chief executive of RIM attributes the regions success to the University of Waterloo, “It’s the strong research universities that spin off strong industry and clusters of companies”. Lazaridis has invested heavily in Waterloo by donating millions to research laboratories including the Institute for Quantum Computing and the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics.

Even before RIM’s success the tech community has always reinvested their time and money back into the region. Tech companies and their executives give back to upcoming entrepreneurs through organizations like Communitech, which provides mentors to local innovators. Communitech President Ian Klugman estimates the region has around 150 start ups with ten new ones being created every month.

Waterloo continues to be a great example of how Canada’s local economies can be reinvented and recharged. This can only be accomplished with a well educated workforce. Mr. Lazaridis told the National Post reporter “Our most valuable resource is our trained citizens…that is our true national asset, and it’s renewable”.

Company:
Christie Digital Systems Inc.
Website:
http://www.christiedigital.com
Location:
Kitchener, Ontario, Canada

Christie is the leading manufacturer of high performance projection and integrated display solutions for network operation centers, broadcast monitoring centers, surveillance rooms, business presentations and meeting rooms, briefing centers, training rooms, auditoriums, 3D, Virtual Reality and movie theatres around the world. Christie’s projectors, integrated display solutions, videowall cubes, rear screen... more

Company:
BlackBerry
Website:
http://www.blackberry.com
Location:
Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

Research In Motion (RIM), a global leader in wireless innovation, revolutionized the mobile industry with the introduction of the BlackBerry solution in 1999. Since then, BlackBerry products and services have continued to change the way millions of people around the world stay connected. With the launch of BlackBerry 10, we have re-designed, re-engineered and re-invented BlackBerry. Not only did we introduce a... more

Company:
Communitech
Website:
http://www.communitech.ca
Location:
Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

Communitech is located in Waterloo Region, 110 kilometres (66 miles) west of Toronto, Ontario, Canada in an area that includes the cities of Kitchener and Waterloo. Communitech is the regional hub for the commercialization of innovative technologies supporting and building a Southwestern Ontario tech cluster of close to 1,000 companies that now generates more than $30B in revenue. A member of the Ontario Network... more

Company:
PostRank Inc.
Website:
http://postrank.com
Location:
Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

Based in Waterloo, Ontario, PostRank is a world-class technology company that monitors and collects social engagement events with online content in real-time across the web. PostRank gathers where and when stories generate comments, bookmarks, tweets, and other forms of interaction from a host of social hubs. Publishers and people interested in their content can then use PostRank analysis to gauge influence and... more


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Henry Finn

Henry Finn

Henry Finn is Techvibes Community Manager for the Kitchener-Waterloo area. Henry is a recent graduate from the University of Waterloo where he majored in Economics and minored in Management, East Asian Studies, and International Studies. He is looking forward to showcasing some of Waterloo's latest tech startups and providing readers with an in depth informative read. Currently Henry is... more



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