China's Zhongguancun Development Group, with assets worth $11 billion, has selected Ottawa as a site for a technology incubation centre. It's ZDG's second site in North America and first in Canada. The other is in Silicon Valley. The Ottawa site will receive an initial funding pool of $10 million.
To be initially housed in 1,600 square feet at Invest Ottawa’s Aberdeen St. headquarters and staffed by a Chinese Director and three locally-hired staff, the new tech incubator will provide funding and support to Ottawa-based tech startups aiming to enter the Chinese market. The ZDG Ottawa International Incubation Centre will help finance China-based R&D, marketing and office expansion.
“Ottawa is one of the major innovation centres in the world, and Invest Ottawa has established many years of good cooperation relationship with Zpark. These are the main reasons that convinced us to choose Ottawa as the best location in Canada for the ZDG Ottawa International Incubation Centre,” said Qiang Xu, General Manager of ZDG. “We look forward to working together with our partners at Invest Ottawa to introduce the city’s best technology companies to our vibrant market.”
“This is another important step forward for Ottawa’s economic development, further strengthening our relationship with a key market and sector,” added Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson. “I’m pleased to see this significant foreign investment in Ottawa’s innovative technology sector.”
“We’re treating this as a very ambitious start-up enterprise in its own right. ZDG has a plan to invest up to $1.5 billion worldwide over the next five years, and we see today’s $10 million announcement as a starting point for Ottawa,” explained Invest Ottawa CEO Bruce Lazenby. “This market expansion capital is very welcome, and our expectation is that our China-focused companies will prove themselves quickly and attract even greater investment and opportunity in the years to come."