The Waterloo region is aggressively pitching itself as "a thriving tech hub and one of Canada's best places to live."
At the Province of Ontario pavilion at the Siggraph 2012 exhibition in Los Angeles, which started today, Waterloo is promotion the region as Canada's top innovation hub—something other tech startup meccas like Vancouver, Montreal, and Toronto may take issue with.
“We’re pleased to partner with the Province and the City of Kitchener to showcase Waterloo Region’s strengths in both innovation and lifestyle, and build awareness for talent attraction and investment,” said Karen Gallant, Senior Director Talent Networks at Communitech.
“It’s exciting to see that Waterloo Region holds a strong place in the digital media industry. Investments such as the Communitech Hub in downtown Kitchener—where 100 digital media and mobility startups innovate every day—are really starting to have an impact,” said Rod Regier, Executive Director Economic Development, City of Kitchener. “These startups will need investors keen to capitalize on their innovation, and Siggraph puts the community and the tech cluster on the map.”
“Events like Siggraph are important for building the brand of the community as Canada's hottest tech hub and a great place for foreign companies to expand their operations,” said John J. Jung, CEO of Canada’s Technology Triangle. “Access to talent and collaborative research and development are just two reasons that companies like Google and Electronic Arts choose to expand operations to Waterloo Region.”
Even academia is getting involved: Conestoga College’s School of Media and Design is supporting the booth at Siggraph. “We’re pleased to participate to extend the brand recognition of our Region as a leading centre of design innovation in an increasingly digital world,” said Mark Derro, Chair of the School of Media and Design at Conestoga.
While it's difficult to claim that Waterloo is singularly the "top Canadian innovation hub," the city has certainly been doing well: a thousand tech companies are generating $25 billion in revenue and employing 30,000 workers in the region.