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Information Technology

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Global companies are drawn to Waterloo Region because of its stable and growing economy, skilled and reliable workforce, environment of innovation and collaboration, proximity to market, competitive business costs, high quality of life and affordable cost of living.

Waterloo Region is an Information Communication Technology (ICT) powerhouse and is home to a growing ecosystem of over 30,000 ICT professionals and 1,000 tech-related companies, including Canada's largest tech company, largest software company, largest satellite company, largest eLearning company and one of the world's top producers of visual technology displays.

Waterloo Region's tech & digital media sector generates more than $30 billion in annual revenue and the growth continues with 1,895 new startup companies established since 2009.

Companies such as Google, Intel, SAP, Christie Digital and Electronic Arts have chosen to operate alongside home grown players BlackBerry, Honeywell, OpenText, Maplesoft, Thalmic Labs, Teledyne DALSA and D2L.


Culture of Collaboration

Waterloo Region is home to numerous business & technology initiatives which further the development of technologies created within this rich entrepreneurial ecosystem.

The Communitech Hub - Communitech is the regional hub for the IT/ICT technology industry. It assists entrepreneurs to commercialize innovative technologies, and supports tech companies at all stages of their growth and development - from startup companies, to rapidly growing SMEs, to leading global players.

Rev - A first of its kind sales accelerator for startup that have already developed products and are ready to scale revenue. Rev takes no equity in its companies, but will match their current capital up to $60,000.

Accelerator Centre - World-renowned, award-winning centre focused on the cultivation of technology entrepreneurship. It was established to accelerate the creation, growth and maturation of sustainable new tech companies and promote the commercialization of research.

The Canadian Digital Media Network (CDMN) - CDMN is dedicated to establishing Canada as a world leader in digital media (ICT + mobile) by creating and enabling connections and collaboration between entrepreneurs, companies, research institutes, government and intermediary organizations.

Velocity - The Velocity Program at the University of Waterloo supports entrepreneurship by connecting student innovators with the newest technology, mentors and collaborative community. Velocity includes the Campus Residence, Garage, Foundry, Science and the Velocity Venture Fund.

Quantum Valley Investment Fund - The $100 million Quantum Valley Fund was established to provide financial and intellectual capital for the further development and commercialization of breakthroughs in quantum information science.

Skilled Workforce

  • 65,000 post-secondary students including over 24,000 co-operative education students at the University of Waterloo, Wilfrid Laurier University, and Conestoga College .
  • Most significant concentration of mathematical and computer science talent globally.
  • Top recruiting ground for Microsoft, Google, Apple, Facebook & OpenText
  • University of Waterloo offers 13 different, 5 year co-op engineering programs with core disciplines such as chemical, electrical and software engineering, systems design, nanotechnology, and mechatronics.

Fast Facts

  • The University of Waterloo is Canada's largest engineering school which operates the largest post-secondary co-operative program of its kind in the world, graduating "workplace ready" individuals.
  • Waterloo Region ranks 16th among Top 20 Global Startup Ecosystems (Startup Genome).
  • Waterloo Region generates 15 patents granted per 10,000 residents, which is 11 times the national average.
  • Canada's first Google for Entrepreneurs Tech Hub

Business Advantages

  • Corporate tax rate lower than the G8 and G20 average, and the U.S.
  • Canadian ICT labour costs are the lowest among the G7.
  • Ontario's R&D tax program reduces every $100 in R&D spending to about $56, or $38 for SMEs
  • Ontario Interactive Digital Media Tax Credit (OIDMTC) & Ontario Computer Animation and Special Effects (OCASE) tax credits and other incentives.
  • Start-up Visa Canada, targets immigrant entrepreneurs with the skills and potential to build innovative businesses in Canada that can create jobs for Canadians and compete on a global scale.
  • University of Waterloo's one-of-a-kind inventor owned intellectual property policy.

Top ICT Businesses

  • BlackBerry
  • Christie 
  • D2L
  • Google
  • OpenText
  • Descartes
  • Teledyne DALSA
  • SAP

Resource Documents

Ontario ICT

2015 Waterloo Region Technology Spotlight