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April Wrap-up: Canada is #1!

A round-up of business and investment news stories from Waterloo, Canada in April, 2021.

Things are heating up in Waterloo.

In April, we saw Canada receive a global #1 ranking, significant new investment in local tech companies and the arrival of a true tech giant. We also found out who would lead Communitech – Canada’s leading tech innovation hub – after 17 years of fantastic stewardship under Iain Klugman.

Here are the top stories from April 2021:

Canada is the world’s #1 country

Yes, you read that right. In a new report from US News & World Report Canada was top-ranked among 78 countries when measured across 10 categories, including quality of life, social purpose and business friendliness.

Where did countries like the United States, United Kingdom and Germany land in the ranking? Read our post to see a full top-10 list.

Waterloo tech funding up 107% over 2020

A new report from Hockeystick – a company that uses AI to match startups with funders – counts 36 investments with a total value of $689.6 million in Waterloo’s tech ecosystem last year.

Read our coverage to learn more about the deal breakdown – stages, amounts, etc. – and find out which companies were involved.

Tech giant EPAM joins the Waterloo ecosystem

41,000+ employees. $2.7 billion in revenue. Yes, EPAM Systems is a tech giant and they’re also one of the newest additions to the Waterloo tech community. Why come to Waterloo?

Check out our Q&A with Ethan Matyas, the company’s SVP and Head of North American Delivery.

Silicon Valley investor to lead renowned Waterloo innovation hub

Waterloo has a new leader in the tech space – Chris Albinson is Communitech’s newest CEO.

The founder of C100 – a non-profit organization that supports Canadian technology entrepreneurship and investment – and a longtime investor in Silicon Valley, Albinson brings a proven record of helping tech companies succeed.

Read more coverage from the CBC, or a Q&A from Communitech, for more information.

Big money news for Waterloo tech scale-ups

April was a month of big money announcements for some of Waterloo’s most successful tech companies.

Dejero announced a $60 million recapitalization deal to help the company accelerate growth, a US private equity firm acquired a controlling stake in Axonify for $313 million and Magnet Forensics announced plans to make an initial public offering (IPO) valuing the company at $90 million (later revised upward to $100 million).

New innovation hub to help Black entrepreneurs

A new innovation centre in Waterloo will help Black entrepreneurs grow their ideas into thriving businesses.

The Waterloo Region Black Innovation Centre will encourage and support local Black entrepreneurs through mentorship, funding and acceleration programs.

For more detail, check out the full coverage from the CBC.

Eclipse Automation donates 1.5 million masks

A supplier of custom manufacturing equipment, Eclipse Automation was an early mover in the scramble to develop more domestic capacity for medical-grade masks during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Now, the company, in partnership with BESTWR, is donating 1.5 million surgical masks to small businesses across Waterloo.

Read coverage from Kitchener Today for more information.

Businesses stay safe with free rapid screening

To help businesses reopen safely, businesses in Waterloo Region can tap into a first-of-its-kind rapid antigen screening program.

StaySafe, designed and piloted in our community, includes buses retrofitted as mobile rapid screening facilities and distribution of rapid screening kits to small and medium-sized businesses across the region.

Read more from Communitech.

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