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August Wrap-up: Medtech accelerates in Waterloo

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

Although summer is slipping away and beach days are coming to an end, Waterloo continues to make waves in the tech industry.

From exciting new investments in health innovation to more accessible incubation programs, Waterloo is poised for an impressive autumn.

Here are the top stories from August 2021:

UWaterloo set to receive $6.5 million from FedDev for health innovation

FedDev Ontario has announced a $10 million investment in health innovation in Southwestern Ontario. With $6.5 million allocated to the Velocity incubator – the University of Waterloo’s flagship entrepreneurship program – Waterloo will play a pivotal role in the creation of a health innovation business pipeline.

FedDev’s investment will foster a partnership between Velocity, Western University, the City of Kitchener and the Medical Innovation Xchange (MIX), strengthening the Canadian tech ecosystem.

Partnership brings new PLEXUS MedTech program to Waterloo Region

The Accelerator Centre and Medical Innovation Xchange will collaborate to create the new PLEXUS MedTech program. Their partnership will strengthen the network of support for local medtech companies and build valuable connections between the health innovation ecosystem, the healthcare system and valuable mentors in Waterloo.

Harvard Who? UWaterloo Startups Rank 2nd in North America for Investor ROI

Searching for higher returns on investments? Look no further than Waterloo.

A recent report AngelList Venture – a U.S platform for investors and startups – determined that ventures established by UWaterloo alumni produce a higher-than-expected return on investment than their counterparts at Stanford, MIT and Harvard. In the words of Vivek Goel, the university’s new president, “Waterloo companies are paving the way for future founders who want to grow within Canada”.

Accelerator Centre attracts global investment community with new program

The Accelerator Centre has announced the launch of a new global market education opportunity and series of community demo days titled “Global Gateway: Investor Showcase.” Local companies will have the opportunity to receive education, mentorship and advice from international business leaders, and create connections into global markets.

Waterloo shines in the fDi spotlight

Waterloo Region enjoyed a moment in the spotlight with the release of fDi’s 2021-22 America Cities of the Future report. In the small cities category, Waterloo ranked an impressive 5th overall, a nod to its status as a tech hub, proximity to other major Ontario business hubs and partnership with the world-renowned University of Waterloo. Thanks to its knowledge-rich talent pool, presence of major employers and low unemployment rates, Waterloo ranked 1st in the Human Capital and Lifestyle division and 4th in Business Friendliness category.

The R+T Park launches a new interactive map

The David Johnston Research+Technology Park has launched a new interactive map that shows the Park’s geography, highlights the companies and organizations that call it home – including OpenText and the Accelerator Centre – and helps identify development opportunities for companies looking to grow. We’ve already highlighted the R+T Park as an exciting opportunity for any company that wants to locate next to Canada’s top technology university, and now you can see it for yourself.

Accelerator Centre adapts incubation program to post-pandemic realities

The Accelerator Centre will offer its virtual incubation program in both fully remote and hybrid models across Canada, increasing accessibility to its world-class programming. The move embodies CEO Jay Krishnan’s new strategic vision and roadmap for the organization, which will emphasize building on a track record of success to help transform the region’s ecosystem in a post-pandemic economy.

Fun reading for your free time

If you’re still on vacation and looking for some light reading, two interesting Waterloo-themed articles about resilience and adaptability came out over the last month. First, the Toronto Sun profiled the way Kitchener – one of Waterloo Region’s three urban areas – bounced back following the decline of manufacturing in Ontario to become a world-renowned tech hub. Second, the CBC News highlighted BlackBerry’s transformation from smartphone innovator to smart car enabler – a shining example of the perseverance and problem-solving that the Waterloo community values.

Want to learn more about Waterloo’s diverse business community?