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August Wrap-Up: No summer slowdown in 2020

A round-up of business and investment news stories from Waterloo, Canada in August 2020, including big news from Communitech, Odyssey Interactive and more.

The dog days of summer usually mean a slow-down for business investment as time off to enjoy the sunny weather take precedence over big announcements. That wasn’t true this August.

This month, Waterloo celebrated plans to significantly grow a local tech company that was in receivership just two years ago, welcomed new tech and manufacturing companies to the community and launched an international campaign to lure top tech talent from the United States.

Here are the top business and investment stories from August 2020:

Developers from major gaming company start new studio in Waterloo

A new video game startup, Odyssey Interactive, has launched in Waterloo with $7.9M in seed financing. The new company will develop mobile gaming experiences that create a sense of community and purpose for players along the same lines as break-out successes like League of Legends and World of Warcraft. All three founders previously worked at Riot Games. Read more on our blog.

Autotech innovator announces plans to double workforce

Two years after being placed in receivership, Waterloo-based IMS has announced plans for significant growth, including doubling the size of its workforce. Creators of specialized telematics technology that enables usage-based insurance programs, IMS has seen a significant boost in demand due to changes in driver behaviour during the COVID-19 pandemic. We’ve written about this announcement and you can find coverage from the Waterloo Region Record.

Communitech launches major campaign to bring top tech talent to Canada

With American immigration restrictions putting high-value visa programs like H-1B on pause, US-based talent and businesses are taking a longer look at moving to Canada than ever before. To highlight all that Canada offers to tech talent, local innovation hub Communitech has launched a major new campaign targeting workers in Silicon Valley. The campaign has already garnered significant attention from one of the Bay Area’s most important media outlets.

PPE leader brings major medical manufacturing facility to Waterloo Region

PRIMED Medical Products, a leading supplier of personal protective equipment (PPE) in Canada, has announced plans to open a major new manufacturing facility in Cambridge, one of Waterloo Region’s three cities. The state-of-the-art facility will produce both ASTM-rated surgical masks and N95 respirators. Find more information in the company’s press release.

Waterloo Region welcomes new investment from Amazon

Massive online retailer Amazon has announced plans to open a 136,000 square foot delivery station in Cambridge. The new site is expected to open in late 2020 and create hundreds of new jobs. Find full coverage from CTV Kitchener.

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