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News round-up: Nine business and investment stories from May 2019

A round-up of news stories from Waterloo, Canada in May 2019, including four new office announcements, substantial new scale-up funding and more.

There was a lot of exciting news in Waterloo over the last month, including new investment announcements, exciting new autotech research and a Governor General’s Award for one of Waterloo’s local business leaders.

Here are nine great business and investment stories:

1. The Toronto-Waterloo Corridor keeps climbing in the global startup ecosystem rankings

Startup Genome’s 2019 Global Startup Ecosystem Report highlighted the Toronto-Waterloo Corridor’s steady ascent as a tech startup powerhouse. Now listed at #13 globally, up three spots from the last report, our area is now the top startup ecosystem in Canada.

We shared the report’s top-15 list soon after the announcement, and both Communitech News and BetaKit provided commentary.

2. Waterloo-based scale-up announces $55 million in new funding

ApplyBoard, creators of an AI-enabled recruitment platform that helps international students apply to post-secondary programs in North America, announced $55 million in Series B funding in May. This fast-growing company plans to hire 100 new employees in their Waterloo and international offices.

We wrote about this story here.

3. Four new distributed teams join the Waterloo ecosystem

Four tech companies – Insticator, Matera, Enlighted and myKaarma – announced the opening of new Waterloo locations at the Collision Conference in Toronto. All four offices are distributed teams, designed to take advantage of Waterloo’s unique culture and talent pipeline.

We spoke to Zack Dugow, CEO of Insticator, about his decision to expand to Waterloo. We also wrote about the value of distributed teams – using Waterloo-based Faire as the example – here.

4. Leoni Elocab celebrates a $14 million expansion

For the second time in less than a decade, a Waterloo-based specialty cable manufacturer – Leoni Elocab – is celebrating a substantial new expansion. The new addition adds 30,000 square feet to their facility and positions the company to become a world leader in semiconductor manufacturing.

We spoke with Leoni Elocab president Lukas von Arx about the expansion and the Waterloo Region Record provided news coverage of the event.

5. Bridgit and Nicoya announce new funding, too

Two additional Waterloo companies had funding news of their own as well. Bridgit, a construction tech company, announced a $750,000 investment from the federal government and the launch of a new product called Bench to help construction companies plan projects.

Medtech startup Nicoya has received $7.7 million in new investment, which will help fund new research and development.

6. Waterloo and Collision are a match made in heaven

Waterloo was well represented at the Collision Conference, with numerous local business leaders taking the stage, including North’s Stephen Lake and Acerta’s Greta Cutulenco.

The Lazaridis Institute, part of Wilfrid Laurier University’s Lazaridis School of Business and Economics, organized a panel featuring Vidyard’s Michael Litt, Faire’s Marcelo Cortes and Sheertex’s Jacquelyn Cyr sharing war stories about scaling.

BetaKit editor-in-chief Douglas Soltys moderated the panel and his publication wrote an article summarizing the panel’s key learnings. Waterloo EDC concluded the week by hosting two busloads of conference participants who wanted to tour our unique ecosystem.

7. Waterloo-based researchers make fuel cell breakthrough

Researchers from the University of Waterloo have developed a new type of hydrogen fuel cell that could compete with traditional fossil fuels. The new tech reportedly has a lifespan of 30,000 hours, which is a 1000% improvement over conventional fuel cells.

Read coverage from the Waterloo Region Record.

8. Local business leader receives Governor General’s Innovation Award

Jad Saliba, the founder and Chief Technology Officer of Magnet Forensics, has received the 2019 Governor General’s Innovation Award for his work in digital forensics. He is one of just six Canadians who will receive the award this year.


9. Conestoga College is creating a new international business-focused campus

Waterloo’s polytechnic post-secondary institute, Conestoga College, has announced the creation of a new 82,000 square foot campus in downtown Kitchener that will focus on business programming for 1,000 students.

Read coverage of this announcement from the Waterloo Region Record.

Want to learn more about our ecosystem?