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Five interesting facts about fintech in Waterloo

A community at the convergence of tech, financial services and security, here are five facts that show why Waterloo is well-positioned to lead in fintech.

For decades, Waterloo has had a reputation as a finance, cybersecurity and technology hub. It’s no wonder we’ve developed a reputation for helping companies innovate in the fintech space.

Whether it’s Canada’s big banks, global tech companies like Google or startups looking to grab a slice of brand new digital markets, our community is fertile ground for finding the innovation environment, research expertise and talent needed to make the next great wave of fintech take off. That’s why we have 80+ fintech companies operating in Waterloo.

Want to know what you’re missing?

Here are five interesting facts about the Waterloo fintech ecosystem:

1. The world’s highest density of corporate innovation labs

In Waterloo, you’ll find a large collection of corporate innovation labs working on technological proof-of-concepts and prototyping, including some of the biggest names in finance, data and insurance like TD, Deloitte, Interac and Manulife.

This is just a small part of an ecosystem that really works to help companies supercharge their innovation capacity. In fact, according to Communitech, we have the world’s highest density of corporate innovation labs.

We aren’t limited to small-scale innovation outposts – companies like TD, Scotiabank and Deloitte also have large-scale technology offices in Waterloo.

2. The second largest financial hub in North America

Waterloo is a key player in the Toronto-Waterloo Corridor, which is the largest financial hub in North America outside of New York City.

In a 100km/65mi stretch, you’ll find hundreds of fintech companies and 13+ incubators and accelerators, as well as massive headquarters for major banks and investment firms.

Altogether, the Toronto-Waterloo Corridor has around 300,000 tech workers. There’s a reason we are considered a globally significant tech hub.

3. An epicentre of the quantum revolution

One of Waterloo’s most unique qualities – something that truly sets us apart from just about everywhere else in the world – is our quantum technology ecosystem.

In a 5km (3.1mi) radius, you’ll find the world’s largest independent theoretical physics research centre, one of the world’s top quantum computing institutes and the world’s first quantum-specific commercialization hub.

We have 16 quantum companies – overwhelmingly focused on security and finance applications – a $100M quantum venture fund and our quantum ecosystem has received $1.5 billion in funding over the last 20 years.

If you want to be on the cutting-edge of the next generation of fintech, Waterloo’s quantum ecosystem can help you get there.

4. Talent that drives growth

Waterloo is renowned for its talent, particularly in the technology space. The University of Waterloo is Canada’s top technology university and The New York Times called it “one of the world’s top technology schools.” It is ranked in the top-40 globally for engineering and technology and top-25 for computer science.

Wilfrid Laurier University is known for its excellent business programs, which include finance and data specializations and a unique focus on tech business management. For fintech companies this is a match made in heaven.

Add Conestoga College’s hands-on finance, accounting and big data programming and this community is built to help fintech companies fill their talent pipeline.

5. A world-class fintech business community

The greatest evidence of the strength of Waterloo’s fintech ecosystem is the large collection of cutting-edge businesses that have chosen to locate here. Our new fintech cluster map – a type of business listing – lists more than 80 companies.

From giants like BlackBerry and new entrants like Carta to exciting scale-ups and startups, our fintech community is in growth mode.

Do you want more information about Waterloo’s fintech ecosystem?