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May Wrap-Up: Reasons for optimism

Kitchener Downtown Cityscape

After two months of uncertainty, we’re beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

This month, Waterloo gained a unicorn, kicked off some exciting new research and business partnerships, began to embrace remote work and more. We’re still fighting the good fight against the pandemic, too.

Here’s how companies are thriving in May 2020:

ApplyBoard becomes a unicorn

An edtech scale-up that continues to grow, ApplyBoard announced $100 million in Series C funding and a $2 billion valuation this month. To discover how ApplyBoard leveraged the Waterloo ecosystem to successfully grow their business, check out their “Made in Waterloo” story.

University of Waterloo and TiVO announce new research partnership

TiVO, the company that brings entertainment together, has partnered with the University of Waterloo to enhance the user-experience for 360° omnidirectional video. This research project aims to improve performance and create more immersive experiences for content consumers and New call-to-actiontakes advantage of the unique research skillset at one of North America’s top technology universities.

OpenText’s shift to a remote future

This month, OpenText made the surprise announcement that they would be closing half of their global offices and implementing a new hybrid model that integrates remote working. The CEO reports that productivity levels have remained stable – and even increased in some areas – while continuing to deliver quality products to their customers. For more information about this decision, read our Q&A with one of the company’s senior leaders.

DarwinAI partners with global aerospace company

In addition to their recent work with the University of Waterloo researching alternate COVID-19 testing methods and their existing partnership with one of the world’s top luxury automotive manufacturers, DarwinAI is now collaborating with a global aerospace leader. Their partnership with Lockheed Martin will look to improve the understanding of AI systems for the defense contractor’s customers.

Companies leading the way for remote working

With work from home becoming the new normal for many businesses, this month we sat down (remotely) with some local leaders for a variety of perspectives on embracing this change. We talked to SkyWatch about their pre-COVID-19 shift to remote work, OpenText on their decision to increase work-from-home moving forward and Artemis Canada about recruitment and people management in a remote future. Stay tuned for more entries in the series.New call-to-action

Medtech hub providing services in fight against COVID-19

As the demand for domestic manufacturing of medical supplies continues to rise, Medical Innovation Xchange has partnered with the Ontario government to provide free advisory services to non-medical manufacturers as they scale production. This follows Premier Doug Ford’s launch of the Ontario Together web portal in March asking Ontario manufacturers to provide supplies to frontline workers.

Ontario government begins loosening restrictions

This month has seen the opening of some non-essential businesses in Ontario with guidelines set in place to ensure the health and safety of customers and workers. This move by the Ontario government is a positive shift in growing the local economy during these unprecedented times.

Growing list of companies supporting Waterloo Region during COVID-19 tops 50

As we continue to see companies evolve in the face of adversity, we are updating our list of companies that are helping locally and globally deal with the effects of COVID-19. This month, we added Systems Plus, Day Dreamer Accessories, Membio, eleven-x, and Swift Components. You can read all the stories here.


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