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News round-up: Seven great February 2019 stories from Waterloo, Canada

A round-up of business and investment news stories from Waterloo, Canada in February 2019.

There was a lot of exciting news in Waterloo over the last month.

Here are 10 great business and investment stories:

1. BlackBerry is now one of the world’s leading cybersecurity firms

Waterloo-based tech giant BlackBerry announced the acquisition of Cylance, an artificial intelligence and cybersecurity company, for $1.4 billion in mid-February. This acquisition makes BlackBerry – once primarily known as a smartphone innovator – one of the world’s largest cybersecurity firms. We wrote about this story here.

2. Waterloo’s tech sector is very diverse

A new report seeking to shine “a light on the Waterloo region technology scene” using publicly-available company information has found that the local tech community is exceptionally diverse, operating in more than 60 different sectors of the economy. We wrote about this report’s findings, and its methodology, here.

3. Canada’s manufacturing supercluster plan is coming into focus

The Advanced Manufacturing Supercluster – a $230 million federal government project – now has a new name (Next Generation Manufacturing Canada, or NGen for short) and the plan for how it will spend its money is becoming clearer. The majority of the fund will reimburse companies looking to incorporate advanced technologies. Read more here.

4. The University of Waterloo leads the way in tech entrepreneurship

A new report from the Impact Centre at the University of Toronto has found that the University of Waterloo (UWaterloo) produces nearly twice as many tech founders as any other Canadian school. The school turned out 18.6% of all tech founders in Canada. You can read the subscription-only story on The Logic or check out the full report here.

5. BlackBerry invests $300+ million in automotive technology

Their $1.4 billion cybersecurity acquisition wasn’t the only big announcement BlackBerry made in February – they’re also investing $310.5 million into autonomous vehicle technology. The investment was supported with an additional $40 million from Canada’s federal government. Read the full story here.

6. The University of Waterloo is one of the world’s top Computer Science schools

The new annual rankings for universities and university programs were released in February, and highlighted the UWaterloo’s prowess in Computer Science. Ranked as having Canada’s top Computer Science program, UWaterloo also made a significant jump to 22nd in the world. This isn’t a surprise for those familiar with UWaterloo’s tech credentials – the New York Times called it “one of the world’s best technology schools.” Read the full story.

7. TextNow celebrates its 10th anniversary with significant growth announcement

The world’s first cloud-based phone carrier, Waterloo-based TextNow, reached a major milestone in February – it’s now 10 years old. It has plenty to celebrate. The company has announced that they now have 14 million monthly active users in the United States and Canada, and in 2018 their app was downloaded 50 million times. Read the full story.

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