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November Wrap-Up: Reports, rankings, medtech and trade

A round-up of business and investment news stories from Waterloo, Canada in November 2020.

This month featured the release of the Deloitte Fast 50 List, CBRE’s Canadian Scoring Tech Talent report, Startup Genome’s fintech ecosystem report and, of course, Waterloo EDC’s year-to-date results.

Here are the top stories from November 2020:

Waterloo companies take top two spots on Deloitte Fast 50

Waterloo-based Intellijoint Surgical and ApplyBoard were the first two companies on Deloitte’s list of the fastest-growing Canadian tech companies for the second year in a row. Joining them on the list were Avidbots (#8), Auvik Networks (#12), Bonfire (#30) and (#48). Another five companies on the list have operations in Waterloo, which means 22% of the Fast 50 are located here.

Waterloo also had five companies on the Deloitte Fast 500, which ranks tech companies across North America.

Waterloo ranks #1 in Canada for tech talent quality in new CBRE report

Waterloo was highlighted as the best city in Canada for tech talent quality in CBRE’s annual “Canada Scoring Tech Talent” report. The report also highlighted Waterloo’s tech employment growth and real estate costs, all of which helped the region secure the fourth overall spot for tech talent in Canada. This is the third consecutive year that Waterloo has topped the tech talent quality ranking.

Canada’s top tech university and the highest tech talent density in North America, it’s no surprise the region stands out.

New investment in Waterloo soared in 2020, despite the pandemic

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, Waterloo EDC announced in November that it had attracted more than $221 million and 400+ new jobs to the region in 2020. The annual Waterloo EDC Public Information Meeting covered the results in more detail.

These investment numbers only account for deals Waterloo EDC was directly involved with and don’t include Amazon’s expansion into Cambridge or Google’s announced expansion in Kitchener, both of which will bring new opportunities to Waterloo Region.

University of Waterloo announces plans to launch medtech innovation centre

The University of Waterloo (UWaterloo) is partnering with the City of Kitchener to launch a $35 million medtech centre that will focus on health innovation and medical technology. The new centre will include a wet lab for chemical/materials science, four biosafety labs and product development space.

The 90,000-square-foot building will also house UWaterloo’s Velocity startup incubator, which just surpassed $1 billion in total funding.

Canada and the UK strike post-Brexit deal

Canada and the United Kingdom reached an interim trade deal that will extend free trade between the two countries once the UK leaves the European Union. The deal maintains Canada’s G7-leading global access through free trade deals and ensures that Canadian exporters will continue to have premium, tariff-free access to UK markets. Negotiations for a permanent free trade agreement will continue in 2021.

The Toronto-Waterloo Corridor is one of the world’s top fintech ecosystems

The Toronto-Waterloo region was named as one of the top fintech ecosystems globally in a new report by Startup Genome, coming in at number 12. The report highlighted Toronto-Waterloo’s startup density and performance as well as the region’s strength in AI, big data and analytics and life sciences. Fintech investment in the region has grown significantly over the past five years, including an increasing amount of interest from US-based VCs.

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