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Welcome to Kitchener: A Vibrant & Innovative Tech Community

It's the region's largest city and a popular destination for foreign direct investment. Come along as we explore Kitchener – from businesses to schools to attractions and more.

Nestled in the heart of Waterloo Region lies the city of Kitchener, a bustling urban centre that has made a name for itself as a leading destination for tech and innovation.

Home to a diverse mix of world-renowned tech companies, promising startups and top-tier accelerators, Kitchener is a city that is teeming with opportunity.

As Canada’s third fastest-growing community, Waterloo Region has seen impressive growth and development over the years – part of that growth is happening in Kitchener, where you’ll find towering new residential buildings and cranes across the horizon.

In this article, we’ll explore what makes Kitchener unique, from its thriving tech scene to its family-friendly attractions and amenities. Join us as we turn the spotlight on Kitchener, a city that is setting the pace for the future of innovation and growth in Canada.

About Kitchener

Kitchener is the largest city in the Waterloo Region, with more than 240,000 residents, a popular downtown core, plenty of green space and several internationally known tech companies. The city offers several advantages for companies that are looking to locate, relocate or expand in our region.

Known for its rich industrial heritage and entrepreneurial spirit, Kitchener boasts a world-class tech ecosystem strengthened by its vibrant startup culture, proximity to innovation accelerators designed to help companies grow and commercialize their products and easy access to top tech talent.

Kitchener City Hall


Big Brands

Kitchener is a popular destination for foreign direct investment. Several familiar names, including Google, EPAM Systems and most recently, Meta IT have chosen to expand here, citing the region’s high-quality talent, innovation ecosystem and collaborative community as reasons why.

Google’s office in Kitchener is one of the company’s largest engineering hubs outside of the US, with thousands of employees working on a range of products and projects. Steve Woods, the former Senior Engineering Director at Google Canada, said that “the talent pipeline here is world-class quality with better costs, retention rates and collaborative culture than anywhere in North America.”

EPAM Systems, a leading digital transformation services and product engineering company, opened its Canadian headquarters in Kitchener because of the breadth of up-and-coming engineering, the existing tech talent pool and the startup vibe in the region.

Two other notable tech companies – Oracle NetSuite and Enlightened – also have offices located in Kitchener. Oracle NetSuite’s Kitchener office plays an integral role in the company’s goal of expanding its network of research and development and building software solutions for ERP, human capital management and supply chain management.

Enlightened, a leading property technology company, set up shop in Kitchener to create a hub for technical product development teams to produce innovative smart building IoT sensors, data and software applications.

Stefan Schwab, CEO of Enlightened, illustrates how Kitchener’s tech ecosystem will help their company thrive: “We look forward to further tapping into the rich talent base in the Waterloo and Kitchener area to bolster our product innovation.”

" We look forward to further tapping into the rich talent base in the Waterloo and Kitchener area to bolster our product innovation. "

Stefan Schwab

CEO of Enlighted

Homegrown Success Stories

While many big brands have chosen to re-locate or expand here, Kitchener is home to several companies that were cultivated by the region’s tech ecosystem like ApplyBoard, D2L, Vidyard and Miovision.

ApplyBoard was founded in 2015 by three brothers who wanted to help international students navigate the process of applying to Canadian colleges and universities. Fast-forward eight years, and ApplyBoard is a well-recognized tech unicorn in the education technology industry, valued at $4B and ranked by Deloitte as one of the fastest-growing tech companies in Canada.

D2L is another powerhouse in the education technology space that got its start in Kitchener. The company has evolved from a software development consulting firm into an online learning platform for higher education and K-12 schools. Today, the company is considered one of the top influential learning platforms in the learning management system market, serving more than 20M learners in over 30 countries.

Vidyard, a well-known name in Kitchener’s tech community, has evolved from a small startup to an exciting scale-up whose online video marketing platform is used by over 12M people and 160,000 companies.

A provider of intelligent transportation solutions and a leader in the sustainable tech industry, Miovision continues to grow and thrive in Kitchener. The local tech company is headquartered at Calayst137, an innovation hub devoted to Internet of Things (IoT) businesses, and recently scored $260M in funding to fuel its growth.

For a longer list of businesses in the region, visit our Business Directory.

Innovation & Learning Hubs

While the big brands and homegrown companies generate lots of buzz in Kitchener, its vibrant tech ecosystem wouldn’t be possible without the innovation hubs such as Communitech, Velocity and the SDG Factory and one of the region’s three academic institutions, Conestoga College.

Communitech is Canada’s leading innovation hub, serving 1,200 tech-driven companies, as well as leading entrepreneurs and innovators. The tech supercharger helps founders start and scale their businesses by connecting them with peers, coaches, public and private partners and other resources.

A fixture in Kitchener’s innovation ecosystem, Velocity is an incubator for early-stage, pre-seed tech startups backed by the University of Waterloo. It’s one of the most successful pre-seed and seed incubators in Canada – with $4.3B raised by founders to date – and has launched several successful companies including ApplyBoard, Faire and Bridgit.

The SDG Idea Factory is Kitchener’s newest innovation incubator. A social entrepreneurship hub, the space was designed to allow entrepreneurs, community leaders and like-minded individuals to innovate, collaborate and activate sustainability goals to build a stronger, more sustainable Kitchener.

The innovation ecosystem here is supported by Conestoga College, a leading polytechnic institution in the region. Its business school, a magnet for international talent, is also located here in the heart of downtown Kitchener. Ranked as one of Canada’s top-3 trade schools, Conestoga College is one of the fastest-growing colleges in Ontario and has a reputation for producing work-ready talent in technology, which greatly contributes to the local business ecosystem.

Local universities have also established satellite campuses in the downtown core. The University of Waterloo’s Integrated Health Campus is located here, which includes the School of Pharmacy and the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine, a partnership with McMaster University. Wilfrid Laurier University’s Faculty of Social Work is right around the corner.

Velocity and Communitech

Attractions & Amenities

Kitchener is more than just a place to work. It’s a great place to live and play for employees and their families. In the summertime, nature-lovers can enjoy walking along the beautiful Grand River or cycling on one of our winding community trails in the summertime.

During the cold winter months, people can congregate to ski or snowboard at Chicopee or bundle up to skate at the downtown City Hall rink. Sports fans can watch our OHL hockey team, the Kitchener Rangers, take on competitors at The Aud.

Annual events like KW Oktoberfest and Kitchener Blues Festival bring people together to enjoy music, polka dancing and pretzels.

In the downtown core, there is a vibrant nightlife, delicious cuisine and family-friendly attractions like TheMuseum, the Kitchener Public Library and Centre in the Square.

The ION Light Rail Transit (LRT) system makes it easy for residents and workers to get around the city, with 19 stations conveniently located along the corridor between Kitchener and the city of Waterloo.

Discover Waterloo

Kitchener deserves a round of applause for its thriving tech ecosystem, innovation and learning hubs and future growth potential. And it’s only one of the several exciting possible destinations to grow your business.

Waterloo Region is made up of three cities and four townships, all of which offer unique benefits for business expansion. Conveniently located along Canada’s 401 superhighway, it’s an ideal destination for manufacturing, automotive and technology companies that are looking for room to grow.

Could you see yourself here?

Contact us to learn more about how to locate, re-locate or expand your business in Waterloo.