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September Wrap-up: Waterloo gets global recognition

A round-up of business and investment news stories from Waterloo, Canada in September, 2021.

Waterloo made its mark on international and national stages in September.

This month, Waterloo excelled in reports from Startup Genome, the Globe and Mail and QS World University Rankings, while strategic partnerships elevated the tech and automotive ecosystem to new heights.

Here are the top stories from September 2021:

UWaterloo students among the world’s most employable

Graduates from the University of Waterloo are among the most employable candidates for jobs. UWaterloo rose to 24th – top 5% – in the world in the 2022 QS Graduate Employability Rankings.

786 academic institutions were evaluated and UWaterloo saw year-over-year gains across all indicators, such as employer reputation, alumni outcomes, graduate employment rate and more. Check out our coverage of UWaterloo’s unstoppable march up the overall academic rankings here.

Toronto-Waterloo surges to top 15 in Global Ecosystem Rankings

Toronto-Waterloo’s startup ecosystem scored 14th in the world, according to Startup Genome’s annual report. The ranking points to three factors that accelerated the Toronto-Waterloo Corridor’s global startup success in 2021: performance, funding and talent.

The report also recognized Toronto-Waterloo as the top tech ecosystem in Canada, the 7th in North America and one of the fastest growing and densest innovation clusters in the world.

Waterloo tech company funding jumps 387%

Waterloo-based tech companies raised an astounding $749.7 million in Q2 2021. The data, reported in September by Hockeystick and [b], represents a 387% jump from the same period in 2020. The results were achieved with just seven new investment deals, showcasing the potential of Waterloo’s fastest growing tech companies.

Waterloo-based companies give dazzling performance

Several Waterloo companies were named in the Globe and Mail’s annual report, Canada’s Top Growing Companies. Canadian Shield – manufacturer of medical equipment and PPE – led the way, clocking in at 4th place with 3-year revenue growth of 10,139%.

Other notable mentions from Waterloo include the Ahava Digital Group (83rd), Rapid Novor Inc. (113th), Prime Automation Inc. (149th) and Tulip (183rd). For the full report, click here.

Partnership helps growth-stage companies scale

A new partnership between the Lazaridis Institute’s ScaleUp program and fintech company Boast.AI will help growth-stage technology companies scale more quickly in Waterloo. Companies will have faster access to capital, non-dilutive government tax incentives, expanded networks and expert mentors.

Regarding the partnership, Boast.AI’s CEO and co-founder Alex Popa said, “Aligning with Lazaridis ScaleUp is a perfect fit to support Canada’s next generation of global innovators.”

UWaterloo and Magna International join forces in $1.6M partnership

A new $1.6-million partnership between UWaterloo and manufacturing giant Magna International will help ensure the safety and security of autonomous vehicles around the world. The joint R&D project will enable the reuse of developed software and spur the development of new features and products.

Jim Quesenberry, Director of R&D at Magna, said, “The importance of safety in automotive systems cannot be overstated… Magna is excited to work with the University of Waterloo and the deep knowledge and expertise that they bring to this initiative.”

Communitech announces new strategy

Communitech’s new direction, True North Strategy, will help founders and their teams grow faster and bigger in record time, by analyzing data and leveraging trust as Canada’s competitive advantage globally. With the recent acquisition of Prospect – the country’s largest tech job board – Communitech is well on its way to achieving its goals.

So, you’re interested in cybersecurity?

Cybersecurity is one of Waterloo’s strongest clusters, thanks to the 100+ companies working in embedded security, cryptography, risk assessment and threat detection. This month, two interesting interviews about the cybersecurity scene in Waterloo were released.

Marjorie Dickman, BlackBerry’s Chief Government Affairs and Public Policy Officer, spoke with Innovation Canada about the Cyber.Right.Now campaign and Canada’s future as a global cybersecurity leader – a future in which Waterloo and its reputation as a world-class centre of cybersecurity innovation play a large role.

Dinah Davis, vice-president of R&D at Arctic Wolf, joined IT World Canada to discuss security and the origins of the new unicorn’s company name.

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