Startups, scale-ups, unicorns, global giants – you name it, Waterloo’s tech ecosystem has it. Our diverse ecosystem is constantly buzzing with new businesses working on the cutting edge.
Yes, we have a major Google office, as well as substantial SAP, Oracle NetSuite and McAfee offices. Yes, OpenText started here and so did BlackBerry. But what makes Waterloo’s tech ecosystem so vibrant is the hundreds of homegrown tech companies that have come along in the last decade or so.
They don’t just pop up out of nowhere, either. It takes a community to grow a tech company, and community is Waterloo’s specialty.
Here’s a list of five hubs, incubators, and accelerators powering innovation in Waterloo:
Canada’s top innovation hub, Communitech has been helping Canadian tech founders start, develop, and succeed for 25 years. Whether it’s through networking, selling, accessing growth financing, or recruiting the best and brightest, Communitech’s 1200 members provide support to companies every step of the way. Members include startups, scale-ups and major companies like Deloitte, TD Bank and Interac.
This tech super charger is the spot for key players in Waterloo’s community to come together in a collaborative environment and join our vibrant tech ecosystem.
Created by the University of Waterloo, Canada’s top university for founders, Velocity supports and guides early-stage entrepreneurs in building companies that scale. From the start, this incubator provides new founders with connections, business expertise, space to develop their team and products and other resources to help their innovative ideas come to life. Having incubated 400+ companies and created 5000+ jobs, they’ve nurtured a strong pipeline of founders, including ApplyBoard and Faire, two of Waterloo’s unicorns.
They bill themselves as Canada’s most productive tech incubator for a reason.
Oh, and they’re in the process of undergoing a massive expansion that will add substantial new laboratory space in addition to startup desks.
The Accelerator Centre, Canada’s #1 private business accelerator, offers community incubation and acceleration programs to help companies actualize their ideas quickly and efficiently. Funding, access to partners with expertise, support, an extensive selection of customizable opportunities – Canada’s top accelerator has all the tools needed to power successful businesses.
Under the leadership of CEO Jay Krishnan, the Accelerator Centre has also set its sights on helping client companies access a global market and, simultaneously, has become a connection between global companies and the Canadian market.
Medical Innovation Xchange (MIX)
Canada’s first industry-led medtech hub, Medical Innovation Xchange – also known as MIX –was created to bridge the resource gap facing medical technology startups. With five companies in residence and 7000+ patients served, this hub of like-minded companies shares the same vision of advancing their products to support patients and improve the Canadian health industry.
They provide financial management tactics, marketing strategies and world-class mentoring from other medtech businesses with the goal of creating innovative health solutions and growing more successful medtech companies.
Google for Startups
Google for Startups is a 10-week accelerator program for high potential Seed to Series A Canadian tech startups, and ours is the first one in Canada.
Select founders receive the resources they need to jumpstart their ideas, including deep training and workshops, technical project support, and mentorship from Google experts. Focusing on startups that leverage machine learning and artificial intelligence, this annually recurring program is designed to spotlight the best of Google’s programs and products, and nurture future successes.