While the Kitchener-Waterloo area of Ontario, Canada may not come to mind when you think of booming tech hubs – it is currently blossoming into one of the more vibrant technology start-up communities in Canada, it has even been dubbed “the Silicon Valley of the North”.
The Waterloo region, nicknamed the twin cities, is home to around 400,000 people close to 70 miles west of Toronto. The territory has been known as a market hub for the German farming communities. A fairly new start-up, Research in Motion (RIM), recently grabbed international attention with its work pertaining to BlackBerry cellphones. This set off a tidal wave of innovation, influencing start-up growth that can compare to Austin, Texas or Boulder, Colorado.
RIM, which is currently doing business under the trade name BlackBerry, has gone through its rough times but none-the-less has greatly impacted the Kitchener-Waterloo start-up community. Currently, the region is home to 1,000 start-ups, most that have an emphasis on mobile technologies. According to USA Today, the regions success is the result of its attractive costs compared with larger centers, its proximity to the industrial base of nearby Toronto, and the benefit of being home to University of Waterloo, one of the country’s leading engineering schools.
“It’s fairly inexpensive to build a company in Kitchener-Waterloo,” said Adam Belsher to USA Today. Belsher is the CEO of Magnet Forensic, whose forensic software helps investigators retrieve data erased from hard drives.
A spirit of cooperation has helped to develop the community, he continued. “Here, it’s not that everyone is competing for software engineers. People just want to help you out.”
Source: USA Today