WATERLOO REGION, ON, Jan. 23, 2012 /CNW/ - Tech sector momentum
continues to grow in Waterloo Region, as Communitech reports that 450
startup jobs and 300 new companies emerged in the Region during 2011,
along with continued hiring in established companies. Companies working
with the Communitech startups team raised over $70 million in funding
from venture capitalists, angel investors and government incentive
programs to spur on innovation during 2011.
The 2011 figures bring results for the past three years to a total of
1,441 new startup jobs and 531 new companies in Waterloo Region. In
addition to startup growth, another 1,000 new jobs were created in
medium to large tech companies.
"These figures are truly remarkable in view of global economic
challenges," said Iain Klugman, CEO of Communitech, the organization
representing 800 tech companies in Waterloo Region. "The growth
trajectory demonstrates that tech innovation is thriving here, with the
support of the tech community and specialty programs that help
companies of all sizes get a toe-hold and grow."
Along with growth comes demand for specialized talent. Desire2Learn, a
learning software company, currently has over 200 job openings to fill;
there continue to be approximately 1,300 tech job openings overall in
the Region. Communitech frequently stages job fairs - anywhere from the
local community to as far away as Vancouver -- to help attract needed
talent to the area. A Waterloo TechVibe recruiting event planned for
Tuesday, January 24th in Waterloo will include more than 30 hiring companies.
The 30,000 square foot Communitech Hub, which houses digital media
initiatives, is already bursting at the seams and is completing a
15,000 square foot addition to meet demand - a success story that has
unfolded in The Hub's first 18 months of operation. Built with support
from the private sector, the Province of Ontario and the Government of
Canada, The Hub has been a catalyst for 165 startup companies to date.
There are more than 400 active startups in the Region making Waterloo
Region on a per capita basis, the startup capital of Canada, Klugman
"And this is not only a great place to start a company -- it's a great
place to evolve and grow a company at any stage of an enterprise's
lifecycle," said Klugman.
Many established tech companies in Waterloo Region have had a year of
growth through acquisitions, such as Descartes Systems Group which
acquired InterCommIT and Telargo; Google which acquired PostRank and
PushLife; Parametric Technology Corp. (now PTC) which acquired MKS; and
Teledyne (now Teledyne DALSA) which acquired DALSA; to name just a
few. And new companies have located in Waterloo such as Electronic
Arts (EA), attracted by the strong tech labour pool and quality of life
in Waterloo Region. OpenText's new CEO Mark Barrenechea is relocating
to Waterloo Region from Silicon Valley to lead Canada's largest
software company which is headquartered here.
2012 promises to continue the growth trend for Waterloo Region with the
completion of the Hub expansion next month, ongoing hiring into the 400
startup companies that will translate into many more jobs in the
Region, and great things on the horizon for established companies, many
of which are also hiring, said Klugman.
Communitech's newest initiative to attract U.S. companies to the Region
is a 'soft-landing' program to enable smooth transitions into the
Waterloo Region tech ecosystem which will seed further growth and job
Communitech offers programs ranging from ensuring high school students
are exposed to the possibility of pursuing a math and science track at
university, to executive coaching for early-stage companies, to its
LevelUp management development programs for small to medium-sized
enterprises. In a recent survey, 91 percent of tech companies rated at
least one program or service offered by Communitech to be "very or
extremely important to them".
Founded by a group of dedicated entrepreneurs in 1997, Communitech is
the regional hub for the commercialization of innovative technologies
supporting and building a Southwestern Ontario tech cluster of more
than 800 companies that now generates more than $25B in revenue.
Communitech supports tech companies at all stages of their growth and
development - from startup companies, to rapidly growing SMEs, to large
global players - to create greater numbers of successful global
businesses for Ontario and for Canada.
SOURCE Communitech Ltd.
For further information:
Shelley Grandy, Sr. PR Advisor, Communitech, 905-866-2656 or firstname.lastname@example.org