Waterloo Region’s tech sector growth trajectory continues this week with a celebration at The Communitech Hub of expansions and job growth – an open house event to be attended this morning by Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty. The celebration marks growth milestones including:
- Google which continues to grow, expanding its current premises by another 11,000+ square feet for a total of 53,656 square feet at The Tannery Building in downtown Kitchener — also home to The Communitech Hub
- Desire2Learn – a learning solutions company in growth mode with 200 job openings — expanding to take over another full floor at the Tannery Building occupying 67,000 square feet in total;
- The University of Waterloo’s VeloCity incubator is moving into a new, expanded 6,500 square foot workspace in The Communitech Hub;
- The Communitech Hub is celebrating the grand opening of another 14,000 square feet of space, bringing its total floorspace to 44,000 square feet.
“Ontario’s innovation engine is on full throttle as we can see today at this celebration in Waterloo Region,” said Premier McGuinty. “Innovation programs that the Province has supported including contributing to The Communitech Hub which opened just 18 months ago, are working for all Ontarians — building a stronger economy for Ontario families.”
“We’re excited about the results that are being attained in Waterloo Region, driving innovative technologies, bringing those innovations to market and creating companies and jobs in Ontario, and we congratulate those here today who are in expansion mode and contributing to the vibrancy of the tech sector,” said Iain Klugman, CEO of Communitech.
Since first announcing its move to The Tannery, Google has doubled in size and continues to be one of the top engineering offices in Kitchener-Waterloo, driving tremendous growth and innovation worldwide.
“Kitchener-Waterloo is a great place to work and invest, and we are proud to be a part of the community, and a partner with Communitech to support not only our growth but the entire community’s success,” said Steve Woods, Engineering Director at Google.
Desire2Learn develops innovative solutions to help transform the learning experience and create a world where everyone has the opportunity to excel. The company is realizing phenomenal growth, with nearly 400 employees and more than 8 million users worldwide.
“We’re thrilled to be an active contributor to the innovation being generated in this Region,” commented John Baker, President and CEO, Desire2Learn Incorporated. “The outstanding products and services coming out of the Waterloo Region technology sector are having a dramatic impact around the globe.”
The University of Waterloo’s VeloCity program aims to develop Canada’s next generation of successful entrepreneurs. Students take their first steps in building startups and professional networks while living in the VeloCity residence on campus and then move up to the next level at the VeloCity workspace in The Communitech Hub.
“The grand opening of the new VeloCity workspace is a critical milestone in our continued efforts to foster the next generation of University of Waterloo mobile, media and web entrepreneurs,” said Mike Kirkup, Director of VeloCity. “The expanded workspace will enable us to increase collaboration, creative thinking and competition to help VeloCity companies turn their ideas into businesses.”
In 2009 the Province of Ontario invested $26.4 million into Communitech’s $107 million digital media strategy, which is anchored at The Communitech Hub. In just two short years, job and company creation has significantly accelerated since the Province’s investment, said Klugman. Within 18 months, demand from companies and requirements for support services drove the need for the current expansion. Today’s event was held in the newly renovated additional space.
Last week, Communitech reported that 450 startup jobs and 300 new companies emerged in Waterloo 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 fuel innovation during 2011.