Why the Waterloo Region is the Heart of Canada’s Technology Triangle

The spotlight continues to shine brightly on Waterloo Region’s fast growing, and successful tech sector. In 2015, Golden Triangle Angel Network (GTAN) worked hard to educate and engage the community on angel investing initiatives. For a refresher, click here to learn more about the #GTAN50 campaign or here for more on the investee company Kik. GTAN is geared up for 2016 as our angel investors continue to work in one of Canada’s strongest tech ecosystems!

Did you know that Waterloo Region has the second-highest density of startups in the world, second only to Silicon Valley? With a population of 550,000 the region is currently home to around 1,100 new ventures. That’s one startup for every 500 people!

There are many reasons for the area’s success, but after working in this community for six years, we at GTAN believe it comes down to two simple truths:

1. Waterloo Region has a highly collaborative and supportive environment.

Early-stage companies in Waterloo Region benefit from a number of key resources, such as Communitech, Velocity, the Laurier Startup Fund and the Accelerator Centre. These programs offer in-house mentorship for entrepreneurs, educational courses and funding access.

Through our involvement in the region, GTAN has had the good fortune to work alongside each of these talented resources. The existence of these resources is a strong indicator of the community’s support behind these company’s and their desire to see their success through to the end. This has led to tremendous success for multiple startups, like Kik, Desire2Learn, BufferBox and Thalmic Labs.

2. Waterloo Region has plenty of education and talent.

The University of Waterloo has more than 30,000 undergraduates, with an internationally admired engineering program. Wilfrid Laurier University has over 16,000 undergraduate students, and is the home of Canada’s top business school. As a whole, the Toronto-Waterloo corridor has roughly 280,000 tech workers. Our angels add to the local talent pool by being successful entrepreneurs who have typically either built their business, professional careers or homes in the region, and are now seeking opportunities to invest in companies in which they can help mentor, support and grow.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau recently remarked that the Waterloo Region hosts “innovation at the cutting edge of the global economy,” which is an indicator of how prominent the area has become.

We are excited to see what 2016 has in store for the Waterloo Region.

Best wishes for a healthy and prosperous year!

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