SOURCE: Communitech


November 26, 2015 07:00 ET

Google, Communitech, and the University of Waterloo Velocity Deepen Partnership to Support Entrepreneurs

WATERLOO, ON--(Marketwired - November 26, 2015) - Communitech and the University of Waterloo Velocity program are expanding, as part of a partnership with Google and the Government of Ontario to provide more support to local entrepreneurs in Canada's top tech community.

Communitech and the University will take on Google's current space in the Lang Tannery building, allowing for expanded programming aimed at startups, high-growth companies and corporate innovation. This will also extend the long-standing partnership between Communitech and Google, as Google moves into its new offices at the nearby Breithaupt Block.

"The added space will allow us to help accelerate the growth of high-potential companies, while making more room for startups and our corporate innovation partners," said Communitech CEO Iain Klugman. "This gives us the foundation on which to help build 15 new $100-million companies in the Toronto-Waterloo Region corridor over the next 10 years."

This additional space will provide Communitech with a total of 80,000 square feet, and will allow the University to double the space allocated for its Velocity startup incubator, with a total of 36,000 square feet -- room for up to 120 startups to work.

"Startup companies emerging from the University of Waterloo's entrepreneurship programs are fuelling the growth of the Waterloo Region innovation ecosystem," said Feridun Hamdullahpur, President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Waterloo. "The expanded facilities will allow our Velocity program's software, hardware, and life-sciences startups, currently housed in separate buildings, to grow as a community under one roof, and share insights through peer mentorship."

The expanded workspace and resources available to startups, mean Velocity becomes the largest equity-stake-free startup incubator in North America. Velocity's space will include a wet lab for startups conducting science research, a dedicated workshop for assembling hardware prototypes, and expanded facilities for startup mentorship.

"Communitech, Google and the University of Waterloo are strong, innovative partners who play an integral role in the growth of the Waterloo Region tech sector," said Brad Duguid, Minister of Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure "This significant expansion will help more entrepreneurs build innovative companies, create local jobs and power the Ontario economy into the next generation."

Communitech and Google have also entered a new three-year agreement to strengthen the Google for Entrepreneurs program, and provide more resources to Communitech's Women in Technology initiatives. Through its partnership with Google for Entrepreneurs, Communitech has run four six-month cohorts, providing working space, mentorship and access to Google products to 16 startups. The program will now be augmented with better access to experts at Google Canada and technology-specific experts in Google locations around the world.

The Women in Technology program includes a Peer-to-Peer group, bi-annual networking events, a mentorship program, and has run two successful Women Entrepreneurs Bootcamps. This agreement will provide additional resources to develop further programming.

"We're really excited to extend our support for high calibre tech companies in the Toronto -Waterloo Region corridor through the Google for Entrepreneurs program," said Steven Woods, Google's Senior Director of Engineering in Canada. "With this newly expanded partnership, we look forward to working with the next generation of startups and tech visionaries within this incredibly talented community."

"The Waterloo Region is one of nine North American cities to be part of our Tech Hub Network, which connects entrepreneurs with mentorship, infrastructure and opportunities for investment that will help them grow," added John Lyman, Head of Partnerships and Marketing for Google for Entrepreneurs. "We have had a tremendous partnership over the past two years, and look forward to working with Communitech to strengthen its programs and connections with Silicon Valley even more in the future."

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