Rediscovering Waterloo Region

One of the rewards of growing a cross-border organization promoting trade, investment and entrepreneurship between regions are the discoveries you make. People, places and innovations. One of these discoveries is Waterloo Region in Ontario, Canada.

Growing up in Ontario, I have some childhood memories of Waterloo Region whose major communities are Cambridge, Kitchener and the City of Waterloo. My earliest memory of this now nearly 600,000 strong metro area located 70 miles southwest of Toronto was when I could join my father on a business trip to the region’s dairies. We would always stop for a large plate of wiener schnitzel with extra lemon wedges at one of the many German restaurants in the area – a hallmark of the region’s German heritage. In fact, until September 1st 1916, nearly 100 years ago, the city of Kitchener was named Berlin.

Today’s Waterloo Region is a dynamic and multicultural innovation engine on the North American landscape. Home to the 2nd highest density of start-ups per capita after Silicon Valley, there is a tremendous energy of ideas and innovation fuelled by the University of Waterloo, Wilfrid Laurier University, Conestoga College, 150 research institutes and over 1000 technology firms. Incubators and accelerators nurture and mentor innovation and there is a feeling of collaboration across investor, government, academic and business stakeholders. The community works and plays together.

Waterloo has a lot to offer businesses looking for a new location to expand in North America. An attractive cost of living, a high quality of life, retention rates of engineers that are 2.5-3x that of Silicon Valley, an incredible pool of engineering talent and opportunities for significant R&D savings.  And why not locate where Silicon Valley recruits and within proximity of 200 million people

At MAPLE, we are about building bridges between Southern California and Canada by connecting people & expertise and curating ideas & insights that can help reduce the friction in cross-border growth. We are honored to be working with Waterloo Region Economic Development Corporation to increase the awareness of Waterloo Region within Southern California. And there could not be a better time to get acquainted. In September, the Waterloo Innovation Summit and the AutoTech Symposium are kicking off a season of thought-leadership gatherings.

We’ve put together these infographics to help tell just some of the Waterloo Region story. If you are interested in learning how Waterloo could be the home for your next office, R&D facility, call center – let us know at MAPLE. We’d like to build a bridge for your business. There’s more info at Access Waterloo Excellence.

And I guarantee you’ll love the schnitzel.

Stephen Armstrong is co-founder of MAPLE Business Council, a non-profit senior executive council focused on promoting investment, trade and entrepreneurship between Canada and Southern California. Stephen is principal of The 360 Marketer, a marketing consultancy. For more information on MAPLE, please visit