Waterloo EDC Blog

Seven reports that make the case for business expansion in Waterloo

Posted by Waterloo EDC on January 8, 2020

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Every year, organizations around the world release dozens of in-depth reports on a variety of subjects that are central to business expansion, including talent, business growth and immigration.

Due to Waterloo’s diverse economy, top post-secondary institutions, research assets and commercialization supports, our community routinely appears on these lists. To close out 2019, we’re highlighting seven major reports that illustrate why Waterloo is such a strong candidate for business expansion.

This wasn’t easy. To offer this short of a shortlist, we had to remove reports that called Waterloo one of the top Canadian regions for FDI, a report from the OECD that lauded Canada’s immigration policies, a major bank report calling Waterloo a “rising tech superstar city” and another that highlighted the incredible diversity of our tech ecosystem.

Here are the seven reports we chose to highlight from 2019:

1. Deloitte says Waterloo is home to Canada’s three fastest-growing tech companies

The three fastest-growing tech companies in Canada – ApplyBoard, Intellijoint Surgical and Auvik Networks – are located in Waterloo, according to Deloitte’s Technology Fast 50 list. In total, seven companies with a presence in Waterloo made the list, which means that 14% of Canada’s top 50 fastest growing tech companies are growing in our community.New call-to-action

2. CBRE ranks Waterloo #1 for tech talent quality

The annual CBRE “Canada Scoring Tech Talent 2019” report ranked Waterloo fourth overall for tech talent and first in Canada for tech talent quality. We were also top-ranked for “talent quality to cost.” The report also highlighted the significant cost advantages Canadian communities have over their American counterparts and highlighted a phenomenon – the increased focus of tech growth in smaller cities – that we wrote about earlier in the year.

3. Five Waterloo companies on list of potential unicorns

The year kicked off with a report from the University of Toronto’s Impact Centre that identified five Waterloo companies with high-potential to become billion-dollar businesses. Later in the year, they added another Waterloo company – ApplyBoard – and then another local company – Faire – actually achieved a $1 billion valuation.

4. CBRE ranks Waterloo as one of North America’s top “opportunity markets”

The annual CBRE “Scoring Tech Talent 2019” report, which looks at the whole of North America, identified Waterloo as the continent’s third fastest-growing “opportunity market.” Opportunity markets are defined as communities that offer quality labour pools and the affordability necessary to support rapid scalability.

5. Waterloo is one of the fastest-growing communities in Canada

Each year, Statistics Canada releases a list of the fastest-growing communities and, in 2019, it listed Waterloo as Canada’s second fastest-growing urban area. Small-to-midsize communities dominated the top five, while Canada’s biggest cities – Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver – couldn’t crack the top 10.

6. Startup Genome calls Toronto-Waterloo Corridor a world-class startup ecosystem

The annual Global Startup Ecosystem Report from 2019 highlighted the Toronto-Waterloo Corridor’s steady ascent as a tech startup powerhouse. The Toronto-Waterloo Corridor cracked the world’s top 15 ecosystems for the first time in the report’s history.

7. Large Waterloo contingent on the Canadian Business Growth 500 and Startup 50

In the annual Canadian Business Growth 500 and Startup 50 lists seek to highlight Canada’s fastest-growing companies. This year, more than two dozen companies located in Waterloo made an appearance. This includes 15 companies that were founded here and another ten that have joined our community. Impressive numbers, especially considering the fact that Canadian Business only captured companies that applied to be on the list, which means they missed some of the companies Deloitte identified, including ApplyBoard and Vidyard.


Do you want to learn more about the Waterloo community? Contact the Waterloo EDC team! We can provide ecosystem overviews, business listings and data to help with your company’s expansion plans.

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Topics: technology, talent, strategic location