Google Canada and startup-enabler Communitech today announced a partnership to help mentor and grow Canadian-led technology companies. As part of the partnership, Google employees will act as technical advisors and mentors to help startups working with Communitech in the Waterloo Region.
In fact, Google Canada and Communitech plan to open a new “digital collaboration space” just for startups. The place will host startups in the early stages of their involvement with Communitech’s Hyperdrive initiative, a $30+ million incubator program, and connect them to Google’s Global Entrepreneurial Network and the Google Developer Network.
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The placement of the space makes sense: it will be located adjacent to both the Hyperdrive and Google Kitchener-Waterloo offices. In other words, it will give startups in the area a central location for getting off the ground.
“At Google, we are dedicated to supporting Canadian technology entrepreneurship to help mentor and grow a new generation of successful Canadian-led technology companies,” Google Canada’s Director of Engineering, Steve Woods, said in a statement. “Start-ups fuel innovation and play a key role in growing Canada’s digital economy – that’s why it’s critically important to nurture the amazing entrepreneurial talent here as a way of growing our start-up community.”
It’s not a big coincidence that Google has an office in Kitchener-Waterloo. First of all, University of Waterloo has excellent engineering and computer science programs that has resulted in a massive tech community. Secondly, it’s where Research In Motion is headquartered, and as RIM falters, Google and other tech companies in the region offer engineers and programmers alternative positions.
I worked at RIM for a year, and I can safely say that some who have left are now in the startup world. Waterloo is a great place to start, not only because of the points mentioned above, but because it is so close to Toronto, Ontario’s capital and Canada’s largest city.
Image credit: maplerose