FedDev Ontario Minister of State Gary Goodyear, and MPs for Kitchener Centre and Kitchener-Waterloo jointly announced $9.7 million in funding to the Kitchener-Waterloo startup ecosystem through the Canada Accelerator and Incubator Program (CAIP) today.
Part of the Federal Government’s ‘Economic Action Plan’, CAIP is a $100 million commitment to help outstanding Canadian accelerators and incubators expand their services to small and medium-sized businesses. While CAIP’s $9.7 million commitment, to be paid out over five years, will be made directly to Communitech, segments of the funding are allocated to Communitech’s partners in the region, including the University of Waterloo Velocity program, the Wilfrid Laurier University LaunchPad program, and the Accelerator Centre. Communitech is the fifteenth incubator and accelerator to receive CAIP funding.
“Today’s announcement will ensure Canada’s promising start-up businesses have the resources they need to grow, innovate and create jobs right here in Ontario,” said Goodyear. “Investing in Communitech is just another example of our government’s commitment to strengthening Canada’s science and technology sector. I’m proud to say that the Government will continue to support Canadian innovation, create jobs, and promote economic growth.”
Steve Currie, Communitech’s VP of Strategy, explained to BetaKit that Communitech’s segment of the funding will in part be dedicated to turning successful early-stage startups from the region into large, sustainable business, a key point of focus since its launch of the Rev program. “The Waterloo Region startup ecosystem has grown tremendously over the past few years, but for us to continue that growth it is absolutely critical that we build the next group of $100M companies,” Currie said. “This funding will be used to help successful startups scale into larger companies.”
“When we looked around globally, we realized there aren’t a lot of programs doing that – so this will be something quite unique,” Currie continued. “But we’ve worked closely with our growth-stage companies to design programming that will help them as they scale their companies.”
Image courtesy Communitech.