Kitchener City Council endorsed a report recommending that $300,000 from the Kitchener Economic Development Reserve Fund should be allocated to Communitech.
The funding will specifically help Communitech — which is currently expanding to accommodate growth stage companies — make physical improvements to its space. Rod Regier, Kitchener’s executive director of economic development, says that investing in Communitech is integral to the city’s economic development plan to create high wage employment growth.
“In 2010, council supported a $500,000 initial investment in The Hub — contributing to Communitech’s success in supporting 2,296 startup companies and creating up to 7,500 new jobs across Kitchener and Waterloo Region,” he said. “Within five years, Communitech has helped develop Kitchener’s reputation as a critical node in one of the most dynamic startup ecosystems in the world, and the companies it has supported have attracted over $773.3 million in capital to our Region.”
Communitech’s full request to Kitchener council was for $1.5 million to be provided in instalments of $300,000 per year over five years. Staff recommended approval of the first year of funding to allow for the immediate renovation of space necessary to allow the expansion program to move forward. City council said that it would consider the remainder of Communitech’s request as part of its 2017 budget process, dependent on successful demonstration of other partnerships, progress on implementation, and receipt of audited financial statements.
“The city has been a critical partner in our success — providing seed investment to build the Communitech Hub, which has allowed us to help tech companies start and grow downtown,” said Iain Klugman, CEO of Communitech. “This new investment will help us expand our footprint at the Tannery, giving us much-needed additional training, co-working, and innovation lab space to help those companies scale, and to attract larger enterprise companies to the region.”