Stephen Harper visits Kitchener, announces funding for tech start-ups
Government pledges $100 million over 5 years to 15 companies across Canada
Prime Minister Stephen Harper was in Kitchener Friday, touring tech incubator Communitech and announcing the federal government's commitment to help fund second stage start-ups and hardware developers in Waterloo Region.
Communitech has now qualified for funding from a previously announced five-year $100-million Canada Accelerator and Incubator Program, which will support startup companies that have achieved early success and are growing into medium-sized enterprises.
"I've seen a lot of really interesting innovations and a lot of really interesting and smart young people who are working on them," said Harper during his visit.
"These are advanced products that will really be driving the jobs of the future," he said.
Communitech qualified for the funding through a joint proposal process with the University of Waterloo's Velocity, Wilfrid Laurier University's Launchpad and the Accelerator Centre. Exactly how much money Communitech will receive was not revealed.
Kitchener-based Clearpath Robotics is one of the second stage start-ups that could benefit from the funding. The company was launched through the Accelerator Centre five years ago.
"We started with four people, a garage and 50 bucks," said Clearpath Robotics spokesperson Meghan Hennessey.
"Now we've moved into a 12,000 square foot space with 50 employees and over the next year we're actually looking to double that again."
Clearpath is hopeful the funding will enable Communitech to offer education initiatives like mentorships or a management training program, Hennessey said.