What is an ‘Innovation Corridor’?
Innovation Corridor is a place where entrepreneurs, ideas, innovation, talent pools, research universities, brand power, start-ups, incubators, and great minds thrive to make a bigger and better future.
The Toronto-Waterloo Innovation Corridor – is a supercluster for all those aspiring tech entrepreneurs and tech enthusiasts who want to make a career in the tech field. It is one of North America’s dynamic tech hubs. The corridor has been consistently producing some of the best technical talent, entrepreneurs with game-changing ideas, and round-the-clock development in the tech industry. It boasts off with top research universities, technical colleges, big corporate headquarters, R&D centers, venture capital, and a major airport along with a diverse population.
“It is the Silicon Valley of Canada.”
Ben Baldwin the founder of The Founder City Project said, “To meet Toronto’s talent demands, we’ve created an ecosystem-wide peer support network for founders and teams, where people are trained to help each other develop, retain, and attract diverse talent”.
The Toronto-Waterloo Corridor is the biggest tech cluster after Silicon valley housing more than 15,000 tech companies, 5,000 plus start-ups, and employing more than 300,000 employees. With the majority working in tech companies, the corridor is as powerful as Silicon Valley and has a greater density than New York, Boston, and Seattle.
The best of the workforce
It produces some of the best talent, with 423,000 students studying across 16 post-secondary institutions. It has Canada’s largest engineering school with top computer science programs, top business schools (three of the top five), and the world’s largest co-operative education program. Co-op education is an experimental program where students get 2 years of work experience along with an undergraduate degree. CBRE’s Scoring Tech Talent Report stated that Toronto is the fastest-growing talent market for tech in North America.
It houses some of the big tech corporations like Google, Shopify, IBM, SAP, Ubisoft, Oracle and many more.
The vantage point for B2B and B2C
The Toronto-Waterloo Corridor is a strategic location for B2B and B2C businesses. It is right in between America’s Eastern Seaboard and Midwest making it convenient for all flying across from all tech hubs like Boston, New York City, Chicago, Pittsburgh, Detroit, and Columbus. The B2C companies have access to more than 150 million consumers within a day’s drive.
At the center of the Corridor is the Toronto Pearson International Airport, which is the largest airport in Canada and one of the busiest international travel hubs in North America. The corridor is also connected by Canada’s largest superhighway and regional rail network.
The land of the Immigrants
What makes Canada strong is its diversification. Toronto has one of the largest diverse workforces in the world. Canada being one of the friendly countries on the planet has some of the best and easy-to-get tech-related work permit and visa programs. Due to which more than 40% of the workforce are foreign residents.
The Toronto-Waterloo Corridor is one of the thriving ecosystems with a different range of businesses thriving in this hub. Toronto is one of the largest financial hubs in the world with major business houses located here. Apart from tech, it is also home to manufacturing, real estate, R&D, and many more. Waterloo houses a world-class tech hub for automation and robotics. The diversity in this ecosystem comes in all shapes and size making it ideal for entrepreneurs.
Startup Genome Report
The Startup Genome Report stated that the Toronto-Waterloo Corridor has become one of the top FinTech ecosystems in the world.
The report also talks about how Artificial Intelligence, big data and analytics, and life sciences are on the rise in the corridor. The Ontario province has allocated $350 million for the development of AI, 5G, autonomous vehicles, and other technologies. Major tech companies like Google and Uber are having AI research and development centers in the corridor. The investment in Artificial Intelligence is mainly driven by CIFAR, the Vector Institute, and the Waterloo Artificial Intelligence Institute.