Innovation Highway gets Stronger with Toronto-Waterloo Partnership

Communitech, the Digital Media Zone at Ryerson University (DMZ) and OneEleven announced yesterday a reciprocal agreement that provides member companies access to one other’s facilities and services.

The announcement will continue to strengthen the Toronto-Waterloo technology corridor which has also been tagged the Innovation Highway.

Communitech member companies will now be able to access space and resources at the DMZ and OneEleven when they are in Toronto. Similarly, when member companies from the DMZ and OneEleven are in the Waterloo Region, they will have access to Communitech.

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Communitech is an innovation center in Waterloo Region, supporting tech companies at all stages of their growth and development.

The Digital Media Zone offers early-stage tech startups the resources required to accelerate their growth and connect with customers in downtown Toronto.

Created by OMERS Ventures, OneEleven is a community of high-growth data-driven startups in Toronto.

According to OMERS Ventures CEO John Ruffolo, 90% of the companies OMERS Ventures sees is coming from about five key areas of innovation: Vancouver, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto and Kitchener-Waterloo. “If we take a look at these areas even further, the corridor between Kitchener-Waterloo and Toronto accounts for 50-60% of all the innovation activity happening in this country,” explained Ruffolo.

For Ruffolo, the success and failure of innovation in this country is rooted in how well Toronto and Kitchener-Waterloo do within this area. And strengthening these two nodes will start to impact other areas of the country.

“Toronto and Waterloo Region ecosystems are very complementary and it makes perfect sense for us to draw on our shared resources,” said Valerie Fox, Executive Director at the Digital Media Zone at Ryerson University. “Our collaboration within the Toronto-Waterloo corridor offers entrepreneurs a new way to access a broader pool of customers, talent, financing and mentorship.”