What’s in Your Water, Waterloo? Startup Legend Praises Canadian City’s Entrepreneurs

Waterloo has made a name for itself on a global scale by punching well above its weight class.

Despite a small population, the scrappy city has been recognized one of the world’s best startup ecosystems. And no, it’s not dependent on Research In Motion to succeed.

Now the founder of Y Combinator, a Silicon Valley accelerator widely considered the world’s best, has given distinct props to the Ontario region.

RELATED: Free Tickets Now Available for Tech Fest Waterloo

In an article published last week in US-based business magazine Fast Company, Paul Graham affirmed that “something is going on in Waterloo because the applications we get from Waterloo students are better than those we get from students of any other university.” That’s major praise coming from a salient figure.

Earlier this month Techvibes reported that Waterloo’s Thalmic Labs would be part of Y Combinator’s Winter 2013 cohort and that they were one of nine companies from the University of Waterloo’s VeloCity Garage program that interviewed for a spot in the current intake.

According to data from Communitech, Waterloo’s tech hub has been thriving in recent years. In 2007, the city hosted 443 technology companies and 66 startups who generated a combined $9 billion. Just five years later, in 2012, a whopping 862 tech firms and 450 startups are generating a staggering $30 billion.