Trudeau announces $52M investment in tech hubs, expected to create 18,000 jobs
Published Tuesday, April 16, 2019 11:34AM EDT
The prime minister was in Kitchener on Tuesday morning, where he made a major announcement pledging millions to a local innovation hub.
Justin Trudeau announced the government would be investing $52.4 million in three hubs for a new program called the Scale-Up Platform, designed to help Ontario start-up companies grow. Kitchener’s Communitech will receive a little more than a third of that funding at $18 million.
“Canada’s strong start-up culture makes our country one of the most innovative and prosperous places in the world,” Trudeau says. “Today’s announcement is about making sure Canadian businesses have the support they need to thrive, compete globally and create jobs from coast to coast to coast.”
The platform will bring together Communitech, Investment Ottawa and Toronto’s MaRS Discovery District. These three innovation hubs will combine resources to help scale up 30 Ontario companies and help them achieve revenues of at least $100 million by 2024.
The program is expected to create 18,000 jobs, attract $4 billion in investment and create $11 billion in revenues.
Ian Klugman, president and CEO of Communitech says that tech companies generating over $100 million “will be Canada’s next generation of anchor firms.”
“We need to pool our expertise, our networks and our resources to help them compete globally and create good-paying jobs for Canadians,” he says.
Thousands of other companies will get service to a smaller degree as well.
Companies participating in the platform will get coaching, advice and access to capital, talent and global markets.
The move is in an effort to continue to foster growth in Canada’s evolving economy, building Ottawa into the Kitchener-Toronto tech corridor, which is one of the top 20 tech clusters in the world.
Trudeau was scheduled to hold a public town hall meeting on Tuesday evening in Cambridge.