A project announced this week will provide a workspace and innovation center for hardware technology companies in Canada and draw entrepreneurs from around the world to a facility in the heart of Waterloo, an ecosystem already known for innovation.
Ontario’s Waterloo Region boasts the densest collection of tech startups outside of Silicon Valley. With 475,000 square feet on Glasgow Street in Kitchener’s Innovation District, Catalyst137 will be the largest Internet of Things innovation center in the world.
“Innovation is thriving in Kitchener-Waterloo,” said Kitchener Mayor Berry Vrbanovic. “Catalyst is yet another example of the community coming together to provide a place to nurture that innovation and help spread the success that so many here have experienced. There is nowhere else in the world that can match this area for the mix of resources supporting such a variety of technological advancement.”
Projected to cost $55 million CAD, Catalyst137 has the support of real estate investment firm Voisin Capital and Toronto-based real estate giant Osmington, which is leading the re-development of Toronto’s Union Station, one of the largest revitalization projects in the world.
“Connected devices and the Internet of Things are transforming the world,” said Frank Voisin, president of Voisin Capital. “Until now, there hasn’t been a single unifying place for hardware-focused companies to work together. Catalyst137 fills that need.”
“I am continuously amazed by the brilliant innovation coming out of Kitchener-Waterloo,” said Osmington president Lawrence Zucker. “I am honored to support this project, which will help lead the world into the next generation of technology and demonstrate the amazing things Canada is capable of.”
The finished space will feature hundreds of sensors to make the building and streetscape hackable so that Catalyst137 can act as both a showcase of the region’s technical ingenuity and a sandbox for new innovation. Catalyst137 will offer area businesses options to join a community of startup peers and will lease office spaces ranging from 3,000 to 50,000 square feet.
Once completed in the summer of 2017, Catalyst137 will be located just three kilometers southeast of the University of Waterloo and about one kilometer west of Google’s new Kitchener headquarters and Communitech, the region’s technology hub and accelerator center.