General Business News
For general news about businesses in Waterloo Region that doesn't require it's own thread.
City welcomes the Federation of Canadian Municipalities
March 07, 2012 | City of Kitchener | Link
The City of Kitchener officially welcomes the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM), which is holding its national board meeting in Waterloo Region today through March 10, to discuss municipal priorities, and work to support the development of the federal government’s new long-term infrastructure plan.
FCM is the national voice of Canada’s municipalities, speaking for almost 2,000 cities and communities representing 90 per cent of Canada’s population.
The organization’s successful advocacy with the federal government has brought significant benefits to the Waterloo region over the past five years, including the GST refund and the permanent share of the federal gas tax, which together bring in close to $40 million to the region annually; stimulus funding for municipal infrastructure; and now the federal government’s new long-term infrastructure plan.
“Hosting FCM’s national board meeting is a tremendous opportunity for Waterloo Region - as well as the City of Kitchener - to show the federal government that we are ready to continue working with them to strengthen our economic foundations and protect our quality of life,” said Mayor Carl Zehr. “To do so, we - as a country - need high-quality, efficient public infrastructure – networks that connect companies to customers, workers to jobs, and communities to markets. I look forward to observing the discussions that unfold over the course of the next three days.”
“While hosting the nation’s municipal leaders in our community this week, municipal colleagues will help to inform FCM’s discussions with the federal government about the new long-term infrastructure plan – a plan that must involve all three orders of government and the private sector,” added Coun. Berry Vrbanovic, who is currently serving as president of FCM. “In the lead-up to Budget 2012, these meetings will enable us to continue our advocacy to see the federal government commit to the new plan before current funding programs expire in 2014, and also, to make commitments this year, which will lower investment barriers to rental housing to keep Canada’s economic recovery on track today.”
For more information on FCM, visit http://www.fcm.ca/home.htm
RIMOWA Expands Manufacturing Capabilities With New Cambridge, Ontario Facility
WHO: Luxury luggage brand, RIMOWA expands their Canadian manufacturing footprint with the groundbreaking for their new factory located in Cambridge, Ontario.
WHAT: RIMOWA is building a new 70,000 square foot facility set to be completed in 2013 by Melloul-Blamey Construction Inc. The site will house all of the brands current manufacturing lines in Canada and be home to over 130 employees.
WHERE: 90 Vondrau Drive, Cambridge, ON
WHEN: MARCH 29th, 2012
8:45 AM Press Call Time
9:15 AM Groundbreaking
9:30 AM additional photo-ops
The expansion is indicative of the brand’s opportunity to create more of their high-performance and superior designed cases with the hopes that this capability will translate into more Canadian jobs. On-hand for the groundbreaking will be distinguished guests from the RIMOWA German head office as well as City of Cambridge Mayor Doug Craig and RIMOWA Executive Vice President Carsten Kulcke. “This area is known for manufacturing innovation and we are thrilled to see this investment happen in Cambridge. Rimowa has and will continue to have a great impact on our community and be a shining example of where technology and manufacturing converge to spark innovation,” mentions Mayor Doug Craig. The new building will house the most advanced manufacturing technologies in RIMOWA’s history.
Founded in 1898 by Paul Morszeck in Cologne Germany, RIMOWA is the world’s premier manufacturer of ultra-lightweight yet extremely durable luggage. Today Dieter Morszeck leads the company into its 3rd generation building the highest quality aluminum and polycarbonate luggage throughout the world in the most advanced manufacturing facilities in the industry. The original principals of its founder still hold true today: Superior materials and perfect craftsmanship have made RIMOWA what it is today – A brand for people who are at home en route. RIMOWA has been manufacturing in Cambridge, Ontario since 2008. Available at select fine retailers worldwide including RIMOWA flagship boutiques in Beverly Hills, Honolulu, Las Vegas and Toronto.
Craig Dyer Appointed Chief Financial Officer
March 28, 2012 | Region of Waterloo | Link
Craig Dyer has been appointed the new Chief Financial Officer for the Region of Waterloo.
“Craig brings to the CFO position a strong municipal finance background and an excellent fit with the Region’s organizational values and culture,” said Mike Murray, Chief Administrative Officer. “I’m sure he will build on and enhance the prudent financial management the Region’s Finance Department has always provided.”
Mr. Dyer is currently the Treasurer for the County of Wellington. He assumed that position in 2001, prior to that, he served as Assistant Director of Finance for the City of Guelph, and with Halton Region.
“I am excited to have been selected for such a key position at the Region of Waterloo. I know my years of municipal finance experience will be put to good use at the Region,” said Mr. Dyer. “I am looking forward to working closely with Council, Regional staff and the area municipal treasurers. Municipalities are facing numerous financial challenges, and I am confident that I can contribute to the Region’s continued success.”
With 24 years of municipal government experience, including senior positions at the county, city and regional level, Craig brings a wide range of experience to the position.
“We’re delighted to have attracted someone with Craig’s extensive experience to lead our finance department,” said Councillor Tom Galloway, Chair of the Region’s Administration and Finance Committee. “His years of upper-tier service dealing with a range of complex issues have given him a solid background that will position him well for success at the Region.”
Mr. Dyer has participated in several initiatives at the provincial and local level, including involvement with professional associations such as the Municipal Finance Officers Association and the Ontario Association of County Clerks, Treasurers and Administrators.
The Finance Department is responsible for the Region’s accounting, stores, purchasing, tax policy, budget, performance measurement and risk management programs. The department manages the Region’s annual operating budget of $785 million and annual capital budget of $396 million.
Sale will enable Cambridge aerospace firm to grow
May 7, 2012 | Chuck Howitt | The Record | LINK
CAMBRIDGE – Centra Industries, one of this area’s most successful and rapidly growing aerospace companies, has been sold to Precision Castparts Corp. of Portland, Ore.
While Centra may have a new owner, it will be business as usual at the Cambridge-based company, which has two plants on Cherry Blossom Road.
“Our entire leadership team stays in place, including myself,” Centra president David McIntyre said Monday.
Centra is keeping its name and will act as an “autonomous operation” of Precision Castparts, he added.
The price of the transaction, which was announced Monday and is expected to close before the end of June, was not disclosed.
Kieswetter Demolition and Kieswetter Excavating have moved into the former OSC (Ontario Seed Company) building on Phillip St in Waterloo.
Home Delivery Canada Inc
Childhood friends take booze delivery service across the province
May 9, 2012 | Frances Barrick | The Record | LINK
WATERLOO – A company founded by two childhood friends 25 years ago to do home deliveries of beer and liquor is expanding across the province.
“We were one of the very first companies in Ontario devoted to delivering beer and alcohol,” says David Corriveau, who founded B & D Deliveries Inc. with partner Robert Weber in 1987. The pair grew up in the same Kitchener neighbourhood.
Now they are partners in Home Delivery Canada Inc., a new company that last week launched home delivery of products from The Beer Store and Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO) in 19 cities in Ontario.
“This home delivery will be huge. It is also going to standardize delivery service across the province,” Corriveau says of the new venture.
City of Kitchener announces new CAO
May 22, 2012 | City of Kitchener | Link
The City of Kitchener is pleased to announce that Jeff Willmer has been selected as its new chief administrative officer (CAO).
Willmer has been with the city for a total of 21 years, most recently as deputy CAO of the community services department.
“With so many exciting initiatives occurring throughout Kitchener, we are delighted to have someone with Jeff’s experience, dedication and local knowledge at the helm,” said Mayor Carl Zehr. “Jeff has proven himself to be a very capable and strong leader who empowers and encourages those who are part of his team. As a key participant in developing a renewed collaborative, value-based leadership administrative team, Jeff knows what it takes to lead a diverse organization like the City of Kitchener.”
“This is a very dynamic time in our community, which makes it an exciting time for our organization as well,” said Willmer. “I am grateful for the opportunity to work with such a strong and committed leadership team as we continue our tradition of being a progressive organization with a positive workplace culture.”
In his new role, Willmer will continue to work with a talented management team to provide leadership to more than 2,000 full-time and part-time employees. Among his responsibilities as CAO, Willmer will oversee the city’s newly-established Integrated Planning Centre of Excellence, integrating the updated Strategic Plan: 2011-2014 with business planning, budgeting and performance management.
He will also continue to oversee the planning and development of the city’s future growth within the framework of a new Official Plan. This will include the further re-energizing of our downtown within the framework of Kitchener’s economic development strategy.
Willmer began his employment at the city in 1989 as a planner. With the exception of two years working in the private sector, Willmer had progressively taken on greater responsibilities within the planning division until 2008, when he assumed the role of interim general manager of the development and technical services. He assumed his most recent position of deputy CAO in 2010. In this role, he was a primary member of the corporate leadership team and had responsibility for the bylaw enforcement, building, community programs and services, fire, enterprise, and planning and development divisions.
Willmer was chosen as CAO after an extensive executive search. The city hired search consultants, the Phelps Group, who carried out a national search and, together with city council, conducted thorough candidate interviews. Willmer’s appointment will officially be ratified at a special city council meeting on May 28 - the effective date on which he will begin his new role as CAO.
Pival International Inc. Opens Pival Expedite Headquarters in Cambridge
Mayor Doug Craig to Take Part in the Official Ceremonies
City of Cambridge | Link
Pival Expedite, a division of Quebec-based Pival International Inc., a multi-location warehousing and transportation company, will officially celebrate the establishment of its new Cambridge HQ transportation operations. Pival stands for ‘Partners In Value Added Logistics’.
“This is an exciting opportunity for Cambridge to be home to the centralized dispatch, sales and administration for a dynamic company that has over 1.6 million square feet of warehouse operations in Canada,” says Mayor Doug Craig.
When: Wednesday June 20th at 11:00am (ceremonies begins at 11:30am)
Where: 460 Thompson Drive
Why: Cambridge is known as a strategic location in Southwestern Ontario with close proximity to border points and a solid transportation network of roads, rail and airport access that fosters innovative logistics operations. Pival Expedite is expanding into Cambridge to centralize its dispatch, sales, distribution and administration operations with a view to continued growth and job creation.
Established in 2003, President Mario La Barbera is based at the company’s head office in Dorval, Quebec and says they manage seven distribution centres in Canada. “We serve a number of industries through our expansive warehouse and logistics network and saw an opportunity to grow the transportation business in Ontario. The Expedite Division enables us to expand our transportation business, increases our exposure to a new customer base that will allow us to test the level of demand in this area for another of our Distribution Centers, and provides a strategic transportation link between our Canadian and U.S. client base. Cambridge offered the competitive location.” The company operates a transportation brokerage division in Dorval, QC and recently added the Expedite Division in Cambridge to the mix.
“The pool of expertise was here, the location was ideal, and the timing was right to expand into the Southwestern Ontario market,” says Kevin Little, Vice President of the Expedite Division of Pival International Inc. “Our unique operating system is designed for the expedite business with state-of-theart satellite tracking and the capability of providing real time mobile updates to the customer.”
Media are invited to attend the event and learn about this exciting development on the Cambridge landscape.
Pival International Inc. Opens Pival Expedite Headquarters in Cambridge
Business Growth and More Jobs Anticipated
June 20, 2012 | City of Cambridge | Link
The latest business development news about a national transportation and distribution firm landing in Cambridge is a testament to the local economic diversity and strategic location, affirms Pival International Inc. President Mario La Barbera. Pival Expedite, the transportation arm of Pival International Inc. which is based in Dorval, Quebec, today officially celebrated its expansion into Cambridge. The move centralizes its dispatch, sales, distribution and administration operations with a view to continued growth and job creation.
Established in 2003, the parent company operates seven distribution centres in Canada. “We serve a number of industries through our expansive warehouse and logistics network and saw an opportunity to grow the transportation business in Ontario. The Expedite Division enables us to expand our transportation business, increases our exposure to a new customer base and tests the level of demand in this area for another distribution centre.” La Barbera notes that Cambridge provides a strategic transportation link between their Canadian and U.S. client base. “Cambridge offered the competitive location.” The company operates a transportation brokerage division in Dorval, QC, along with the recently established Expedite division in Cambridge.
Pival International manages 1.6 million square feet of warehouse operations in Canada and employs about 130 people system wide.
For Cambridge, it means about 30 employees within the office administration and trucking team. The 3,800 square foot office located at 460 Thompson Drive will be the centralized location for the logistics operations and is strategically located near highway 401 and Townline Road in the Pinebush Industrial Subdivision.
“The pool of expertise was here, the location was ideal, and the timing was right to expand into the Southwestern Ontario market,” says Kevin Little, Vice President of the Expedite Division of Pival International Inc. “Our unique operating system is designed for the expedite business with state-ofthe- art satellite tracking and the capability of providing real time mobile updates to the customer.”
The team at Pival’s Expedite Division also says industry trends are supporting their business model. The advent of ‘Just-in-time’ shipping, along with lean processes that are reducing overhead and inventory make his firm an attractive solution. And, the extensive advanced manufacturing operations in the region and Southwestern Ontario, present a great market for expediting logistics operations. “Some businesses are also contracting out the fleet operations to shave their bottom line. Our solutions include a dedicated product and even the options of branding the client on the trucks,” adds Little. There are high demands for expedite services and same day delivery is top of mind for clients of Pival’s Expedite Division. Little notes that close proximity to Toronto’s Pearson International Airport along with the airports in Hamilton, Buffalo and Detroit support emergency shipping. “We also supply air charters into and out of the Waterloo Region International Airport which is only a few minutes from Cambridge.”
The warehousing operations are also looking to the bottom line to save clients money. “Growing industries are using the space differently and expanding business processes. Instead of expanding their facility storage, they are looking to nearby warehousing opportunities and reconfiguring their plant set ups,” says Pival International Inc. President Mario La Barbera.
Bo Densmore, Director of Economic Development for the City of Cambridge says the new investment builds on the logistics expertise of the area and notes the focus on supply chain management within Wilfrid Laurier University’s business curriculum. “We are delighted to welcome Pival Expedite to our growing and dynamic community.” The convergence of manufacturing innovation is strong noting Cambridge’s support for networks such as the Manufacturing Innovation Network.
(Pictured above - Mayor Craig and Councillor Nicholas Ermeta join Mario La Barbera, Pival International Inc. President and team for the ribbon cutting ceremony. Below - Kevin Little, Vice President of the Expedite Division of Pival International Inc. demonstrates the tracking technology that enhances the business process.)
Metropolitan Outlook 2: Economic Insights into 15 Canadian Metropolitan Economies: Summer 2012
June 27, 2012 | The Conference Board of Canada | Link
- Economic growth in St. John’s will slip to 1.1 per cent in 2012, pulled down by lower offshore oil production.
- Strength in manufacturing and the services sector will help lift Moncton’s economy by 2.1 per cent in 2012.
- Reduced construction activity will limit GDP growth in Saint John to 1.4 per cent this year.
- Saguenay’s GDP will grow by just 1.2 per cent this year as the non-commercial services sector contracts again.
- Weakness in construction will limit GDP growth in Trois-Rivières to 0.3 per cent in 2012.
- The ongoing recovery in Sherbrooke’s manufacturing sector will support GDP growth of 2.3 per cent in 2012.
- Lower housing starts and public sector weakness will restrict Kingston’s GDP growth to 1.7 per cent in 2012.
- Oshawa’s economy will expand by 3.3 per cent in 2012, boosted by gains in construction and the services sector.
- Strength in construction and manufacturing will help lift St. Catharines–Niagara’s GDP by 2.2 per cent in 2012.
- Kitchener–Cambridge–Waterloo’s economy will grow by 3.3 per cent in 2012, boosted by manufacturing growth.
- Goods sector strength will offset sluggish growth in services in London this year, leading to 1.7 per cent GDP growth.
- The Windsor–Essex Parkway project will help spur overall economic growth of 2.1 per cent in Windsor in 2012.
- Gains in the manufacturing and construction sectors will help Sudbury’s GDP expand by 2.2 per cent in 2012.
- Thunder Bay’s economy will expand by 1.9 per cent this year, fuelled by goods sector strength.
- Solid consumer spending will help lift Abbotsford–Mission’s economy by 2.4 per cent this year.
The Conference Board's First Outlook for Moncton Shows an Economy in the Midst of Steady Growth
June 27, 2012 | The Conference Board of Canada | Link
Of the 15 small and medium-sized CMAs covered in this edition of the Metropolitan Outlook publication, two Ontario CMAs, Kitchener-Cambridge-Waterloo and Oshawa, are clearly setting the pace in economic growth this year. Both are expected to grow by 3.3 per cent in 2012.
Harper Government Helps Apple Producers Access Healthy Snack Market
New Production Line Will Create Jobs
July 4, 2012 | Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada | Link
Over 40 Ontario apple producers will see an increase in demand for their top-quality apples with the support of the Harper Government. Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz and member of Parliament Harold Albrecht (Kitchener - Conestoga) today announced an investment of $1.5 million for Martin's Family Fruit Farm to create a new processing line for apple crisps and cider. By 2016, the project is expected to result in an increased annual demand for Canadian apples, offer a premium to growers on second-grade apples, and result in the creation of up to 30 new full-time positions.
"This is an excellent example of how Canada's agriculture sector is innovating to meet the growing demand for healthier, more natural foods," said Minister Ritz. "Our government knows that innovation is the key to keeping our farmers and processors profitable and competitive."
"Our local and regional economy is driven by our hardworking farmers and producers," said MP Albrecht. "This targeted investment will create jobs and give local farmers a new market opportunity, increasing demand for their crops and boosting their profits."
The new production line will slice apples into rings (skin left on), and dehydrate and package them without any additives or preservatives. The new mass production equipment and processing capacity for these types of crisps does not currently exist in the sector. By-product from the apple crisp line will be used to produce apple cider.
The Fruit Farm supplements roughly 65% of its apple supply with produce purchased from over 40 local Ontario growers. The use of the production by-product to produce apple cider shows a great commitment to maximizing the use of and profits from existing agricultural resources and will make the company more competitive with dominant growers in the United States.
"Martin's Family Fruit Farm is pleased to have the support of the Government of Canada through the Agricultural Innovation Program to establish our new venture," said Kevin Martin, President of Martin's Family Fruit Farm. "Together, we will be creating a new opportunity to contribute to the growth and sustainability of the Ontario apple industry."
This investment is provided through the Agricultural Innovation Program - a $50-million initiative announced as part of Canada's Economic Action Plan 2011. The Program is part of the Government's commitment to help Canadian producers benefit from cutting-edge science and technology. The Agricultural Innovation Program boosts the development and commercialization of innovative new products, technologies, and processes for the agricultural sector. This funding will be finalized upon the signing of a contribution agreement. For more information about this and other Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada programs, please visit www.agr.gc.ca.
TurboSonic Awarded US$800,000 Contract from European Non-Ferrous Metals Producer
July 9, 2012 | TurboSonic | Link
TurboSonic Technologies, Inc. , a global provider of clean air technologies, today announced receipt of an $800,000 order for the supply of its SonicKleen™ wet electrostatic precipitator (WESP) technology to control particulate emissions from lead production. The equipment is scheduled for delivery at the end of this calendar year.
TurboSonic’s SonicKleen™ WESP was selected to upgrade performance of an existing pollution control system to enable the production facility to meet new, lower emission control requirements.
Edward Spink, TurboSonic CEO, noted, “This order is an exciting addition to TurboSonic’s installed base of WESPs worldwide. This is the first SonicKleen™ WESP supplied to the non-ferrous metallurgical industry, representing expansion into a new industrial application. We believe that this market represents a significant potential for sales of our products.”
Sortable has been Acquired by Rebellion Media
July 11, 2011 | Sortable | Link | Press release
Waterloo based Sortable has been acquired by Rebellion Media. Sortable has developed a powerful content creation and recommendation system that has been successfully deployed on several consumer sites, including snapsort.com, geekaphone.com, carsort.com and its flagship site, sortable.com. Approximately two years after its launch, the Sortable platform is delivering over 10 million monthly page views and has become a leader in comparing and recommending digital cameras, with snapsort.com, and mobile phones, with geekaphone.com.
"We are excited to be a founding acquisition of Rebellion Media," said Chris Reid, co-founder of Sortable. "We tackled a very hard problem, helping consumers find the right product or service, and we've already made a significant change to how people shop for cameras, cellphones and other gadgets. Uniting with Rebellion Media will enable us to massively broaden the scope of decisions we address, from daily tasks to major life decisions."
Canadian Investors Increasingly Cautious: Manulife Financial's Investor Sentiment Index
July 18, 2012 | Manulife | Link
Canadians focus on ‘covering the basics’ of retirement
- Investor sentiment slides through the first half of 2012
- Canadians less likely to invest in savings vehicles
- Younger Canadians more worried about healthcare costs and providing for family
- First time Manulife Financial Investor Sentiment Index has polled 2,000 investors
- National info-graphic attached
WATERLOO – Investor sentiment in Canada continued to slide through the first half of 2012, according to the latest Manulife Financial Investor Sentiment Index. Results from the first half of 2012 show the Index now sitting at +24, down two points from December 2011 (+26) and another five points from June 2011 (+29). Overall, investor enthusiasm has decreased across almost all investment vehicles, including fixed income investments, investment properties, balanced funds and cash. The exception this period was appetite for investing in the stock market, where sentiment is up by six points.
Measured against the December 2011 results, Canadians are less likely to agree that it’s a good time to invest in savings vehicles. Attitudes to investing in mutual funds remain relatively steady this period with a drop of only one point. In addition, TFSA remains high, but dropped four points and RESP, RRSP and segregated funds all dropped significantly – eight, seven and eight points respectively.
“Recent economic challenges, including the persistent financial instability in Europe, help us understand why Canadians remain cautious about investing,” said Paul Rooney, President and CEO of Manulife Canada. “As these global economic challenges dominate headlines without any significant signs of recovery, confidence in financial markets will continue to be uncertain.”
This was the first time the Manulife Financial Investor Sentiment Index increased its sample size to 2,000 investors to allow for regional-specific data and to help demonstrate similarities and disparities across the country. The Index tracks Canadians’ opinions of various savings and investment vehicles and whether they believe it is a “good” or “very good” time to invest minus those who feel the opposite.
Canadians’ Outlook on Retirement
During this period, the Manulife Financial Investor Sentiment Index also took a look at Canadians’ retirement goals. The survey results indicate that Canadians are increasingly considering retirement as a time where the focus is on surviving financially, rather than enjoying the freedom and lifestyle retirement brings.
Most Canadians surveyed indicate that covering the basic cost of living is their most important goal for retirement with 88% noting it as important/very important. The traditional “freedom” goals, including travel, building an estate for heirs and donating to charity, are all deemed important by fewer than 50% of respondents.
How Family Income Influences Outlook on Retirement
Notably, as family income rises, the importance of ‘covering the basic cost of living’ and ‘covering the lifestyle I’m accustomed to’ as a retirement goal increases for Canadians. ‘Covering the lifestyle I’m accustomed to’ peaks as family income rises over $100K, with 84% classifying it as important/very important compared to the national average of 72%.
While families with higher income are most concerned with maintaining the lifestyle they’re accustomed to, families with lower income are more concerned about leaving behind an estate. ‘Accumulating an estate to leave behind for heirs’ peaks at 52% for those with family income between $15-25K, compared to 36% nationally.
“These results indicate that despite changing expectations about retirement goals and lifestyles across all those surveyed, families with lower income maintain a strong desire to leave their families with the resources to create better opportunities than they had for themselves,” noted Mr. Rooney. “Thinking about future generations is a constant when it comes to retirement planning.”
Giving to Charity
Nationally, 31% of Canadians rate ‘donating money to charity’ as a priority – making this the lowest ranked retirement goal on the list. Of those that rate this as an important goal, most are between the ages of 18 – 29 years (43%) and 75 years and older (45%).
Young Canadians on Retirement
With the retirement of the baby boom generation, the economic landscape in Canada will shift, and the greatest impact of that change will be felt by young Canadians (ages 18-29 years). This period’s results indicate that younger Canadians are considering that potential impact, showing a greater concern for long-term healthcare costs and providing for family than their parents’ generation. Retirement goals for young Canadians differ from older Canadians in two areas. Younger Canadians are more likely to identify covering healthcare needs (87%) and providing for family in case of illness/death (88%) as important priorities. Both of these categories decrease in importance with age. For example, ‘providing for family in case of illness/death’ ranked third overall with 80% of those surveyed stating it was important/very important. This number decreases to only 66% with Canadian’s who are 75 and over.
Another significant difference between generations is related to investment vehicles. Nineteen percent of young Canadians select CPP/QPP as their primary source of retirement funds, compared to the national average of 13%. This is probably because young Canadians are less likely to have other savings vehicles in place early in adulthood.
About the Manulife Financial Investor Sentiment Index
For 13 years Manulife Financial’s Investor Sentiment Index has been measuring Canadians’ opinions about whether it’s a good time or bad time to invest in different asset classes and investment vehicles. The index is based on a phone survey of 2,000 Canadians aged 18+. It was conducted between May 2 and May 15, 2012 by Research House, an Environics Company.
Local mayors share technology success story in Toronto
July 19, 2012 | City of Kitchener | Link
Kitchener Mayor Carl Zehr and Waterloo Mayor Brenda Halloran shared some of the success stories that have made both communities an internationally renowned hub of technology when they teamed up to speak on the future of Canada’s Technology Triangle, yesterday during The Innovation City conference in Toronto.
Created by CityAge Media and organized in partnership with the MaRS Discovery District, the two-day event, which concludes this afternoon, is intended to explore and develop partnerships between business, decision makers and thought leaders who are building our 21st-Century's urban future.
“Kitchener-Waterloo’s technology industry has breadth and depth,” said Zehr. “Our cities have a national and international reputation as a technology hot-spot and as an incubator for new business, both in technology and in the broader business community. I am pleased to have been given the opportunity, along with Mayor Halloran, to share the success story of Canada’s Technology Triangle.”
Halloran added, “Our success story stems from our history as a community with a reputation for continually reinventing ourselves. We began as a rural farming community, evolved to an industrial city and today we are home to major knowledge economy employers and global think-tank organizations. I’m honoured that I was asked to share the stage with other leaders and speak about the future of 21st-century communities, like ours.”
Event sessions include:
About Kitchener and Waterloo
- Catalyst Cities: Leaders of the new economy
- The Digital Metropolis: Data and 21st-Century city building
- The Startup Metropolis: How to catalyze new companies
- The Metropolitan Return: Cities as hubs of investment and innovation
- The Metropolitan Neighbourhood: Urban centers and local economies
- The Metropolitan Lab: How research institutions can build the city
- The Sustainable Metropolis: The business of smarter, sustainable cities
- The Metropolitan Brand: How talent and culture builds economy
Kitchener and Waterloo are located within the Waterloo Region and are home to one of the most diverse economies in North America. Birthplace of some of the most dynamic companies and startups in Canada, with a $19.5 billion GDP and a total population of over 500,000, we were recently recognized as one of the top four fastest growing economies in Canada. The Kitchener CMA was also recently recognized as one of the top 10 creative cities in Canada.
Toyota expanding Lexus production in Cambridge, hiring 400
CAMBRIDGE – Toyota is expanding production of the Lexus RX sport utility vehicle in Cambridge, a move that will result in about 400 new jobs.....
I was wondering why Sortable's logo was (a) on top, and (b) in colour. I then I saw the "(Sortable is hiring)".
Medical device maker Northern Digital buys Vermont firm
August 4, 2012 | Record Staff | The Record | LINK
WATERLOO — Northern Digital Inc., a Waterloo company that makes optical and electromagnetic measurement systems for medical and industrial uses, has acquired a smaller competitor based in Vermont.
The acquisition of Ascension Technology Corp. augments Northern Digital’s product offerings and combines “two highly skilled and specialized teams,” Northern’s president, Dave Rath, said in a news release.
The purchase was made by Northern, but had to be approved by its parent company, Roper Industries of Sarasota, Fla.
In a phone interview on Friday, Rath said Ascension offers similar but complementary technology to that of Northern Digital.
Desire2Learn Raises $80 Million in Financing Round from NEA and OMERS Ventures
Strategic Growth Round to Accelerate Global Expansion for Cloud-Based Learning Solutions
September 4, 2012 | Desire2Learn | Link
Desire2Learn Incorporated, the leader in providing cloud-based learning solutions for higher education, K-12 and Fortune 1000 companies, today announced the closing of a $80 million strategic round of financing from New Enterprise Associates (NEA) and OMERS Ventures. The investment will bolster Desire2Learn's customer service and cloud infrastructure, support global growth, and accelerate its development of industry-leading education technologies.
"The need for quality education has never been stronger than right now," said John Baker, President and CEO, Desire2Learn. "That demand, along with technology serving as a catalyst for change, is transforming education from the traditional classroom experience into a highly personalized, lifelong learning movement. From kindergarten to the corporate environment, Desire2Learn is committed to developing the new technologies that will not only increase the quality of education, but also make it available to everyone. This significant round of funding provides us with additional resources to address new markets, while maintaining our position as an independent, client-centric business focused on innovation."
Desire2Learn is focused on transforming the way the world learns in a rapidly growing market fueled by the adoption of online and mobile learning tools, digital textbook distribution, and advanced learning analytics. Desire2Learn® solutions enable educators and learners to leverage a single cloud-based platform to meet all of their educational needs:
"As the $1-trillion-plus education market shifts from older legacy products to best-of-breed cloud solutions, Desire2Learn is the clear market leader in a rapidly transforming industry," said Jon Sakoda, Partner, NEA. "After an extensive analysis of the newest and most widely deployed learning technologies, we believe Desire2Learn's comprehensive platform is uniquely suited to meet the needs of the largest and most demanding educational institutions around the world."
- Comprehensive cloud-based learning platform - Delivers a unified, scalable learning platform through both public and private cloud infrastructure.
- Mobile-centric education experience - Provides full support for mobile devices and tablets to increase engagement and enrich the learning experience.
- Digital content discovery and distribution - Empowers instructors with new digital content through numerous top publisher partners from around the world as well as through open content marketplaces.
- Learning analytics - Offers complete learning analytic engine to optimize content and learning pathways, provide predictive models, and to support improvements in retention and learner outcomes.
- Open API integration - Supports open standards including The IMS Global Learning Consortium specifications, Sharable Content Object Reference Model (SCORM) and extensibility with other learning applications.
With more than 700 clients and 8 million learners in higher education, K-12 and the corporate sector, Desire2Learn has proven its platform across some of the world's largest statewide and countrywide deployments of learning technology solutions. This $80 million financing, which marks both Desire2Learn's first round of financing and the largest-ever venture capital investment in a Canadian software company1, ensures the company's ability to accelerate global growth as an independent entity. Funds will be used to bolster the company's customer service and cloud infrastructure, both in support of Desire2Learn's current customer base and as the company expands globally.
"The combination of Desire2Learn's differentiated technology, proven management team, outstanding customer base and rapid revenue growth makes them uniquely positioned to deliver on the promise of the digital classroom," said Howard Gwin, Managing Director of OMERS Ventures. "We look forward to supporting the company's growth as a leader in education technology."