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"Good Ideas Are Global"

I have spent the past couple of weeks and months in the world of benchmarking cities. In the Waterloo Region, for instance, the Waterloo Region Economic Development Strategy (WREDS) Steering Committee recently recommended the creation of a new economic development corporation to the All Regional Council gathering on June 19, 2014. The municipal and regional councils will be considering the strategy and the new economic development corporation over the summer. Several economic development organizations from across Canada and internationally were examined for good ideas in the process.  


Around the same time, the Intelligent Community Forum, the international think tank in New York City, held its annual Summit earlier in June. Hundreds of cities applied but only one Intelligent Community of the Year was left standing after a year-long process of benchmarking and best practices examination by countless analysts, consultants and international jurors. This is the same body that in 2007 awarded the City of Waterloo and its partners, the University of Waterloo and many private sector participants, the right to be called the most Intelligent Community of the Year. At that time, Waterloo won over several hundred competitors, largely on the strength of its collaboration and its innovative ecosystem that was evolving out of the University of Waterloo and positively affecting the rest of the region. Consequently, Waterloo and the rest of the region have benefitted from that recognition. CTT Inc. has certainly promoted it, as has the City of Waterloo and Communitech and other organizations. This has certainly contributed to the Waterloo region's international recognition As a result; many international delegations have come to the region including Chinese cities such as Chongqing and Chengdu, as well as Taiwanese, Brazilian and European delegations...Read More 
from the desk of
John G. Jung
, CEO, CTT Inc.


CTT Inc. Releases New Video Celebrating Waterloo Region's Evolutionary and Transformative Nature

Canada's Technology Triangle Inc. is pleased to announce the delivery of a video production authentically illustrating the story of "Why Waterloo Region?". Through conversations with six high-profile, business leaders whose companies have a diverse historical presence in the Region, the video highlights their unique perspective on the character and strengths of Waterloo Region.  


The project was initiated to depict how transformation and evolution, through innovation, is an elemental strand in the DNA of Waterloo Region. Through sharing their organization's history, the individual Success Story Vignettes highlight Waterloo Region's aggressive entrepreneurial spirit, its ideal location, collaborative environment and source of world-class talent. Our community embraces entrepreneurs, with much reciprocal, collusive and genuine desire to see fellow business leaders succeed.  


CTT Inc. looks to incorporate this video in our efforts to market this competitive advantage of the Region as we pursue Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). This video showcases success stories of how this Region has not only adopted foreign companies to the Region (for example, Rimowa), but also has endorsed and encouraged locally-grown companies to take root and thrive.


Revealing their observations, of their organizations' distinct paths
to success are:


Watch the Why Waterloo Region Intro video


The film was created and produced by local filmmaker MetaMedia Productions, through their generous financial support of this organization.


By Janet Grondin, Marketing and Communications Manager, CTT Inc. 


Velocity Foundry and Garage Opening

The past year has been a banner one for local startup incubator Velocity. In the past year, the world-renowned
University of Waterloo entrepreneurship program celebrated 5 years as one of Canada's longest-standing startup incubators; surpassed $100 million in funding raised by its startups past and present; and reached over 70 companies established, including successes like Kik, Pebble, BufferBox (acquired by Google), Thalmic Labs, MappedIn, and Vidyard.


While there's much to celebrate, Velocity is not sitting still. In the coming months, the program will open a new 11,000 sq. ft. Velocity Foundry workspace at 24 Water Street South in downtown Kitchener. The Velocity Foundry will be a place where hardware, materials and life sciences startups can develop, test and implement their ideas, and ultimately commercialize them.


The Velocity Foundry is in addition to the facilities, resources and programming already available from Velocity, including the 70-bed on-campus Velocity Residence where it all started; the Velocity Garage workspace in downtown Kitchener which is headquarters to over 35 startups today; and a new on-campus Velocity Science Lab which opened in May.


In addition to free workspace at Velocity Foundry, startups will have access to equipment, mentorship and entrepreneurial programming. Similar to Velocity Garage, the Velocity Foundry will be a place where startups can get inspired, feed off each other's energy, and learn from each other's failures and successes.


The Velocity community also holds close ties to the broader, highly supportive tech ecosystem that is Waterloo Region - a community that readily gives of its time, resources and funding to help emerging startups get established. Located within the City of Kitchener's Innovation District, the Velocity Foundry will be in an ideal place to tap into this extended community - with mentors, resources and inspiration available right in their own backyard
from the likes of 
CommunitechGoogle, and soon Square; as well as Velocity alumni MappedInThalmic Labs and Vidyard to name
a few.


Watch for an announcement about the Velocity Foundry Open House in the coming months. Follow Velocity on Twitter for updates.


By Alyana Versolatto, Velocity, University of Waterloo


Brainport Eindhoven Region -
Sound Familiar?


 We were thrilled to attend the CTT Inc. organized talk at the Region of Waterloo on June 11, to hear an inspiring presentation from Rob van Gijzel, Mayor of Eindhoven, the Netherlands, learning how they evolved their world famous 'Brainport' innovation region.

This feisty little region of the world has endured numerous economic setbacks, but come back to become a key part of the economic backbone of the Netherlands and the European Union-hitting way above its weight - sound familiar - read on.

Linked by open innovation and cooperating together with knowledge institutes, large and small companies, they have been able to increase the speed and impact of innovations coming from their region. Brainport is the number one region in Europe for EPO patents. Brainport was highlighted by 'Forbes' magazine as the most inventive region in the world.

Brainport is built on a collaboration between the cities of Eindhoven/Helmond, Tilburg and Den Bosch; its successful cooperation is based on a functional triangle, with equal representation between industry, academia and government. The Brainport Foundation, separate from local economic development departments, operates at a high level to develop strategies for the region that then can be implemented by  the most appropriate city or department. The key is to have industry, academia and government at the table at the start of an initiative, to get commitment from all parties to execute the strategy they develop and to let them carry it through.

The parallels between Brainport Eindhoven Region and our own technology triangle are so obvious. We have multiple municipalities and townships in Waterloo Region; we are grappling with the issue of regional economic development and how to do it better. We pride ourselves on innovation, collaboration, world-class institutions, world-class thinking and the need to deliver smart economic development. It's no surprise that a strategic alliance between Eindhoven and Waterloo Region is being enthusiastically established. There are some great lessons to be learned by both regions from the other's experience. World-class collaboration!

From our perspective at Machteld Faas Xander there is one very important take away from the Eindhoven presentation - developing and nurturing a strong personality (brand) and image has been an important success factor for Brainport. Brainport understood the importance of marketing its region and made sure that was done through an external agency, rather than internally. Outside perspective and marketing experience was honoured and the results have been outstanding for Eindhoven.

Brand building should be THE critical, top priority, next step in our region's evolution.. initiative we would LOVE to be involved in. Did we hear you say Regional Brand?



By John & Rebecca Short, Co-Founders, Machteld Faas Xander


Athena Software - New Zealand/
Australia/Canada World Tour 2013

Athena Software has been helping social service and health agencies drive social impact for the last 13 years with best in class case management software. A rapid global expansion in over 15 countries provided an opportunity to create Theia Group, a joint venture in New Zealand. To support the New Zealand joint venture, Athena Software set up a Road Show in New Zealand with meetings in Auckland, Wellington and Christ Church April 30 - May 2 and a Road Show in Australia with meetings in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne May 12-15.


Athena Software is now the number one case management software used in Australia for submitting funding for their operation than any other software. We were excited to work with over 160 new agencies during the 6 day event.

Trade Commission staff from the High Commission in New Zealand and Australia came to events in Auckland, Brisbane and Sydney to support Athena Software and provide strategic advice on next steps. 


Athena Software finished the Road Show Tour with an Ontario User Conference where we launched the latest release of our software and celebrated the release of the E-Mental Health Framework produced by the Mental Health Commission of Canada.


On our return from Australia, Prime Minister Stephen Harper extended a personal invitation to attend a dinner welcoming Australia's Prime Minister Tony Abbott to Canada in Ottawa. I met with John Jung CEO for Canada's Technology Triangle Inc. and John Baker CEO for Desire2Learn during the reception and had the privilege of dining with staff from the PMO of Canada and Australia creating more opportunities to extend our working relationship with Australia.


This was an outstanding 60 day World Tour that demonstrates the power of the Canadian brand, the world's appetite for Canadian goods and services and the team of Trade Commissioners working to grow Canadian business.


By Dana Fox, Director Business Development, Athena Software


Highlights From June 3rd's Tuesdays Thought Leadership - Waterfront Toronto
John Campbell, CEO of Waterfront Toronto gave a compelling talk on the complex 2,000 acre revitalization of underutilized and neglected industrial land in one of the most significant city building projects in the world. By transforming these lands into new open-access broadband communities, they will build 40,000 new homes, 40,000 new jobs and 10 million square feet of office space through a multi-decade sustainable plan. How does this pertain to Waterloo Region you ask? Waterloo Region is at a very important turning point: it is expanding, its economy is transforming and it is investing in infrastructure. From an urban planning perspective however, Rick Haldenby states "it's not enough to intensify. It's not enough to let the private development world produce more buildings; a vision for what the sum effect of those buildings is going to be is crucial. And that's what Waterfront Toronto has done so well. Master plan, establish a public infrastructure, establish a visionary, and hugely imaginative approach to the creation of public space. It's exactly the imagination of the design vision that we saw this morning that just excites me."


From an economic development standpoint, we are competing with Toronto and all other global cities for talent now.  Without a clearer vision and public spaces that are attractive with cultural and recreational infrastructure, we will be left behind.


Waterfront Toronto demonstrates what is possible with tremendous leadership and willingness to invest in a sustainable and future-ready concept. Local builder Melloul Blamey's Jeff Heimpel was enthused with what he heard,  


"John Campbell's ambitious 25 year, $34B revitalization of Waterfront Toronto is a great example of what can be achieved on government lands driven by public policy, design excellence and sustainability. This CTT Inc. 3rd Tuesdays  event was thought provoking and inspiring."



By Catherine Bischoff,Sr. Business and Marketing Analyst, CTT Inc.


CTT Inc.'s Federal and Provincial Government Team In Global Markets  


Attracting foreign investment to Waterloo Region is all about strategic relationships. CTT Inc.'s networks go beyond borders as we work closely with the Ontario and Federal government representatives locally and abroad.  We particularly focus on key markets in US, Europe, China, India and Brazil. Call it the tag team approach.


This month, in collaboration with local municipal partners, CTT Inc. welcomed two important government contacts to our community; Stephen Thompson, Senior Economic Officer, with the Ontario Government based out of San Francisco and, Detlef Engler, Senior Investment Officer, Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Berlin, Germany.  Mr Thomson focuses on attracting Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) from ICT, clean technology, smart technology, life sciences and digital media while Mr. Engler focuses on the manufacturing and automotive industries.  Both the organizations aid CTT Inc. in our pursuit of FDI by sharing the message of "why Waterloo Region" to their local businesses-San Francisco and Berlin respectively.  We offered a day of meetings with industry, community partners aided by  CTT Inc.'s  German Ambassador Chair-Joerg Stieber.....Read More

By Catharine Gerhard, Sr. Business Development Officer, CTT Inc.


Hope For The Best, Prepare For The Worst

It might be the difference between disaster a
nd a job well done.

Ten minutes into an emergency is no time to realize your contacts are out of date. The Region of Waterloo's Emergency Measures department knows that one of the most important factors in responding to an emergency is having up-to-date contact information and a well thought out protocol in the hands of key people. It could be the difference that saves a life.


With this knowledge, the Region brought the problem to local partner, eSolutionsGroup to collaborate on a product to make sure that emergency contacts and protocols are always up-to-date and always available on employee mobile devices. The result is SecurePush, an application capable of securely pushing information to update client applications on iPhone 3GS+, Blackberry 10, and Blackberry 7 devices. The solution involves one server side push initiator application that acts to create the push messages and delivers them through BES 5.0.x server, a corporate BES 10 server, BlackBerry Push Service, or Apple Push Service.


For the Region, the application has become more than just an emergency response tool. Staff members continue to find new ways to use the application including the documentation of day-to-day processes, distributing internal reference documents and continuity planning.


Remember, essential information is just that - essential. You pay your people to make decisions, to think critically and to add human experience to the equation. Essential information should be at their fingertips. And, if it's out-of-date, it's not only useless, it's a time waster.


eSolutionsGroup is Waterloo based company with 8 years experience delivering diverse technical and creative solutions. Our clients include organizations rooted in Business, Education, Manufacturing, Government and Not For Profit. As a corporate partner of CTT Inc., eSolutionsGroup is committed to promoting local development, collaboration and forward thinking. Contact us to see how we can help your business push essential information that is always up-to-date. 


By: Karen Mayfield, President eSolutionsGroup


Brain Gain - How Innovative Cities Create Job Growth In An Age Of Disruption

"Kurtis McBride stood proudly as he waited to receive his graduation certificate from the President of the University of Waterloo at the Waterloo Accelerator Centre. As a kid, Kurtis had spent summers sitting in a lawn chair on a baking-hot Toronto street corner, counting traffic for his father's transportation management consulting firm and thinking that there had to be a better way to do it. He turned out to be right. Years later, the company he helped found, Miovision, provides traffic data collection and management solutions for 450 customers in 30 countries. Founded in 2005, Miovision was the first graduate of Waterloo's Accelerator Centre in 2009. Since then, the Centre has built a global reputation for the cultivation of technology entrepreneurship and the creation and accelera­tion of new technology companies. But it has also gone beyond the usual boundaries of a university accelerator, with an impact on the entire Waterloo region."



Excerpt from Brain Gain, by Robert Bell,
John G. Jung and Louis Zacharilla.



The story about Kurtis McBride and dozens upon dozens of others about Waterloo Region, Stratford, Toronto and many other Canadian and global communities are at the heart of a new book launched by the Intelligent Community Forum in New York. Brain Gain is all about stories. That is one of the things that differentiates this book, third in a series by Robert Bell, John G. Jung and Louis Zacharilla from any traditional book on economic development, strategic planning and community development in our cities. Brain Gain explores the most important issues facing cities today - how to attract and retain talented people and secure and retain investment that creates and sustains jobs for the citizens of these cities. By citing stories, Brain Gain becomes an effective teaching tool illustrating Intelligent Communities' successful relationships and results that might not have been recognized before in concepts or professional presentations. These stories become memorable insights into the way communities solved their problems and hopefully will inspire others.....Read More


Brain Gain is the latest book from the Intelligent Community Forum 

Regional Economic News
  • Bill Bales recently moved his business, Yakkertech, from Southern Michigan to Waterloo Region because he says it's the best place in North America to establish a startup.
  • It's the people of this region who make all the difference.
  • Rex Geveden, 53, executive vice-president at Teledyne Technologies Inc.and former associate administrator at NASA, is moving here to take charge of the company's Waterloo-based subsidiary,  Teledyne DALSA 
  • The DALSA division in Waterloo is considered vital
    to Teledyne.

3rd Tuesdays Thought Leadership Series


Have A Great Summer! 


The CTT Inc. team would like to inform everyone that our 3rd Tuesday Thought Leadership Series will be taking a summer hiatus. We look forward to welcoming everyone back in September, starting on September 16th, 2014.  Stay tuned to find out our September thought-provoking topic.



On behalf of all of us at CTT Inc., we would like to wish you a safe and happy summer!