Mediaplanet: Waterloo Region is often referred to as the Silicon Valley of Canada. What about the region makes it so opportune for entrepreneurship and innovation?

Tony LaMantia: Waterloo is the most patent intensive region in Canada with 11 times the national average and has the second highest start-up density per capita in North America. At the core of our entrepreneurial and innovative mindset is the University of Waterloo’s unique inventor-owned Intellectual Property (IP) Policy that attracts entrepreneurial thinkers, researchers, and industry partners to our community. This IP Policy is a huge draw because it fosters entrepreneurship and accelerates problem solving, which drives the development of disruptive new ideas and technologies.

MP: What is it about Waterloo Region that is attracting international recognition and foreign investment from the likes of the U.S., Germany, U.K., France, and Japan?

TL: We are a welcoming community for ideas and global mandates. Our globally significant strengths in information and communications technology (ICT), embedded software and advanced manufacturing, our highly skilled talent pool, and a world-class collaborative support ecosystem are in place to ensure companies succeed. Add to this an optimal location in Southwestern Ontario, offering quick access to key international markets, and our expanding and home-grown companies, it’s no wonder our community is viewed as an ideal business partner for multinational organizations.

MP: Waterloo is one of Canada’s fastest-growing cities. What factors are contributing to this growth?

TL: There are multiple factors, including our diverse industrial base, renowned talent pool, world-class start-up ecosystem, location, and competitive cost advantage. In Waterloo, you can build a life without compromise — personally, professionally, and socially — and play an impactful role in inventing the future.