Canada has a strong and growing startup community, and one of the emerging hubs where a lot of that energy is concentrated is the Kitchener-Waterloo region, which plays host to the esteemed University of Waterloo (which provides engineering grads for countless startups, as well as Apple, Google, Facebook and more). That area’s startup community is being profiled in an upcoming documentary called – aptly – Startup Community.
The Startup Community filmmakers are taking to Indiegogo with a new campaign to fund the final production of the film, which has already been started and is now looking for money to help with production and distribution. It’s being put together by a team that includes filmmaker and photographer Taylor Jackson (whose previous credits include American Idol), Green Rocket co-founder Nicole McCallum and the University of Waterloo research and tech department’s Lindsay Coulter. The three are united by a love of the local tech scene, and what it’s becoming with the help of government, business and community support.
Kitchener-Waterloo plays host to some amazing startups, including the Google-acquired BufferBox, mobile messaging platform Kik, “YouTube for businesses” Vidyard, and Thalmic Labs, creator of the MYO motion control armband to name just a few. It’s also the home of BlackBerry, of course, and of a satellite Google office that’s responsible for a lot of Chrome engineering. Key Canadian accelerators like VeloCity and Communitech Hyperdrive also reside in the area.
When asked where the Silicon Valley of Canada is located, many will often point to Toronto, but having experienced both, I’d compare the Kitchener-Waterloo vibe more to the Valley, vs. the New York-scene feel of Toronto’s also-vibrant startup scene. Waterloo benefits from its proximity to the University to net a lot of ambitious, young engineering talent to fuel the products and concepts its startups create.
The film’s team says they’ll be focusing on what makes the Kitchener-Waterloo startup scene unique, including the collaboration and across-pollination that occurs in the community, which is productively centered around a few key coworking hubs. From what I’ve found, KW founders are definitely quick to praise one another, and to work together, which can be a refreshing change from the sometimes cutthroat startup race.
Backer levels start at $8, which includes a digital copy delivered in advance of film festival screenings and a place in the credits. The team hopes to issue its advance copies of the completed film by October.