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Why Your Next Product Hire Should be From Kitchener

Looking to hire product talent? Here are a few reasons you need to consider making your next product management hire in Kitchener-Waterloo!

Innovation

One of the reasons we love to look for talent in KW is the city's commitment to innovation. There is a thriving community of recent grads from the world-class University of Waterloo and tech incubators like Velocity and The Acceleration Centre. 

The entire city is focused on remaining a region that fosters growth. With more than 1,570 tech-related businesses, it’s one of Canada’s largest tech hubs and a place where the first-year survival rate of startups is almost double the global industry average. 

All of this attracts and fosters talent in the area. It also means talent in this area is already accustomed to startup culture - the pace and rigour required to 'make it.'

Inspiration

There are enough companies who have made it (RIM, Vidyard, Avidbots, Clearpath Robotics, KIK, ApplyBoard) to inspire the dreams of the next-gen and those still trying. There is also a lot of community support. 

Community

While KW is growing, it is also still small enough for there to exist a true sense of community. Kitchener is driven by a sense of community, whether it's among Waterloo alumni, tech incubators, or through programs offered through Communitech like TechStars. There is even a service that offers relocation assistance and tours of Kitchener for tech workers! 

Community is so important because it :

  • fosters talent who stays versus university grads who relocate (premature brain drain) 
  • provides learning & growth environments
  • builds people, and people build companies
  • exists for the greater good of the whole, which means everyone gets stronger

The Kitchener community is so strong even some Americans have taken note

Location + Proximity

Hiring from Kitchener is not only about hiring in Kitchener as it's about the community that is more broadly referred to as the "Toronto-Waterloo Innovation Corridor." 

This large area of geography also encompasses Waterloo, Cambridge, London, Hamilton, Milton, Burlington, and Oakville, and provides many tech workers who are "west enders" and prefer options outside of Toronto if they are called upon to go to an office.

While ViaRail is the original train service operating between Toronto and Kitchener, GoTransit began operating regular commuter service between the two cities, and the much anticipated Rapid Rail is not yet operational but is coming. All of this is making Kitchener more accessible when in-person is needed. 

The KW region is showing no signs of slowing as they continue to foster community, innovation, and world-class products. While world-class product talent calls Kitchener home, they are still open to digital-first hiring for disruptive startups looking to scale. 

If this sounds like your organization, book a 20-minute intro call with us today to discuss your hiring strategies and market options.