Blackberry, Open Text and Kik all got their start in Waterloo Region. Their success inspired other growing companies including Miovision, Aeryon Labs, ClearPath Robotics, and Thalmic Labs.

While Waterloo Region has long been considered a great place to start a business, how is the next generation of startup companies contributing to the local economy?

The University of Waterloo wanted an answer to that question so they asked Deloitte Canada to take a look at the bigger picture.

The auditing firm found that startup companies who use the university’s entrepreneurship programs generated more than $2 billion in revenue and created approximately 7,500 jobs over the last decade.

“Getting a job for us is important but it is not the ultimate goal,” Feridun Hamdullahpur, the president and vice-chancellor at UW.“How many jobs can we create? How many companies can we establish here in our region, in Canada? That’s a bigger goal.”

The study also showed that companies that hired the university’s co-op students saw an additional $525 million in returns in 2018.