Adding bank as a tenant furthers Catalyst137’s goal to be a full-service hub for hardware startups and growth companies
KITCHENER, Ontario – July 11, 2017 – Catalyst137 announced today that the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) will move its Kitchener-Waterloo Business Centre to the hardware technology hub, putting BDC’s financing and advisory expertise under the same roof as the high-growth companies based in the building.
BDC is relocating its Queen Street office to Catalyst137 beginning January 1, 2018. The new location is part of BDC’s continual efforts to better serve entrepreneurs and will feature a full-service Business Centre in 8,200 square feet of space. BDC focuses on offering an integrated approach to serving clients through both financing and advisory services.
“BDC has a long record of providing the expertise and services that high-growth companies need to reach their goals,” said Mary Ann Wenzler-Wiebe, BDC vice president for Southwest Ontario. “The opportunity to be part of Catalyst137 couldn’t be more perfect. We look forward to being a resource for the other companies in the building and the wider community.”
As an example, BDC subsidiary, BDC Capital announced earlier this month that it is investing $250 million in growth equity financing to high-potential fast-growing businesses over the next five years as part of its commitment to offer $1.8 billion in support for asset-light, high-growth firms over that time frame.
Catalyst137 is now 70 percent leased. BDC joins anchor tenant Miovision, Sigmapoint Technologies, Blakes Law Firm and PCC Group at Catalyst137, which is scheduled to open this fall. Graffiti, the group behind Kitchener’s popular The Berlin restaurant, is also opening a restaurant, bakery, coffee roaster, microbrewery and food market in the 475,000 square foot building. A number of other companies from North America and Europe have expressed interest in moving their operations to Catalyst137.
“The team behind Catalyst137 has always envisioned the project as a one-stop shop featuring space for companies and the services they need to get their products to market,” said Kurtis McBride, CEO of Miovision and co-founder of Catalyst137. “Whether that’s coffee, food or venture capital, they’ll be able to find it at Catalyst137. Having BDC right there on site will be a huge asset for all the companies in the building.”
McBride and co-founder Frank Voisin, president of the real estate development firm Voisin Capital, created Catalyst137 to support innovation in the Kitchener-Waterloo community and make it easy for Internet of Things companies to have the resources they need to scale up. Before Catalyst137, hardware tech companies were limited to office space on the outskirts of town because they needed space for manufacturing and shipping. Software companies, meanwhile, swarmed the city centre where there are resources at Communitech and quality of life amenities. The new space give hardware companies from all over the world a place for centralized investment, consulting, manufacturing, engineering, government relations and other services to be consolidated in one place.
Catalyst137 is offering area businesses options to join a community of startup peers and will lease office spaces ranging from 3,000 to 50,000 square feet. Companies will have access to loading bays and a shared manufacturing space featuring 3D printers, laser cutters, metalworking equipment and more.
Catalyst137 is scheduled to open in fall 2017 on Glasgow Street along the Iron Horse Trail. The building is undergoing extensive renovations to convert it to a state-of-the-art workspace. In addition to office space, it will feature hundreds of sensors to make the building and surrounding streetscape hackable so that Catalyst137 can act as both a showcase of the region’s technical ingenuity and a sandbox for new innovation. By allowing Catalyst137 members to experiment with, and add to, the building’s IoT network, the hub will help foster new ideas and support emerging technology. www.catalyst-137.com
BDC is the only bank dedicated exclusively to entrepreneurs. It promotes Canadian entrepreneurship with a focus on small and medium-sized businesses. With its 110+ business centres from coast to coast, BDC provides businesses in all industries with financing and advisory services. Its investment arm, BDC Capital, offers equity, venture capital and flexible growth and transition capital solutions. To find out more, visit bdc.ca.
Flavie Côté, Senior Advisor, Public Relations