Early tenants for Internet of Things development hub include eight area tech companies
Kitchener, Ontario – October 26, 2016 – The first tenants of the new Catalyst137 technology hub will be hardware manufacturers and companies that provide services needed for those manufacturers to get their products to market.
Scheduled to open in the summer of 2017, Catalyst137’s early confirmed tenants include Miovision, Alert Labs, FoxNet Solutions, MyShop Makerspace, Sigmapoint Technologies, Snap Pea Design, SPIN , and Swift Labs.
“We couldn’t be more excited about how the project is coming together,” said Frank Voisin, president of the real estate investment firm Voisin Capital and one of the Catalyst137 founders. “We always envisioned it as an all-inclusive place for visionary hardware companies to make their homes and get everything they need under one roof.”
As the first wave of tenants shows, Catalyst137 will establish an ecosystem of supporting services for hardware companies. Snap Pea provides industrial design. Swift Labs provides RF testing and hardware design services. My Shop Makerspace provides shop equipment for tenant use. Sigmapoint, which is expanding its business to Kitchener from Cornwall, will provide prototyping services.
Catalyst137 also is featuring its tenants’ technology in the infrastructure of the 475,000-square-foot remodeled tire warehouse. FoxNet is installing the IT backbone into the building. Alert Labs’ real-time data software and sensor networks will monitor and meter energy use throughout the building. SPIN will provide integration and the visual interface that will provide visibility to the building technology.
“The goal is to make Catalyst137 a one-stop shop for hardware companies to build their products, access the support services they need, and then showcase the new technology right here in the building,” said Kurtis McBride, CEO of Miovision and co-founder of Catalyst137.
The finished space will feature hundreds of sensors to make the building and 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.
The idea for Catalyst137 came from frustration. Each year, more than two dozen hardware companies graduate from the incubator programs at the University of Waterloo and Communitech. Until now, requirements for manufacturing space and loading docks relegated hardware companies to the outskirts of Kitchener-Waterloo while software companies needing less space swarmed to the city center. Startups from all over the world are invited to benefit from centralized investment, consulting, manufacturing, engineering, government relations and other services, to be consolidated under one 12-acre roof.
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.