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York Region Invests $1.5M Into Canada’s Only Hardware-Focused Lab and Incubator, Aims to Attract Global Tech Firms

ventureLAB and the Regional Municipality of York have partnered to expand the Hardware Catalyst Initiative, Canada’s only lab and incubator for hardware and semiconductor companies.

MARKHAM, Ontario- ventureLAB and the Regional Municipality of York have partnered to expand the Hardware Catalyst Initiative, Canada’s only lab and incubator for hardware and semiconductor companies. York Region’s investment of $1.5 million over five years leverages the Government of Canada’s investment of $9.7 million through the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario) and continues to build a globally competitive cluster for hardware and semiconductor research, innovation, design and manufacturing centered in York Region.

This investment will enable ventureLAB to increase its capacity to assist homegrown innovation and commercialization opportunities and help international hardware and semiconductor companies establish and grow their businesses and teams in York Region. It will also create approximately 145 new jobs in York Region over five years.

“ventureLAB has gained strong momentum as Canada’s Hardware Hub through the success of the Hardware Catalyst Initiative,” said Melissa Chee, President and CEO, ventureLAB. “We look forward to continuing to work with York Region to build a globally competitive semiconductor ecosystem that bridges research and commercialization, builds a strong domestic talent pool of highly qualified professionals and creates a connected, sustainable, resilient ecosystem for tech firms who choose the Region to build, grow, and scale.”

Semiconductors power virtually every modern-day technology and product, from consumer electronics to home appliances to transformative technologies like electric and autonomous vehicles, life-saving medical devices like ventilators and in cybersecurity and national defense, and they enable innovations in traditional sectors like mining, energy, agriculture and many more. As the demand for semiconductors, chips and sensors continues to surge, the global shortage of chips continues to impact the automotive industry, medical devices and consumer electronics supply chain.

“York Region is home to one of Canada’s largest tech hubs and we know supporting the growth of innovative companies is key to strengthening York Region’s economic vitality,” said York Region Chairman and CEO Wayne Emmerson. “Our investment into the Hardware Catalyst Initiative will help ventureLAB expand its capabilities, attract top talent and jobs and continue to demonstrate that York Region is a global destination of choice for entrepreneurs and investors.”

“Today’s announcement builds on the Government of Canada’s initial investment in ventureLAB’s Hardware Catalyst Initiative (HCI). The HCI is creating opportunities for Canada to be a global leader of semiconductor products and we are proud to support Canadian businesses in this important sector,” said the Honourable Helena Jaczek, Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario.

With this investment, York Region joins ventureLAB’s global network of over 35 industry leaders, including Siemens, Silicon Catalyst, TSMC, Arm, and many more. Together with eight founding partners including AMD, Synopsys, and others, and leveraging FedDev Ontario’s initial investment, Hardware Catalyst Initiative partners have committed over $50 million in resources, equipment, expertise, and mentorship for the participating companies to enable a new generation of founders to commercialize their products and scale their companies in a way not previously possible in Canada.

About ventureLAB
ventureLAB is a leading global founder community for hardware technology and enterprise software companies in Canada. Located at the heart of Ontario’s innovation corridor in York Region, ventureLAB is part of one of the biggest and most diverse tech communities in Canada. Our initiatives focused on raising capital, talent retention, commercializing technology and IP, and customer acquisition have enabled thousands of companies to create over 4,900 jobs and raise more than $200 million in investment capital. At ventureLAB, we grow globally competitive tech titans that build-to-scale in Canada, for global markets.

ventureLAB’s Hardware Catalyst Initiative is Canada’s only lab and incubator for founders building hardware and semiconductor-focused products, enabling the creation of transformative technologies that will power our products of tomorrow. Funded in part by the Government of Canada, through the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario), the Hardware Catalyst helps tech companies accelerate their time to market in a sector that normally incurs lengthy entry and scale times, enabling Canadian hardware and semiconductor companies to grow and scale locally, and compete globally.

About The Regional Municipality of York
The Regional Municipality of York consists of nine local cities and towns and provides a variety of programs and services to 1.2 million residents and 57,000+ businesses with 615,000 employees. More information about the Region’s key service areas is available at york.ca/regionalservices

About FedDev Ontario
For more than 12 years, FedDev Ontario has actively worked to advance and diversify the southern Ontario economy through funding opportunities and business services that support innovation and growth in Canada’s most populous region. The Agency has delivered impressive results, which can be seen in southern Ontario businesses that are creating innovative technologies, improving their productivity, growing their revenues, and in the economic advancement of communities across the region. Learn more about the impacts the Agency is having in southern Ontario by exploring our pivotal projects.