Kitchener, Ontario – Once ratified by Council on April 29, the City of Kitchener will make a significant investment in downtown innovation through a renewed funding partnership with Communitech. 

The COVID-19 pandemic affected the way businesses around the world operate, with an unprecedented shift toward remote and hybrid work. Kitchener, like other urban office markets in North America, has been challenged with unprecedented office vacancy. The City of Kitchener is taking steps to address this issue with a new investment that will support Communitech in supercharging the local startup ecosystem with a focus on local, in-person programming.  

The business and entrepreneurship culture in Kitchener has been a hallmark of our community for decades, said Kitchener Mayor, Berry Vrbanovic. “This Make It Kitchener investment is an important step in the continued support of our local technology and innovation businesses, while reinvigorating the office culture downtown to create more opportunities for collaboration and interaction between businesses and our broader community.” 

The proposed investment, which was announced at yesterday afternoon’s Finance and Corporate Services Committee meeting, will allocate $500,000 per year from the City’s Economic Development Investment Fund in 2024 and 2025, with a possible extension of funding into 2026 and 2027.  

The health of our community relies on the success of our local businesses,” said Scott Davey, Ward 1 Councillor and Chair of Kitchener’s Finance and Corporate Services Committee. “We’re thrilled to be investing in the future of innovation and entrepreneurship in Kitchener through this new program. The supports this will offer businesses at all stages of their development are exciting for the future of the start-up and scaling culture in our city. 

The proposed program will support start-ups in all areas of their business journey, from early start-up and discovery through to revenue generation and validation. A portion of the funding will also be reserved to support underrepresented groups to establish and grow their ventures. This program builds on Communitech’s long history of supporting the entrepreneurship and start-up culture in Kitchener. 

“Our partnership with the City of Kitchener is rooted in collaboration and ignites our vision for a brighter tech future,” said Chris Albinson, President and CEO of Communitech. “The City’s trust and support enables us to think big and be bold as we help founders start, grow and succeed, which has been our mission for over 25 years. We’re excited to harness the power of this partnership to continue to empower founders, drive innovation and advance our shared vision for a thriving tech ecosystem in Kitchener.” 

This investment is pending final approval from Kitchener City Council on April 29, with more information to be shared on the City of Kitchener’s news feed following the Council meeting 

More information on business in Kitchener is available on the City of Kitchener’s website. 


For more information, contact: 

Bethany Rowland 
Director, Corporate Communications & Marketing  
City of Kitchener  

Rosie Del Campo 
Senior Manager, Corporate Communications