Waterloo's Communitech Named New Tech Hub Star

Plus: TD Economics urges increased focus on exports and business investment, and tips for using social media at trade shows—in this week's Export Wire for Canadian small business

Written by John Lorinc

New tech hub post-Blackberry: Communitech, a Waterloo, Ont.-based incubator of local tech firms, got a big boost last week when Google named it to become one of seven North American tech hubs, Canadian Press reported last Wednesday. Most of the upstart Communitech firms don’t spend much time worrying about antiquated notions such as national borders, but the connection to the search giant’s R&D arm provides a whole new universe of export opportunities.

“As part of the North American hub, Communitech said it will have exclusive access to Google experts and products, and will participate in a number of Google events throughout the year. It will also work together with other companies in the network. The amount of the funds Communitech will receive has not been disclosed.”

Stop me if you’ve heard this before: Yet again, TD Economics has strongly recommended that the Canadian economy shift its reliance on consumer spending to an increased focus on exports and business investment, according to the Financial Post. “While the process has started, U.S. economic growth looks slightly softer in the near term, making the transition uneven,” said last week’s report from TD Economics.

“In the meantime, the consumer and the housing market have shown more momentum, helping to keep the economy puffing along until next year—when exports drive growth fast enough to start absorbing more of the excess capacity that persists in Canada’s economy,” said TD forecasters, led by chief economist Craig Alexander.”

Tips for Using Social Media at Trade Shows: According to U.K. trade show consultant David Llewellyn, a growing number of firms have turned to various social media channels to help them get the most bang for their trade show outlays. On the MarketingProfs blog, he offers several useful pieces of advice on how firms should approach the use of Facebook, Twitter and other social networks during the event.

“Try to keep your communications via social media focused on content and value. Use them to promote structured events throughout the trade show: product demonstrations, for example, or signings. That way, you can create a buzz around the overall event and draw people to your stand at key times during the show.”

Join your fellow exporters and discuss the challenges of working in global markets in the PROFIT Export Exchange on LinkedIn

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