Whitby, Ont. opens accelerator to scale local tech companies


The municipality and 360insights, a local marketing software company, are funding 1855 Whitby. The 9,000-square-foot facility is the first accelerator in the Durham region, according to the town, which said there are more than a dozen tech and innovation companies in its “innovation district.” (BetaKit)

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Talking point: Toronto’s technology sector is booming, but the gains have been concentrated downtown. Whitby and neighbouring Oshawa actually lost software jobs between 2006 and 2016, according to a December 2018 report from the Neptis Foundation. There’s only room for so many tech hubs in the Greater Toronto Area, and Whitby isn’t the only region looking to the sector to boost the local economy. Durham has less of a concentration of tech companies than some neighbouring municipalities. Markham, which has its own accelerator, is home to the Canadian headquarters of the likes of AMD, Lenovo and Toshiba, and is positioning itself as a smart cities testbed via a pilot with Bell and IBM.