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Posted November 13, 2009

Waterloo Region Entrepreneur Week Highlights Importance of Innovation

WATERLOO REGION - Entrepreneur Week in Waterloo Region, the largest such event in North America, kicks off Monday with a keynote speech by Chris Hughes, co-founder of Facebook and continues throughout the week with events for audiences ranging from students to CEOs. The week, which corresponds to the timing of Global Entrepreneur Week, celebrates the contribution of innovators to the economy and recognizes their achievements.

"Innovation is the life-blood of our economy and it's good to take time out to appreciate the value of entrepreneurism" said Iain Klugman, president and CEO of Communitech, the innovation hub in Waterloo Region. "It's often the innovators and start-ups that introduce leading-edge ideas and we need to do all we can to help them be successful at every stage of their progression."

Entrepreneur Week sprang from recognizing the need to 'fill the funnel' of high-tech innovators by engaging at early stages with schools and universities and cultivating a community of interest for high-tech, Klugman explained. For the fourth consecutive year, high school students had the opportunity to be involved through the Leading Edge Youth Entrepreneurship Conference held Nov. 11 in conjunction with Entrepreneur Week.

Waterloo Region has become known as the best place to start a business in Canada and is home to 200 startups and more than 550 high-tech companies with revenues of $15 billion annually.

Engineered by Communitech, Waterloo Region's Entrepreneur Week has a strong lineup of events including:

Monday, Nov. 16:

- Chris Hughes keynote speech and speaker Razor Suleman, founder of I
Love Rewards, at the "It Came from the Dorms" session at the University
of Waterloo.

Tuesday, Nov. 17:

- Big Picture Day featuring Tim Bray, co-founder of Open Text Corporation
and "The Father of Internet Search and XML"; Ali Asaria, founder of
Well.ca; and Andy Macaulay, president and CEO of ZiG, at Waterloo's
Accelerator Centre.

- The Waterloo Region Entrepreneur Hall of Fame Gala at Bingeman's
Conference Centre where the following Waterloo Region contributors will
be inducted into the Hall of Fame:

Tom Jenkins, Open Text Corporation;
Oscar Kuntz, Kuntz Electroplating;
Ian McPhee, WATCOM;
Frank Rovers, Conestoga-Rovers & Associates;
Harold Seegmiller, Seegmiller E & E Ltd.
and John Baker, founder and CEO of Desire2Learn will be recognized with
the Intrepid Award.

Wednesday, Nov. 18:

- At a day dedicated to entrepreneurship and start-ups, Jim Estill
formerly of SYNNEX Canada, will describe his entrepreneurial experiences
and the 'un-conference' will be staged where attendees can learn and
share start-up issues in a collaborative setting.

Thursday, Nov. 19:

- Ideation Day: Dedicated to the process of innovation, three industry
leaders will take attendees through what it takes to bring innovations to
market. Presenters include: Mate Prgin, Avvasi; David Caputo, Sandvine;
and David Kruis, Metranome; with MC Brandon Nussey, Communitech
- Founders and Funders Dinner where invited attendees include start-up
founders and more than 30 leading Venture Capital firms from across North
America for great connections.

Friday, Nov. 20:

- Ten of the biggest names in tech in the Waterloo Region will
participate in Strategic Partnering Day including RIM, Google, Intel,
Microsoft, Celestica, Open Text, Sybase, Agfa HealthCare, Rogers and On

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