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Brampton’s tech scene = Apple 20 years ago

Published: May 7th, 2018 By: Glenn Weir

City of Brampton

Imagine you had invested in Apple in the early 2000s. Today, your investment would have grown by 50 times! The Apple case beautifully demonstrates the importance of getting in on the ground floor, no matter what you’re investing in, whether it’s a company, a person or group of people, or a place.

The city of Brampton, Ontario, is somewhat like Apple stock circa 2001 — that is to say, bursting with potential. The fast-growing, youthful and diverse city is building a critical mass of cornerstone businesses and grassroots innovation and development — and is transforming itself into a significant player on the Innovation Super Corridor.

There are talented youth, winning international STEM competitions and soon looking to land a great tech career. Brampton has piqued Amazon’s interest as part of the only Canadian bid for its second headquarters to make the shortlist of contenders.

And soon, Brampton will be home to a new Ryerson University campus providing students data-driven science and business programming paired with experiential learning.

“This is no coincidence,” said the city’s innovation and tech sector lead, Devin Ramphal. “There is something huge happening here in the City. We have the young talent and infrastructure and amenities to become one of the centers of innovation in North America. And, as in places like Silicon Valley, diversity is a strength propelling us forward. Our professionals and entrepreneurs, coming from many different backgrounds, bring a wide variety of ideas and viewpoints to any discussion.”

This diversity will have a new outlet for innovative creativity through the upcoming university campus – a Ryerson University and Sheridan College partnership to bring leading tech programming to the next generation of skilled workers. Slated to open for classes in the Fall of 2022, plans include a partnership for a National Centre for Cybersecurity, and a centre for innovation – a joint-use facility which will include public and academic libraries and an innovation zone and business incubator.

“We don’t just encourage new companies to set up in our city and leave it at that,” said Ramphal. “We are building the support structure they need to succeed. One of the major projects we are working on is building a world-class business incubator. This incubator will accommodate our local businesses as well as serve as a soft landing pad for international businesses looking to build a North American presence”

”Our Economic Development Office is about building an ecosystem of ideas, innovation, and next-gen thinking. So far we’ve had excellent results and I know this will continue as more and more companies establish themselves in Brampton.”

The signs are there: between a growing, diverse population to a top-twenty Amazon HQ2 bid to a bustling and new STEM facility from Ryerson University and Sheridan College, Brampton is about ready to burst with innovation. While companies like Canon Canada, MDA, Dynacare, and Rogers Communications already have major presences in Brampton, the city is still very much a ground-floor investment — like Apple before the release of its first iPod in 2001.

Visit the City of Brampton website

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