TERRY PENDER, WATERLOO, ON (JAN 29, 2018) — Miovision Technologies has turned an investment of $1.5 million from the Ontario government into $15 million to pay for its state-of-the-art office in a former tire warehouse on Glasgow Street.
“It helped us leverage $13.5 million in private money. That’s always good,” said Kurtis McBride, a co-founder and chief executive officer of Miovision.
“It helped us get in here, and get this space built out, and during the coming years we will add to the head-count to fill up this space.”
Miovision’s new 62,500-square-foot headquarters inside 137 Glasgow St. is colourful, open and attractive, and designed to support collaboration among employees. Behind one wall is an empty space that has already been prepped to allow Miovision to quickly double the floor plate.
The grant from the Southwestern Ontario Development Fund will be handed over in stages as Miovision grows.
“It will flow in phases, some of it flowed to do this development, and behind that wall we have room to expand,” said McBride. “Some of the money will be used for that expansion.”
Since Miovision moved into the new headquarters last September, the number of employees has increased by 20 per cent. Since the middle of last month, the company has hired 15 new employees.
It currently has 175 employees and the new office can accommodate up to 300. After that the company has to expand into the empty space behind one of the walls.
Miovision developed technology that monitors traffic moving through signalized intersections. The technology helps cities better manage traffic and ease congestion.
“Now that we have space, we plan to add to the team again and we plan to do that through this year,” said McBride. “Especially with our new product, which is about controlling the flow of traffic through cities.”
Sales are strong for the latest version of Miovision’s camera-based technology that helps cities collect data on traffic, analyze it for trends and adjust signals to optimize the flow of vehicles, he said.
“We are seeing increasing traction with that product. That product and its growth will drive the need for more head count.”
Miovision was founded in 2005 by McBride, Kevin Madill and Tony Brijpaul at the University of Waterloo. The company has raised more than $30 million in funding, and is among the high-growth tech firms in Waterloo Region that have attracted attention and support from all levels of government.
It is the type of company the Ontario government must support because competing jurisdictions also put public dollars into growing technology firms, said Daiene Vernile, MPP for Kitchener-Centre and the Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport.
“Ontario is competing with jurisdictions around the world that offer rich incentives,” said Vernile. “If we are going to be in the game we have to be at the table and provide incentives too.”
The province is using the Southwestern Ontario Development Fund to invest in high-growth tech firms with proven track records, she said.
“Miovision is in 17,000 cities around the world, so we know there is the potential for them to create jobs and be a leader in the tech sector in our community.”
The company’s new office is in a 450,000-square-foot building called Catalyst137 that was built in the former tire warehouse for tech firms working in the Internet of Things and on smart city technology.
Kitchener Mayor Berry Vrbanovic has supported Catalyst137 from the beginning, calling it a much needed evolution of the area’s tech sector from software into hardware.
“They have done a fantastic job,” he said.