Media release

Communitech and Region of Waterloo launch Future of Cities Challenge to support local nonprofits focused on child and youth well-being

KITCHENER, ON. September 24, 2021 – Communitech and the Region of Waterloo have joined forces for an important new collaborative with the aim of supporting local nonprofit organizations, focusing on child and youth well-being, navigate data-related challenges.


The collaborative challenge is working in partnership with the Children and Youth Planning Table of Waterloo Region (CYPT), a community-wide partnership of over 60 Voting Member Organizations, which includes service providers, researchers, planning bodies and funders serving children, youth and their families. Today, a key priority for the CYPT is to build a sense of belonging for children, youth and families within our community. As such, the collaborative is seeking smart, innovative companies to submit proposals to four challenges aimed at helping nonprofit organizations with key areas related to data, including data sharing between organizations, benchmarks & comparables, data literacy and capabilities, and common approach to data and data insights.


Through the Smart Waterloo Region initiative, the Region of Waterloo is actively funding solutions in support of child and youth well-being, with the end goal of becoming the best community in Canada for children and youth. A key part of that effort is to use data in order to adjust and measure outcomes that drive children and youth excellence. 


“When we think about belonging in children and youth, we recognize the importance of equity, relationships and attachment, and feeling valued, heard and included,” said Grayson Bass, Manager, Smart Waterloo Region Innovation Lab, Region of Waterloo.  “The Region of Waterloo wants to be able to understand which data points are most impactful as early warning signs as well as signifiers of long term success. Measurement matters.” 


The Future of Cities collaborative brings innovators together with a common goal of reimagining the systems and processes that guide the operation of our cities. Working with a variety of stakeholders, the collaborative will explore solutions to the most pressing challenges while making sure consideration is given to the privacy and security of citizens.


“We’re grateful for the opportunity to engage the innovation of our ecosystem to make a meaningful impact for our community's children and youth with this pilot program,” said Joel Semeniuk, Vice President of Corporate Innovation at Communitech.


A Future of Cities partner session will run September 29, 2021 from 1:00-2:00 PM EST, where members of the collaborative including the Region of Waterloo, the Children and Youth Planning Table and nonprofits will discuss solution criteria and provide context on the challenges they've been experiencing, what they're looking for in successful solutions, and ideal use cases enabled by this challenge.


For more on Communitech’s Future of Cities collaborative, please visit




For media inquires, please contact:


Samantha Clark

Public Relations Manager, Communitech



About Communitech

Communitech was founded in 1997 by a group of entrepreneurs committed to making Waterloo Region a global innovation leader. At the time it was a wild idea, but somehow this community managed to pull it off. Today, Communitech is a public-private innovation hub that supports a community of more than 1,600 companies — from startups to scale-ups to large global players. Communitech helps tech companies start, grow and succeed in three distinct ways.

- Communitech is a place – the centre of gravity for entrepreneurs and innovators. A clubhouse for building cool tech and great companies.

- Communitech delivers programs – helping companies at all stages with access to capital, customers and talent. We are here to help them grow and innovate.

- Communitech partners in building a world-leading ecosystem – making sure we have all the ingredients (and the brand) to help companies go from a small startup to a global giant.