Home Technology BlackBerry Ltd (BBRY) Struggles Inspire Start-up Boom In Waterloo

BlackBerry Ltd (BBRY) Struggles Inspire Start-up Boom In Waterloo

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BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) has struggled to hold its ground globally and customers are now dropping their BB smartphones. The failure forced the Canadian company to fire more than half of its staff, which could have had an adverse impact on the economy of the company’s hometown of Waterloo, Ontario. Instead, the failure has resulted in new companies that are now opening their offices in the restructured office buildings, says a report from Reuters.


Former BlackBerry employees turning entrepreneurs

Last year almost 450 start-ups opened in the twin cities of Waterloo and Kitchener, which is quadruple of the figure in 2009, according to a report from Communitech.  Most of the start-ups are the brainchild of former BlackBerry employees who want to become entrepreneurs.

For instance, Adam Belsher stepped down from BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) in 2011 after serving the company for 13 long years. He wanted to open his own enterprise because he felt the deterioration of his position in BlackBerry, formerly known as Research in Motion, which he had few years back.

Belsher is now the chief executive of Waterloo-based Magnet Forensics, a company specialized in making software used by Police to gain access to the deleted information such as e-mails, financial records and photographs from computers. Belsher has witnessed different growth stages of RIM (now BlackBerry) and extracted lesson from that experiences. He added that only a few companies can break into an already saturated market like wireless and create an altogether new entity in a multi -billion dollar category.

Waterloo popular for start-ups

Just like Belsher there are other former BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) workers, who are still residing in Kitchener, instead of setting up companies in Toronto, the financial hub of Canada or going to Silicon Valley.

According to  Sean McCabe, vice-president of engineering at drone manufacturer Aeryon Labs Inc in Waterloo,  “For those who are trying to get a new tech business off the ground, get it funded, and not get lost in the shadow of Silicon Valley, Waterloo can be the best place to get your company on the map.”

In 2007, BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) was awarded the title of most valuable company in Canada, a few days before Apple released first ever iPhone. In 2008 the Waterloo, Ontario based company was in its best phase valued at $80 billion compared to around $4 billion now.

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Aman Jain
Personal Finance Writer

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