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Start-Up Ecosystem

Accelerated Innovation

How does a large global business think and act like a start-up?

Thomson Reuters + Communitech

Brian Zubert, Director, Thomson Reuters Labs – Waterloo Region
Iain Klugman, President & CEO, Communitech

By partnering with innovators and disruptors to create and accelerate the next big ideas and businesses.

Thomson Reuters Labs around the world collaborate with start-ups to rapidly prototype and validate solutions using data science and lean techniques, and with customers to solve big problems and challenges. Working with external partners, Thomson Reuters Labs are active members of regional innovation ecosystems, creating world-class solutions for our customers.

Communitech logo

Thomson Reuters Labs – Waterloo Region in Ontario, Canada, enjoys a vibrant partnership with our site host, Communitech. This industry-led innovation center of nearly 1,000 companies is at the heart of the Toronto-area innovation and technology community.

The Lab has two primary objectives:

  • Innovation through applied research and experimentation on Thomson Reuters vast and unique data sets, helping to produce solutions for Thomson Reuters customers.
  • Collaboration with academics, students and start-ups to put new technologies into practice, and meet the business challenges faced by Thomson Reuters customers.
Shots from around Thomson Reuters Labs
Photos from around Thomson Reuters Labs – Waterloo Region in Ontario, Canada

Working closely with colleagues across the company in our financial and risk, legal and tax and accounting businesses, in 2016 the Lab partnered on numerous initiatives with start-ups, including:

BlueJ logo

Blue J Legal

An exclusive joint initiative to bring Tax Foresight, a new suite of artificial intelligence-based tax case outcome predictors, to Canadian corporate tax professionals, tax preparers, accountants and tax lawyers on the Thomson Reuters Taxnet Pro® platform.

Overbond logo


The first fully integrated platform for the bond origination market that directly connects corporate and government issuers with dealers, institutional investors and select retail investors.

TickSmith logo


The first commercial big data platform for financial data, used to deliver innovative data management and analytic solutions to participants in the brokerage ecosystem including trading groups, exchanges, data vendors, regulators and brokerage firms.

We chose to launch in the Waterloo Region due to its robust innovation ecosystem and the ability to bring together the energy of a world-class university, game-changing start-up companies and global industry collaborations.

Brian Zubert, Director, Thomson Reuters Labs
Brian Zubert
Director, Thomson Reuters Labs – Waterloo Region

The growing Thomson Reuters Labs network

The Lab in Waterloo is one of six around the world.

Thomson Reuters Labs is an engine of innovation for our company, leveraging creative partnerships to deliver real solutions for our customers. Through our growing Labs network, we continue to connect Thomson Reuters best-in-class data sets and professional expertise with innovation communities around the globe.

Mona Vernon, Vice President, Thomson Reuters Labs
Mona Vernon
Vice President, Thomson Reuters Labs
University of Waterloo logo

Partnering in research and talent

The Canada Lab also partners closely with the University of Waterloo, with its extraordinary pool of mathematical and computer science talent. Students and faculty gain opportunities for research, innovation and start-up projects; entrepreneurial contests; and mentoring. The university connection also involves Thomson Reuters in the school’s elite co-op program.

Feridun Hamdullahpur, President and Vice-Chancellor, University of Waterloo

Wide-ranging collaboration

Thomson Reuters and the University of Waterloo have joined forces to fuel breakthroughs in data science and develop the next generation of global entrepreneurial leaders.

A Thomson Reuters-funded Research Chair in Data Cleaning from Theory to Practice supports initial research into new methods for storing, cleaning and curating data, as well as overcoming the problem of data silos to help businesses make better use of their data.

A joint collaboration on the Problem Lab with the Conrad Business, Entrepreneurship and Technology Centre at Waterloo helps students find and understand important problems – the critical, but often overlooked, first step of entrepreneurial innovation.

The Thomson Reuters Labs – Waterloo Region has also created four positions for undergraduate and graduate-level Waterloo students (three co-op positions in UX design, data science and start-up engagement, and a Ph.D. internship in data science). Another full-time position is coming for a master’s or Ph.D. graduate.

Thomson Reuters and the University of Waterloo are teaming up to support Canada’s global competitiveness as a leader in the knowledge-and-technology economy. Our organizations are united in our commitment to producing talent and technology to help realize the best possibilities of the Information Age.

Feridun Hamdullahpur, President and Vice-Chancellor, University of Waterloo
Feridun Hamdullahpur
President and Vice-Chancellor, University of Waterloo

Toronto Technology Centre

Thomson Reuters further announced in 2016 our creation of a new Technology Centre in Toronto, to incorporate cognitive computing and artificial intelligence into our next generation of products. Part of our broader strategy of networked Labs around the world (including Waterloo), this initiative will connect with Communitech as well as local start-ups, while our data scientists leverage the technology corridor connecting the Waterloo region to Toronto.

The Toronto Technology Centre will allow Thomson Reuters to co-locate technology talent to drive productivity, increase flexibility and encourage cross-enterprise innovation. The Toronto-Waterloo Region Corridor is one of the largest technology clusters in the world and offers a rich mix of emerging and mature technology talent, and a robust pipeline of graduates from local universities. Proximity to large and strategic customers will also enable rapid, customer-driven innovation, particularly in Toronto’s fast-growing FinTech community.

REUTERS/Mark Blinch

Our new Technology Centre furthers our commitment to growing Canada’s preeminent hub of innovation, and to building the customer-centric platforms and solutions of the future.

Jim Smith
President and Chief Executive Officer, Thomson Reuters

… an example of how great things can happen when the public and private spheres work together …

Rt Hon Justin Trudeau
Prime Minister of Canada