At Careerify, our social engines have searched over 5 million profiles from the World Wide Web and through our applications on such social networks like Facebook and LinkedIn. Being a proud Canadian start-up, we were curious to know how technology titans such as Blackberry (formerly known as RIM) affected the Canadian landscape from an employee development perspective. Hiring 10,000′s of people across the world, Blackberry has single-handedly developed much of the vibrant Kitchener-Waterloo technology scene. Though Blackberry has restructured and has laid off many talented employees, we looked at 636 former Blackberry employees within Canada and studied where they are working now.
Further more, we observed more than 300 of the former BlackBerry employees are now Founders and CEOs of their respective companies. Though BlackBerry is currently hard-pressed to recreate the stranglehold they once had in the smartphone industry, former employees are now prospering.
Start-ups such as Xtremelabs, Vidyard, Freshbooks, and yes, even Careerify, have benefited from Blackberry’s talent.
Michael Litt, currently the co-founder and CEO of Vidvard, had this to say about his time at Blackberry. “Being a part of the Software Product Management team at BlackBerry gave me insight into managing, filtering and integrating massive volumes of customer data and insight into consumer products. I worked with a fantastic team of people that have now spread into various roles at other large companies and startups in the Waterloo Region.”
Due to Blackberry’s innovation, start-ups like Careerify have elected not to move to Silicon Valley. “The technical talent is on par to the talent in Silicon Valley. We get the same productivity from employees that have a stronger work-life balance, it costs less, and Canadian employees take personal pride in seeing their Canadian start-ups succeed.” said Harpaul Sambhi, CEO of Careerify. “We want to become the next Blackberry and show the world leading innovation can come from Canada.”