Business and tech enthusiasts looking to explore beyond mainstream tourism highlights should keep the following four enclaves—all established hubs for innovation—in mind.
Brooklyn Tech Triangle
Home to more than 500 game-changing companies (including BioLite) and 11 universities, this district, which occupies parts of DUMBO, Downtown Brooklyn and the Brooklyn Navy Yard, is rife with inspiration. Travellers can visit many sites that showcase how the Triangle is helping to transform the world. One of the most compelling is BLDG 92 in the Brooklyn Navy Yard, which hosts rotating exhibitions showcasing forward-thinking creations by students in the area. (Previous exhibitors include Michelle Cortese, who created a necklace/app that picks up the wearer’s speech patterns.)
Part of Canada’s Technology Triangle, Waterloo is a local base for innovative corporations (including BlackBerry and OpenText) thanks to the University of Waterloo, which has the world’s largest math and computer science undergraduate program. The city’s Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics regularly hosts tours, exhibits and free lectures that bring in renowned scientists from around the world.
Kendall Square, Cambridge
High-tech and pharmaceutical companies originally settled in this Cambridge neighbourhood because of its proximity to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and it has since developed into a vibrant live-work-play nucleus with a great farmers’ market, kayaking opportunities nearby and plenty of fabulous restaurants. But the best draw for tech fans is the Innovation of Cambridge Tour (led by guides in lab coats, naturally) that gives visitors an insider’s look at all the technological history that has been made, and is still being made, in Kendall Square.
Quartier de l’Innovation, Montreal
Situated in the heart of downtown Montreal, Quartier de l’Innovation is a creative ecosystem of schools, private start-ups, and established businesses. With approximately 150,000 students, professors and researchers living, studying, and working in this neighbourhood, there is a buzzing atmosphere everywhere you turn. Check out the Darling Foundry for contemporary art, visit Le Salon 1861 to network with the local community, or attend a Mat’Inno conference on topics ranging from the economy to technology.