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Waterloo Quality

The BlackBerry that grew around the world

RIM founder Mike Lazaridis celebrates his Waterloo engineering roots at a 50th anniversary celebration on campus.

The BlackBerry, now a household name, has changed the way communication happens for millions around the world, including the president of the United States.

Mike Lazaridis is all about making great ideas happen.

In 1984, while Mike Lazaridis was a fourth-year Waterloo electrical and computer engineering student, he founded his own company, Research In Motion. Today RIM is one of the fastest-growing businesses in the world, according to Fortune and Canadian Business magazines.

RIM is best known for the BlackBerry, the world's first complete and secure end-to-end wireless solution for email and corporate data delivery. The BlackBerry, now a household name, has changed the way communication happens for millions around the world, including the president of the United States, who is an avid BlackBerry user.

Barack Obama made news for using a BlackBerry during his 2008 presidential campaign and for insisting on bringing it with him to the White House after becoming president. He is the first president of the United States to use mobile email.

The Queen of England is also a fan of the BlackBerry. On a recent visit to the City of Waterloo the Queen was presented not only with flowers, but with a new white BlackBerry Bold 9700 smartphone from Lazaridis himself.

To help make other great ideas happen, Lazaridis, co-CEO of RIM and chancellor of the University of Waterloo from 2003 to 2009, and his wife Ophelia, a member of the university’s board of governors, have donated more than $100 million towards the university’s Institute for Quantum Computing.

“We are excited to add support to what is becoming the epicentre of quantum research and experimentation," Lazaridis says. "Our investment in fundamental research at the Institute of Quantum Computing will help researchers tackle some of today's most challenging problems and seed some of tomorrow's biggest innovations.”

> Research In Motion

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