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WATERLOO — At first glance they appear as almost mirror images of each other.

Waterloo is home to BlackBerry, the smartphone maker that grew into a global phenomenon and attracted a host of high-tech companies in its wake.

Eindhoven, Holland, gave birth to Philips, one of the largest electronics firms in the world. Founded in 1891, Philips is credited with triggering the growth of that region's high-tech economy.

Both cities have universities specializing in math, computer science and engineering and both host incubators for high-tech startups.

Both regions have roughly the same population, about 400,000 to 500,000 people and...

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