While New York and San Francisco Have Built-up Deep Financial and Technical Infrastructure Thanks to Many Years of Flourishing Startups, Canada Is yet to Be on Par.
An early-stage venture capital firm ff Venture Capital has invested in four Toronto based startups and one Ottawa based company since 2011. This is out of the 60 active companies in their portfolio. There is only one other U.S. based investor with as many investments in Canada.
The company explained that it thought central Canada has many assets of other entrepreneurial hubs. Apart from quality universities, it also had a creative community and strong engineering talent. Startup Genome, a platform for analyzing startup communities, in 2013, listed Toronto, Vancouver, and Waterloo among the top 20 most active startup scenes in the world.
The government too is a significant reason for this as it has significantly more rational immigration policies for foreign businesses, thus encouraging talented people across the globe to come to Canada. Research and development have tax incentives, as well. Additionally, the fall in the Canadian dollar makes it more lucrative for Americans to invest in Canada.
While New York and San Francisco have built up deep financial and technical infrastructure thanks to many years of flourishing startups, Canada is yet to be on par.
Some Canadian startups particularly stand out. One of them is 500px, an online marketplace for photographers founded by two Russian immigrants. Based out of Toronto, the company has attracted over six-million registered members from over 190 countries, who have uploaded over 60-million images to the platform.
Another company that has venture capital firms interested is InteraXon, with their product ‘Muse’, a brain-sensing headset that tracks brain activity and facilitates meditation.
Shopify, a prominent software-as-a-service company which recently went public validated to leading U.S. venture capitalists and investors that Ottawa is a viable home to a sophisticated and successful software company. Based out of Ottawa, The Better Software Company, an enterprise resource platform for small businesses too has attracted Venture Capital.
Also rising in the startup market are two Toronto companies. Drop Loyalty, a coalition loyalty program targeted at millennial consumers and OpenCare a health-care discovery platform which helps patients find the best possible health provider and book appointments online.
Experienced entrepreneurs are now beginning to look at Canada as an exciting place to expand into. Venture capitalists are now confident that the best innovation in Canada is yet to come.