Over Half of Startup CEOs Say Toronto’s Tech Scene Will Rival Silicon Valley

  • By: mvadmin
  • Date: May 17, 2019
  • Time to read: 2 min.

More than 50 per cent of tech start-up, CEOs feel Toronto’s tech scene will rival Silicon Valley’s, survey finds. A survey conducted among 140 start-up founders about Toronto’s tech scene found that more than half of them felt that Toronto could rival Silicon Valley.

The survey was by “Toronto Life”, which sent a questionnaire to dozens of start-up founders and tech company CEOs in the Toronto-Waterloo Corridor. 

They were asked many questions about working in tech and Toronto.

Most tech start-up founders had not previously worked in Silicon Valley, while some had. However, a large number of the respondents said they watched every episode of the TV show ‘Silicon Valley’.

Here are some quotes from the survey.

The worst thing about running a start-up in Toronto is…

“Lack of access to executive talent and general low-ambition culture.” —Mike Silagadze, Top Hat

“Being overshadowed by Valley start-ups and ignored by U.S. media and investors. It’s changing, though.”
—Allen Lau, Wattpad

“Doing business in Toronto and Canada, in general, is tough. Most of my peers in the tech community are doing more than 50 per cent of their business outside of Canada.”
—Chris Wiegand, Jibestream

“Cold winters.”
—Steve Irvine, Integrate.ai


Many CEOs agreed that Toronto’s tech scene needed more women and that it needed to stop trying to be Silicon Valley.

On a scale of 0 to 10, with 0 being the least diverse, the respondents of the survey gave an average rating of 7.2 for diversity.

The three most influential people in Toronto’s Tech scene now were listed as:

  1. John Ruffolo, CEO of OMERS Ventures
  2. Michael Katchen, founder and CEO of Wealthsimple
  3. Michael Serbinis, founder and CEO of League

According to the respondents, the Start-ups most likely to be successful in 10 years were Wealthsimple, League and Hubba.