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In the 2012 Tech Ecosystem Report created by VentureLAB, a few Canadian cities have made their way into the world’s top 20 startup ecosystems. It is evident Canada is taking an influential role in today’s tech industry, and many Canada-based tech companies have made their international name in recent years.
While Silicon Valley and several other American cities lead the way in the industry, they are also Canada’s biggest competitors for procuring IT talents due to the geographic proximity. Nevertheless, Canada provides necessary conditions that could foster further growth for our current IT industry.
Support for Startup’s
In comparison with the United States, hiring foreign talent in Canada is much easier. The Canadian government initiated the special Startup Visa which offers potential permanent residency and low taxes benefits to attract entrepreneurial talents from abroad. This program was deliberately created to compete with Silicon Valley in terms of attracting talent, especially those who have difficulties obtaining the H-1B visa. In fact, Facebook has redirected some of their workers to settle in their Vancouver office because of this very reason. Despite initial resentment, these Facebook employees have come to realize Vancouver is no less inferior to Silicon Valley. This visa policy certainly raises the chance of having the greatest human resources to cultivate success in the Canadian tech industry.
With the implementation of the Venture Capital Action Plan (VCAP), as well as funding from the Canadian Accelerator and Incubator Program, entrepreneurs and young firms have the resources necessary to focus on further growth and innovation for their own purpose. Furthermore, fostering these firms through their early stages with the help of start-up tech hubs will essentially create a healthy culture of long-term partnerships, creating a whole ecosystem that attracts and fosters an entrepreneurial mindset – so that Canada becomes a place to stay.
Getting the Capital
Even companies like Hootsuite and Vision Critical have benefited from the large quantity of venture capital from OMERS Ventures. With the $20 million venture capital received in mid-2012, Vision Critical was able to generate $80 million revenue in that year. Likewise, as the founder of Hootsuite, Ryan Holmes, claims with regards to raising capital of $165 million, “Often, as companies get bigger, it feels like failure is not an option, and that can create a paralysis in which innovation suffers. So, we’re looking at how to keep the entrepreneurial culture that’s always been part of our DNA.”