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8 Reasons Tech Startups Should Consider Expanding to Canada

Jan 25, 2023 | Business

Silicon Valley has been associated with tech startups for decades. However, the hidden ingredient that enables businesses isn’t geography, it’s the people. 

Buffalo would transform into Silicon Valley if you could lure ten thousand qualified individuals from Silicon Valley there. This Silicon Valley effect is now pervasive throughout Canada. The “right people” in technology are picking Montreal, Waterloo, Toronto, and Vancouver as their locations for expansion. Let’s examine some of the causes for this.

They Access an Amazing Talent Pool

The workforce in Canada is highly educated and literate, and the country is home to a wide range of top-notch universities. The University of Waterloo is at the forefront of technology. Waterloo, known as the MIT of Canada, draws a regular stream of recruiters from companies like Apple, Google, and Facebook. The major players in technology have invested in line with their interests.

Microsoft has provided $6 million in R&D funding to the Université de Montréal and $1 million to McGill University due to Montreal’s reputation for expertise in artificial intelligence. Google is also investing $150 million in the Vector Institute at the University of Toronto’s AI research. (This AI investment comes after Google Brain offices opened in Montreal and Toronto.)

Diversity Exists in the Talent Pool

With over half of its population made up of immigrants from 230 different countries, Toronto has been dubbed the most ethnically diverse city in the world. More than 800,000 immigrants have been welcomed into Canada over the last five years alone as a way to replace an aging workforce. Most immigrants to Canada choose to live in cities, which expands the potential skill pool for startups.

Talent Is Affordable

The Canadian currency has remained steady at roughly 75 cents US. This enables foreign investors to purchase more goods and services with their money, including labor. Furthermore, less direct investment is required to maintain employee health because of Canada’s universal medical insurance.

Startups in Canada Are in Good Company

Shopify, Slack, Tunnel Bear, FreshBooks, Influitive, and Wattpad, to name just a few, are just a handful of successful startups that have already found success in Canada.

Vancouver continues to outperform its peers, despite the Toronto-Waterloo region having drawn most of Canada’s tech startups. HootSuite is one of Vancouver’s success stories, and the city shares the Pacific Northwest with Seattle’s Microsoft and Amazon.

The Tech Giants are Here Already

Technology’s high opinion of Canada is shared by the World’s Best Cities for 2023 rankings. In its annual ranking of the world’s 55 most reputable cities, Toronto was well represented in the top 25.

Government Assistance Is Available

Governments offer various funding initiatives all around Canada to help small organizations and tech startups. Additionally, the federal and provincial governments work together to provide subsidies of up to $10,000 per employee for workplace training from recognized vendors like Global Knowledge.

Then Private Investors Came Back

Even though government assistance is undoubtedly appreciated, venture capitalists are what enable real growth. The Canadian government virtually stopped taxing foreign investors on technology capital gains in recent years, which rekindled the VC community’s interest.

Canada’s Deep Roots in Technology Are Still Growing

Canada is hardly a newcomer to the computer industry. Canadian company Nortel rose to the top of the global telecommunications industry in the 1970s. Waterloo’s Research in Motion introduced the BlackBerry in the 1980s, sparking a smartphone craze that is still going strong today. Governments and educational institutions are working together to develop business incubators today.

Ryerson University’s Digital Media Zone offers space, money, and mentorship to the city’s artists, while the MaRS Discovery District in downtown Toronto supports startups from all over the world.

Conclusion

Canadians’ polite and reserved nature may have prevented them from boasting about their rising stature in the tech industry. But if Canada is currently the industry’s best-kept secret, that won’t likely be the case for very long.

Both established businesses and digital startups should have a strategic learning plan. However, their training requirements are probably distinct. Contact us today and view our services to learn more about how BrightR Limited can assist businesses in creating remote Canadian teams.

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