Let’s take a deep dive behind memory lane, a time not long ago, when Canadian tech entrepreneurs suffered hardship and had long lists of complains, a scarce early and late-stage funding, corporations unwilling to obtain their products, long delays in acquiring visas for foreign payment and the absconding of the best and brightest for silicon valley.
Coming back to our present time, and all those debilitating issues have largely been expunged. The Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government branded as innovative, has all but granted tech leaders all they ask for or desire including artificial intelligence support and unique fast-track visas, enabling them to have a conducive working environment.
We all know Canada has once squashed its tech prowess before [ref: BlackBerry]. Notwithstanding it needs to grasp the advantage of lessons learnt from that setback so it doesn’t repeat itself.
The good news here is that venture firms from Silicon Valley don’t even reflect on travelling to Canadian startups to invest. Big companies like Microsoft Corp, Google and Uber Technology Inc. are all crafting artificial intelligence research teams in Canada, which could be the field of tech of uttermost importance ever.
In 2016, venture capital investment sky rocketed 26 per cent to $2.9 billion from the year before. It was just $900 million in 2010. The United States tech giants are taking advantage and are hiring impeccably in Canada due to the presence of computer science grads and ease with which workers from southern Asia and Eastern Europe brought in. In Vancouver alone, Amazon has amassed around 1000 employees and is still recruiting hundreds more all over the country. One of the world’s biggest companies, Google, lunched a new bureau last year which could accommodate 1000 engineers in Waterloo, BlackBerry’s hometown.
This has gotten the attention of major U.S. tech companies which are indulging in formulating strategic investments in Canadian startups too.
In a space of just a week this month, Janet Bannister a former eBay executive and Toronto venture capitalist reiterated that she received calls from U.S. investors wanting a piece of Canada, because of the unimaginably growth of its companies and how successful they turn out to become.
Despite all of this, some Canadian tech vets are still icky by how multi-billion-dollar companies like BlackBerry and Nortel imploded and were victims of pride and contended self-satisfaction. On the other hand, pessimists believe that there’s no certainty it won’t happen again.
However, one exemplary exception is Shopify, which enables online business sale and generates steady growth revenue, catapulting its share price above 275 per cent since its initial public offering in May 2015.