Canadians prove wise on creating healthy tech startup atmosphere

Canadians think the government is doing a decent job of offering technology startups support, but almost nobody thinks this nation is a world leader when it comes to giving entrepreneurs a hand.

And they’re right on the money. With the help of AskingCanadians, we polled 1005 respondents from Nov. 8 to 11 about how Canada

Brian Jackson, Associate Editor,
Brian Jackson, Associate Editor,

compares to the rest of the world in terms of the ease of starting a technology-based company here. Then we asked them to rank what they thought were the most important things to do in order to make Canada a world leader in this important pillar of economic development.

Only 5.8 per cent of Canadians think their country is a world leader when it comes to making it easy for a technology startup to launch. But almost half consider Canada “among the top countries in the world at doing this,” while 39.1 per cent think “Canada could offer startup companies more support.”

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So in brief, most Canadians think we’re somewhere in the middle of the pack, and they’re right. According to the Technology in Toronto Region: Regional Innovation Cluster report conducted by the Toronto Region Research Alliance (and represented in awesome infographic form on our site), Canada does fall somewhere in the middle of the pack when it comes to providing the proper environment for tech startups to thrive.

In your view, how does Canada compare to the rest of the world in terms of the ease of starting a technology-based business here?

As our ICT in Canada infographic shows, we’re 4th in IT industry competitiveness, 8th in networked readiness, and 11th in digital economy. Canada’ per-capita expenditure on information and communications technology (ICT) is 11th, with the top three countries there including Switzerland, United States, and Norway.

It seems like Canadians are well-informed on where we stand with creating supports for a culture of tech entrepreneurship. So maybe we should listen to some of their ideas on how to improve things.

When we presented survey respondents with a list of six options to boost tech startup fortunes, and asked them to rank those in order from one (most important) to six (least important), Canadians said “an innovative workforce that won’t rush off to the U.S. or elsewhere for high-paying tech jobs” was the most important factor with an average ranking of 2.9. The next most popular measure was “venture capitalists who are willing to take risks in the kind of companies in which they invest.”

Many familiar with Canada’s startup community will be familiar with the lamenting of the lack of venture capital in this country. With funding for IT startups falling seven per cent in 2011’s second quarter, and 27 per cent in Quebec specifically, it looks like the situation is getting even worse.

This lack of capital is likely one reason many talented entrepreneurs head south of the border to pursue their technology dreams. Even

What’s the most important thing it will take to create the next Silicon Valley here in Canada? (Rank from one to six, with one being the most important).

The C100, a non-profit group that is dedicated to supporting Canadian technology entrepreneurship, is made up of Canadians that now live in California’s Silicon Valley.

When a major source of support for your tech startup community is coming from a group of top performers that are also ex-patriots, you know something is wrong.

AskingCanadians™ is a full-service online data collection firm dedicated to helping market researchers gather high quality information from Canadian consumers. Its French counterpart is Qu’en pensez vousMC, which includes a panel of more than 160,000 demographically representative and profiled Canadians who have opted-in to participate in online surveys that significantly influence today’s leading brands. AskingCanadians™ and Qu’en pensez vousMC are built through incentive partnerships with Hbc Rewards and Aeroplan. The result is an average response rate that eclipses the industry. For more information, please visit

Brian Jackson
Brian Jackson
Editorial director of IT World Canada. Covering technology as it applies to business users. Multiple COPA award winner and now judge. Paddles a canoe as much as possible.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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