Best cities in Canada for tech startups

Wondering where the best place to start your tech company might be? Or looking for a job at an emerging tech startup and not sure the best place to look? Well Expert Market has compiled a list of the top cities in Canada for tech startups, and the results weren’t too surprising; Kitchener-Waterloo ranks as the best place for startups with Toronto and Montreal rounding out the top three.

The study looked at how easy it is to start a tech businesses in 25 of Canada’s biggest cities and and found the top five cities for 2018 were:

  1. Kitchener-Waterloo-Cambridge
  2. Toronto
  3. Montreal
  4. Ottawa
  5. Vancouver

The ‘tri-cities’ of Kitchener-Waterloo-Cambridge placed first thanks to the availability of venture capital funding, with $15.5 million (all figures CAD) in investment funding available per 100k people, as well as the availability of tech talent and being the third-most affordable area to live in, according to the study, which calls the area, “a savy financial choice” for starting a business.

Toronto placed second in the study likely because of its much higher cost of living as well as less availability of venture capital funding, which Expert Market states as $8.25 million per 100k people. While this may be the case, Toronto still has the largest potential supply of tech talent thanks to the 44 tech courses offered by universities and colleges in the city.

The study looked at five main areas when compiling its list, cost of living, venture capital investment availability, how fast the internet is, availability of tech talent, and how entrepreneurial-friendly the city is.

The cities with the most venture capital available are Montreal, Ottawa and Vancouver, which all have over $21 million in investment funding available per 100k people. While they may not have the largest talent pools, all three cities offer the potential of tech talent, with 25, 15 and 18 tech courses, respectively, available in those cities.

The least likely city to start a tech business and succeed according to the report, is Saint John with a high cost of living that rivals Toronto, only $1.68 million in venture capital and a small pool of tech talent thanks to only one available tech course. Surprisingly though, the east-coast city has the fastest internet speed of all the 25 cities surveyed.

Here are the top ten cities to launch a tech startup according to the report:

  1. Kitchener-Waterloo-Cambridge
  2. Toronto
  3. Montreal
  4. Ottawa
  5. Vancouver
  6. Gatineau
  7. Mississauga
  8. Hamilton
  9. Halifax
  10. Guelph

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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Meagan Simpson
Meagan Simpson
Meagan Simpson is a staff writer for IT World Canada. A graduate of Carleton University’s journalism program, she loves sports, travelling, reading and photography, and when not covering tech news she can be found cuddled up on the couch with her cat and a good book.

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