Feb 25, 2016
According to Shane Dingman’s recent article in The Globe and Mail, Toronto needs to do much more to help its tech start-ups reach the billion-dollar valuation that could catapult them to international prominence. Though the city has a significant number of important and fast-growing technology players – such as FreshBooks, Wattpad and Influitive , they can still find it challenging to get noticed in a business environment defined by its financial sector.
Chad Bayne, Partner in Osler’s Corporate Group and a recognized authority on technology and venture capital, agrees that Toronto tech start-ups need to do more to stand out from the crowd, both in terms of raising capital and creating leading technologies.
Bayne notes: “A lot of companies just plateau; they can’t seem to get over that hundred-million-dollar valuation. To basically build small little teams that get taken out effectively for their teams and not their technology, that’s not exciting. And that’s not what as Canadians we should be striving for.”
The leading consensus among technology experts in Toronto is that the city is still in the early stages of growth, when compared to regions like Silicon Valley. However, the key building blocks so vital to the city’s tech start-up community already exist. Toronto boasts tons of great talent, close proximity to several world-class engineering schools and universities, tax credits, a low currency, and a low cost to build.
If Toronto tech start-ups can leverage the existing fundraising opportunities at their disposal – notably the Digital Media Zone, the University of Toronto’s Banting and Best Centre for Innovation Entrepreneurship and the Investor Accelerator Fund operated by MaRS – they could make a significant impact on the global technology landscape within the next decade or so.
Read Shane Dingman’s full article, “Toronto’s tech startup scene in a ‘blossom state’” in the Globe and Mail, February 14, 2016.