There are a number of start-up “ecosystems” around the world that are challenging Silicon Valley’s reputation as the mecca of technology innovation. According to a new report released by the Startup Genome and Telefónica Digital, three Canadian cities are now on the list of the top 20 start-up ecosystems globally.
In fact, both Toronto and Vancouver cracked the top 10 – number eight and number nine, respectively – while Waterloo, home to BlackBerry-maker Research In Motion, landed at number 16.
“Canada has long been known as a top exporter of talent, and big US tech firms like Microsoft Corp. regularly make recruiting trips up north,” reads the Wall Street Journal’s analysis of the report. “Local officials often complain that technology entrepreneurs sell their companies or move to the Valley too early and too often.
“But Canadian technology accelerators and incubators,” the WSJ article continues, “like the MaRS Discovery District in Toronto and Growlab in Vancouver, with some help from government initiatives, have worked hard in recent years to improve the startup environment and keep entrepreneurs at home. These efforts appear to be bearing some fruit.”
Of Canada’s most populated city, the report itself says:
“Toronto is the largest startup ecosystem in Canada and is one of the largest startup ecosystems globally even though it creates 85 per cent less startups than Silicon Valley. It has a healthy funnel of startups across the stages of the Startup Lifecycle. Toronto competes for startups with regional competitors such as New York City, Boston and nearby Waterloo.”
For Vancouver it’s the same story: the city is ranked number nine globally but, like Toronto, produces 85 per cent less startups than Silicon Valley and has to contend with nearby competition (fourth ranked Seattle).
The below video features representatives from both the report’s authors, Startup Genome and Telefónica Digital, explaining what a startup needs to succeed and some of the thinking behind the report.