Are there VCs in Quebec City

Canada's start-up ecosystem is thriving nationwide

Good framework conditions for Canadian start-ups, ...

Canada knows how to attract and promote young talent from home and abroad. The state not only trains engineers continuously, but also invests early on in linking research and application. As a result, very good development conditions are created for young entrepreneurs and those who want to become one.

An example of this are the technology incubators managed by universities such as the DMZ at Ryerson University, Velocity from the University of Waterloo, TEC Edmonton or Innovate Calgary. These tech incubators turn students into entrepreneurs straight away. When it comes to the human factor alone, some venture capital firms and start-up consultants now value Canada as a location even higher than its big neighbor in the south.

... but too little money for growth

Canada is currently benefiting from the generally positive assessment of its start-up environment. The money for new ideas and young talent is available and investments in technology start-ups in Canada are rising steadily, as the MoneyTree Report from PwC shows, among other things. Canada is now one of the top 5 countries in terms of total venture capital after the USA. However, it is still harder for young companies that have already had their first successes to grow rapidly than in the US, says Canadian founder and venture capitalist Bruce Croxon. His company Capital13 wants to fill this gap and helps start-ups to scale.

Immediately after founding, start-ups often lack support in the back office. Startup Canada, an organization that sees itself as a national association and the voice of young companies, asked its network, among other things, where they needed support most. Financing (65 percent), sales (54) and public awareness (51) were mentioned most frequently. There is also a lack of mentors and sponsors (44 percent) as well as legal services (44), bookkeeping (27) and help with adopting new technologies.

Funding is more likely to go to collaborations

A report by the organization Startup Genome, which examines the global start-up ecosystem, also shows that the actors in Canada should work together even better. There are quite a few good examples. State and business sometimes work closely with universities to promote innovation. When it comes to environmental technologies, the independent foundation Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC) is a good example. It brings together research, the private sector and state actors to develop new environmental technologies. The SDTC is funding its funding on behalf of the Canadian government.

Collaboration and synergies are also the focus of the government's supercluster initiative. The state is taking almost a billion Canadian dollars, i.e. a good 600,000 euros, into its hands to establish cooperation between start-ups, corporations, medium-sized companies and research institutions in five new superclusters. Cluster partners from the private sector have pledged to put the same amount on top.

The "supercluster" approach is new, it aims more at cooperation than at displacement. The huge clusters create connections between companies that end up having similar customers - they are partners rather than competitors.

Canadian funding landscape is strong

The funding landscape for individual companies and participants is also well developed in Canada. There are numerous accelerators and incubators. To this end, programs have been developed to help young companies explore funding opportunities (such as Mentor Works) or offer research support (such as SR&ED); In addition, there are grants for the financing of a start-up workforce, depreciation allowances for marketing and marketing measures (Ontario Interactive Digital Media Tax Credit) and much more. The Start Up Here Toronto website provides a good overview of the most important government programs.

Start-up accelerators and incubators in Canada (selection)

Canada-wide Highline ( - national accelerator platform
Atlantic provinces Innovacorp (, Halifax / Incubator; Investing in knowledge-based Nova Scotia startups Launch 36 (, Moncton; Program to develop the next generation of high technology companies on the East Coast
Manitoba Manitoba Technology Accelorator (, Winnipeg; Marketing advice for tech start-ups
Ontario Digital Media Zone (, Toronto; Digital media MaRS Discovery District (, Toronto; Innovation hub CommuniTech (, Kitchener / Waterloo; Innovative Technologies L-SPARK (, Ottawa; Accelerator and incubator; own conference: SAAS North
Quebec Inno-center (, Montreal and Quebec City; Start-up accelerator CEIM (, Montreal; Management support for start-ups in IT, new media, environmental technologies, life sciences Founder Fuel (, Montreal; supports data and SaaS projects with a special focus on AI technologies with seed capital Centech (, Montreal; Catalyst for tech startups in Montreal
British Columbia Wavefront (, Vancouver; Accelerator for ICT sector GrowLab (, Vancouver; Start-up accelerator
Alberta Innovate Calgary (, Calgary; Technology transfer and incubator for the University of Calgary TEC Edmonton (, Edmonton; Accelerator

Source: Research by Germany Trade & Invest

Canada's founders are often college students

The proportion of students among start-up founders is highest in the world in Canada. A recent OECD study found this out. Around 14 percent of the start-ups here are founded by young people no more than four years after starting a bachelor's degree.

In relation to the number of inhabitants, Canada's entrepreneurship is also remarkable in an international comparison. The OECD study portrays the structures of innovative start-up systems across countries in the period 2001 to 2016 and shows that Canada is one of the top 5 countries in terms of both number and density of start-ups relative to its population.

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Contact addresses

Further information on Canada is available at