Is Canada becoming the new home of unicorns?

Another startup powerhouse to watch out for

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People say that nice guys finish last — and Canada, with its reputation for polite citizenry and its charming prime minister, is accustomed to being overlooked. Canada may tower over many countries in terms of physical size, but that does not stop Canada from being dismissed by creative hubs.

Canada has an enviable array of natural resources and it boasts incredible support for entrepreneurs — both homegrown and international. Many homegrown unicorns, such as Slack, Hootsuite and Shopify — hail from north of the border. This proves Canada is capable of delivering on start-up success.

There is no perfect ingredient to taste the success. However, support, grants, location.. you name it could contribute to reach the pinnacle of triumph. Here are some of the factors that help the development of start-ups in Canada:

  1. Canada falls in the top 10 of the world’s freest economies – event beating out both the United Kingdom and the United States. This makes a huge impact on business culture and is one reason why Canada bodes well on the start-up front in 2016.
  2. Another factor that drastically contributes to the functioning and development of start-ups is the ability to have reasonable start-up costs as well as funding support in the form of grants and loans. There is a huge selection of government aid available to small businesses – some of which includes grants that don’t have to be paid back. It has developed tax incentives, wage subsidies, and even offered visas to qualifying immigrants who want to plant their start-up on Canadian soil.
  3. Startup business tools are another factor that lead to startup success in Canada. BizPaL, for instance, is a platform that enables startups to search for permits and licenses when they first begin their business journey. Canadian accelerators and incubators have helped attract more than $1.7 billion in follow-on investment and helped facilitate the creation of more than 10,000 new jobs.
  4. Canadian startups would not perform nearly as well without the many university programs offered and the country’s high rate of university completion. These programs generate tech-savvy individuals who enter the job force with big business ideas and marketable skills.  For instance, The University of Waterloo —known as Canada’s answer to MIT — sees huge numbers go to Silicon Valley every year, while others all over the country produce thousands of talented grads.

While the world focuses mainly on Silicon Valley for startups, Canada is quietly but rapidly becoming a startup powerhouse.