Federal government studying advice on how to help startups grow

OTTAWA - The federal government is closely studying recommendations on how to help Canadian tech startups grow into global success stories -transformations that could eventually provide a boost for the ailing economy.

See Full Article

The findings of a recent report are under analysis by the Liberal government, which has also been told internally that building small and medium tech firms into billion-dollar players remains a key challenge.

The review comes amid debate on how best to revive the economy, which is struggling with low commodity prices.

The study, commissioned by the federal and Ontario governments, outlines possible strategies to help budding entrepreneurs become high-growth operations.

Some startups pack the potential to eventually drive national prosperity and become "significant employers of tomorrow," said the September document produced by the Centre for Digital Entrepreneurship and Economic Performance, an economic think-tank.

The analysis of the findings comes as the Liberals prepare their first budget, expected late next month. Some anticipate the fiscal blueprint to include measures to boost the tech and startup sectors.

"In an environment of stagnant domestic growth and continued global economic uncertainty, Canada has a number of critical economic priorities to address in the months and years ahead," the study says.

Along with diversifying the economy and expanding trade and exports, the document highlights the need to turn research and technological innovation into high-growth Canadian firms that compete on the global stage.

To get there, it explored six "priority areas" for Canada:

  • Focus on better identifying companies with high potential and help them to scale up.
  • Improve accountability by demanding better reporting and more data transparency from startup assistance groups - like business incubators and accelerators. It's seen as a way to shed more light on the actual return on public investments.
  • Attract more large corporations to participate in the success of Canadian incubators and accelerators. These partnerships are much more common in the United States.
  • Boost the quality of mentor programs by connecting more high-potential companies with business leaders who have experience building billion-dollar tech firms.
  • Increase the exposure of startups to international markets.
  • Explore new models to increase the role of investors in startups.

"Canada's continued underperformance on the creation of high-growth firms, and limited transactional activity within its startup community, speaks to real weaknesses in the entrepreneurial support ecosystem," said the report, commissioned under the previous Conservative government.

The new government confirmed it will study the document to further its understanding of how incubators and accelerators can "drive innovation, entrepreneurship and the global competitiveness of Canadian companies," Hans Parmar, a spokesman for Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada, wrote in an email.

The government, he added, is committed to developing policy based on sound evidence.

Internally, a federal memo prepared last fall for the deputy minister of Industry Canada, said the six priority areas in the findings "can be taken by governments and the BABI industry (business accelerators and business incubators) to help address weaknesses in Canada's entrepreneurial support system."

The memo and the report were obtained by The Canadian Press under the Access to Information Act. A version of the study has also been posted on the think-tank's website.

Meanwhile, "secret" briefing material sought to draw the attention of Navdeep Bains, the new Economic Development minister, to several "key areas of challenge" facing Canada and businesses in the global digital economy.

Growing small- and medium-sized tech firms to join the ranks of high-growth and billion-dollar companies was among the important challenges, said the "hot issues" memo. The document was also obtained by The Canadian Press under the Access to Information Act.

Since coming to power last fall, the Liberals have emphasized the country's knowledge-based economy.

Last month, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau used a high-profile international speech to promote the idea that Canada has more to offer than just commodities, although he acknowledged they were still a crucial part of the economy.

"My predecessor wanted you to know Canada for its resources," Trudeau told the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. "I want you to know Canadians for our resourcefulness."



Advertisements

Latest Economic News

  • Why do you need a pet insurance, right here, right now

    Economic 24news
    Many Canadians would consider their pets as a part of their immediate, granular, family. Although some professionals think it’s not healthy, that’s the way life is in the twenty first century; There is a steep decline in the birth rate globally, with Japan leading the pack, and pets are filling in the void.
  • Macron says U.K. can't keep full access to E.U. post-Brexit

    Economic CTV News
    LONDON -- French President Emmanuel Macron has suggested that Britain is likely to negotiate a unique relationship with the European Union before it leaves the bloc next year, while stressing that any agreement must be consistent with EU rules. Source
  • Retrofitting suburbia: Old shopping malls can be saved by their parking lots

    Economic CBC News
    Aging shopping centres, built decades ago as beacons of fashion and free parking on the suburban fringe, are gradually becoming relics on a sea of inner-city asphalt. But rather than tinker at the margins to squeeze the last nickels out of old stores, some retailers are doing something dramatic with their biggest asset: land. Source
  • Want to understand the problems with minimum wage? Talk to people who earn it

    Economic CBC News
    There are more than a million Canadians who work minimum wage jobs — they make up 8 per cent of the country's salaried employees. The hourly rate they earn varies across the country, from a low of $10.85 in Nova Scotia, to Alberta where the minimum wage is set to increase to $15 in October 2018. Source
  • Tahoe Resources denies water contamination near its Peru gold mine

    Economic CTV News
    Vancouver-based Tahoe Resources Inc. says reports that heavy rains caused a leach pond at its Shahuindo gold mine in Peru to overflow and cause rainwater contamination are untrue. Tahoe says central Peru is experiencing exceptionally heavy rains, causing wide-spread flooding and mudslides throughout the region. Source
  • Lawsuit launched against obituary website alleges copyright infringement

    Economic CTV News
    ST. JOHN'S, N.L. - A lawyer in Newfoundland and Labrador is bringing a class-action suit against a website that collects obituaries and reposts them. The statement of claim, which has not been proven in court, alleges that the site managed by Afterlife Network Inc. Source
  • Amazon hikes monthly Prime membership price — but not in Canada

    Economic CBC News
    Amazon is hiking the monthly fee it charges its U.S. customers for Prime membership, but the change won't impact Canadians who all pay by the year. The online retailer announced Friday that starting immediately, new customers would be charged $12.99 US a month, up from $10.99 US previously. Source
  • CLC accuses Unifor of leaving lobby group to raid another union

    Economic CBC News
    The head of the Canadian Labour Congress is accusing Unifor of raiding another union for members after it severed ties with the national lobby group for the country's labour movement. Unite Here Local 75, which represents hundreds of hotel workers in Toronto and Mississauga, Ont. Source
  • SEC letter shows bitcoin funds won't happen soon, if ever

    Economic CTV News
    NEW YORK -- It may be a while, if ever, before investors can buy an exchange-traded fund made up of bitcoin and other digital currencies. Federal regulators have a long list of questions they want answered before they'll approve a digital currency fund for Main Street investors. Source
  • GM Canada president says NAFTA update needs to reflect changing technology

    Economic CTV News
    MARKHAM, Ont. - GM Canada president Steve Carlisle says it's important to update NAFTA to reflect changing technology since the original trade deal was signed. Carlisle says the automaker is cautiously optimistic about the trade talks as he prepared for the official opening of its new 700-employee software development centre north of Toronto. Source