Canada has difficulty creating research-intensive world-class companies and there are a number of reasons for this. In past reports we have examined management and financing practices and how they contribute to our challenges at scaling companies. In this report we want to go back to the beginning and look at the nature of technology companies that are being formed in Canada.

Research-intensive and globally competitive technology companies are currently found in four major markets: life sciences, automotive, hardware and electronics, and software. For the most part these companies serve either consumer markets or markets that focus on both consumers and businesses.

Our analysis suggests that Canada is not entering research-focused technology businesses that serve large numbers of consumers—and this is observed across the life sciences, automotive, electronics and software industries. There are several potential explanations as to why we do not drive the creation of consumer-based companies:

  1. We do not start them.
  2. We start them but fail to finance them adequately.
  3. We do not do a good job of growing them to world class.

If Canada wants to create larger companies, it will need to start building companies that serve consumer markets rather than business markets; and it will need to be able to finance their growth to help them overcome commercialization challenges unique to these markets.

If we want to create world-class companies we need to
create them in world-class markets.

You can get a full copy of the report here.