Three years ago, we at the Impact Centre initiated the Narwhal Project to conduct research to discover the root causes of Canada’s challenges in creating a world-leading innovation economy. We thought it would be useful at this juncture to summarize our findings. This report highlights some of the issues we have identified.
In this report we have looked at Canadian undergraduate education in innovation and entrepreneurship in order to determine whether it is targeted at those students who have the greatest potential for starting tech companies.
Over the last four years, there have been substantial changes in IPOs in the software world. Firms tend to wait longer to go public, while raising larger late-stage private rounds and eventually experiencing high public market valuations. We wanted to take a closer look at this trend with the objective to gain some insights into current practices. To that end, we looked at the results of 58 software companies that have gone public in the US since 2013.
Startups succeed because of their founders, but what makes a successful founder? We wanted to find out what backgrounds founders were bringing to their companies, so we undertook research to determine the educational backgrounds of founders of over 300 technology companies.
We’ve updated the Narwhal List and released a new report for 2019. Canada’s tech community continues to make progress but we haven’t created a new Unicorn since 2015. The technology sector has doubled the number of companies that are on track to become Unicorns but the healthcare sector continues its slow decline.
This report is the result of a forum held in February 2018 on the challenges that companies in the physical technologies face in commercialization. Forum participants had a robust discussion around the challenges outlined in our previous report on Physical Technologies and identified a number of other commercialization hurdles, including weak institutional support, knowledge and information gaps, lack of prototyping facilities and short run manufacturing, among other issues.