This report examines the shape of the health technology industry in Canada with a focus on three specific questions: Does Canada actually have a problem with health tech commercialization? If so, how extensive is that problem? And what is causing it?
Our objective for this report was to analyze the ten-year trajectory of tech companies launched in 2008 in select jurisdictions around the world. We looked in detail at 983 companies created in 2008 in Canada, the US, France, Germany, and the UK.
The analysis shows some progress we are making and points out some areas of concern. The average funding received by Canadian companies in the last ten years ($15.5M) is in second place behind the US ($25.2M). Canada is strongest in funding technology companies including software, hardware and mobile, but is lagging the US in the number of health tech companies created and our average funding per company is weak.
In this study, we sought to examine sales and marketing activities of Canadian tech firms by looking at social media practices relative to companies in other regions around the world. Our sample population consisted of 113 randomly selected internet software businesses in five jurisdictions: Canada, California, New York, Massachusetts, and the United Kingdom.
In order to gauge Canada’s efforts and success in social media, we ranked Canadian tech companies relative to other regions using activities on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram and blogging. Overall, we rank first in effort (as gauged by activity) but unfortunately, only fourth in results, or ability to generate engagement with followers and other observers.
There seems to be a shift away from focusing on startups to focus on those companies in Canada that are scaling. This appears to have been predicated on the premise that Canada has become good at starting companies but is challenged at scaling them to world-class size.
This Impact Brief has been designed to develop a framework to measure Canada’s startup and scaleup rate in the technology sector.
What we found is that we still lag many of the US states including Pennsylvania, Illinois and Georgia and particularly Massachusetts, New York, and California at both starting and scaling companies. We hold our own however when compared to Europe.
One reason that Canadian companies fail to become world-class is that we aren’t starting the right types of companies. The world’s leading research-intensive companies operate in four major markets: life sciences, automotive, hardware and electronics, and software. And almost all of the leading companies in these fields serve either consumers or a combination of consumers and businesses.
But Canada is not known for its ability to create and grow companies that serve consumers. If we want to create world-class companies we need to create them in world-class markets and these are predominantly consumer markets.