Sometimes described as the Silicon Valley of the North and known as Canada’s startup capital, Toronto is one of the most exciting cities in the world. According to research conducted in 2017, the city was home to more than 2,500 active startups, and that figure has only grown since. A large number of these emerging businesses are in the tech industry, hence the comparisons to California’s Silicon Valley. Between 2014 and 2019, the number of people in Toronto employed in the tech industry increased by 37%.
As more businesses clamour to be involved in one of the most diverse and talented cities in the world, it creates a self-perpetuating cycle, and the growing number of startups continues to increase. Success generates further success, and a growing reputation for attracting talent generates even more success. This development has attracted some of the world’s sharpest minds to form an innovative ecosystem of the best talent on the planet.
As the Toronto and wider Canadian startup market grows, it also offers opportunities for international companies such as AWISEE. Many organizations are making the most of this growth, forging new partnerships with new and exciting startups based in Toronto. There’s been a surge in companies approaching the Canadian market to do business, as it’s an excellent opportunity to create long-term and successful partnerships.
Top Toronto Startups
Toronto is now home to some of North America’s top startups, with tech and finance being the main industries. However, there are startups of just about every type imaginable and a growing number of job opportunities in every sector. Some of the top Toronto startups of 2021 include:
- NexTech AR Solutions – Founded in 2018, NextTech is an augmented reality (AR) company that aims to develop AR advertising. The company is based in Toronto and has recently acquired more than CA$1 million in funding. According to the company’s website, it aims to bring to market the first true SaaS webAR e-commerce solution.
- Smile CDR – Since it was founding in 2016, Smile CDR has specialized in secure and compliant data infrastructure for the healthcare industry. According to its website, Smile CDR offers the world’s first FHIR-based clinical data repository (CDR) as a service. This is a high-performance and secure solution built on the principles of Privacy by Design.
- Wealth Simple – Wealth Simple is a financial services company that focuses on the millennial market. Founded in 2014, it’s based in Toronto and currently manages over CA$8 billion. It’s received over CA$750 million in funding and employs hundreds of people.
What is the Secret Behind Toronto’s Success?
Toronto offers a lot of advantages compared to other locations, and this is why it’s become such a haven for startups and emerging businesses. Some of these advantages include the following:
Cheaper Office Space
Compared to major US cities such as New York and San Francisco, office space in Toronto is considerably cheaper. This creates an ideal environment for startups, which have to keep overhead costs low when still getting off the ground. Despite being a major metropolitan city with lots of opportunities to grow a business, Toronto office space can be up to 50% cheaper than major US cities.
Easier Visa Applications
Attracting the best talent is important for any successful business, and startups thrive on being able to hire people from all over the world. To attract the best talent, however, it’s important that visas are relatively straightforward to obtain. In the US, the complicated visa process has led to fewer employee and entrepreneur visas being awarded in recent years, while Canada has a much simpler process.
US wages are, on average, much higher than those in Canada. This means that organizations can pay less while still hiring the best talent, leading to reduced costs without reduced productivity. It also means that international companies are happy to form partnerships with Canadian businesses.