4 reasons you should move your startup to Toronto today

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Business Insider | Salim Teja, MaRS | April 12, 2017

Canada a great place for startups

In the world of professional sports, the Toronto Blue Jays of the MLB, and the Toronto Raptors of the NBA proudly embrace the city they represent with the rallying cry: “We The North.”

And in the entertainment industry, Drake is putting Toronto on the global mapwith songs painting a vivid picture of a city (“The Six”) that has finally found its voice.

But it’s not just athletes and celebrities that are shining the spotlight on Toronto as a world-class city.

As President Trump’s strict immigration policies and H-1B visa restrictions begin to isolate the United States, Toronto has emerged as a beacon of cultural inclusion, economic prosperity, and political stability. The fourth largest city in North America, Toronto is the driving force behind Canada’s distinction as the second best country to live in on the planet .

Combined, all of these factors have culminated in an exploding tech scene in Toronto. And as Executive Vice President of Venture Services at the world's leading innovation hub, I’ve seen firsthand why more tech talent and more startups are choosing to move “north of the border.”

See:  Canada is North America’s up-and-coming startup center

After working for several years in Silicon Valley, I knew that in order to truly grow my career, I needed to return home and grow my roots in Toronto. Why? Its unparalleled mixture of top-tier talent, a diverse community, strong governmental support, and access to funding makes Toronto not only the best place in the world to live and work, but the city best equipped to become the next epicenter of innovation. And after selling my first startup, I knew wanted to be a part of it.

Here are four key reasons why I moved to Toronto, and why you should move your startup north, too:

Draw From a Deep Pool of Top Talent

Moving to Toronto will provide your startup with instant access to some of the world’s best and brightest innovators. Recently named one of the world’s most innovative cities, Toronto is home to between 2,500 and 4,100 active tech startups, as well as the world’s largest innovation hub(covering1.5millionsquarefeet).

Gone are the days of future entrepreneurs, engineers and developers moving west to pursue their careers — boasting cheaper tuition, and the top-ranked institutions in the world, Toronto’s unparalleled academic institutions are growing the next wave of tech innovators and entrepreneurs.

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With over 150,000 full-time students enrolled in universities in the Greater Toronto area, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that, especially in the wake of Trump’s election, schools like the University of Toronto are currently seeing a massive surge in American applicants.

So watch out, Berkeley, Cal, Stanford, and the rest of the Silicon Valley pipeline — the next wave of top tech talent is heading north .

Recruit from the Most Diverse City in the World

 Wikimedia Commons

Moving your startup to Toronto quite literally means that you’ll have a more diverse pool of talent to draw from. Recently named most diverse city in the world, Toronto is a cultural haven for foreign entrepreneurs and their startups to pursue truly innovative and disruptive ideas.

Unlike Silicon Valley, which is stifled by a homogeneous, male-dominated culture , Toronto knows that diversity both fosters innovation and is good for business .

Toronto is also one of the “ best cities in the world ” for female entrepreneurs — 12.5% of partners at venture capital firms in Canada are women, which stands at more than double the rate in the U.S., which hovers at a meager 6%.

If you want your startup to have sustainable success, come here to hire a broad range of talent from a variety of backgrounds.

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The National Crowdfunding Association of Canada (NCFA Canada) is a cross-Canada non-profit actively engaged with both social and investment crowdfunding stakeholders across the country. NCFA Canada provides education, research, leadership, support and networking opportunities to over 1500+ members and works closely with industry, government, academia, community and eco-system partners and affiliates to create a strong and vibrant crowdfunding industry in Canada. Learn more at www.ncfacanada.org.

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