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Canadian startup ecosystems drop down top global rankings

By 26/06/2020No Comments

Canadian startup ecosystems have fallen down the list of 2020 Global Start-up Ecosystem Rankings.

The report, published annually by Startup Genome, assesses startup ecosystems around the world and showcases successes, points out weaknesses and areas for improvement, and offers insights on how to propel ecosystems forward.

Toronto-Waterloo, the highest-ranking Canadian startup ecosystem on the Top 30 Global Startup Ecosystem and Runners-Up list, fell five places from the year before to number 18. While ranking highly in tech talent and investor activity, the region lagged behind in scaling of technology experience.

startup innovationThe report named Toronto-Waterloo’s sub-sector strengths in AI, big data and analytics, and life sciences. It also noted Toronto-Waterloo’s robust funding programs for entrepreneurs, the Canadian government’s COVID-19 policies, and density of corporations and talent. Toronto-Waterloo is the second largest technology cluster in North America, with roughly 15,000 companies and 300,000 workers.

Vancouver, the next Canadian city on the list, fell one place to number 25. The city boasts a high ranking in investor activity and funding growth. Montréal is the next Canadian city on the list, at number 36, in a five-way tie with Melbourne, Copenhagen, Delhi, and Dublin. The city possesses strengths in exit growth, investor activity, and funding growth. Montréal made the jump from last year onto the top list due to the closing of several large deals since 2018.

Calgary, Ottawa, and Atlantic Canada also appear in the report as emerging ecosystems. Calgary’s sub-sector strengths are in life sciences and cleantech and is considered one of the most affordable ecosystems for talent. Ottawa was noted for its adequate ecosystem value in funding growth, investor activity and exit growth. Atlantic Canada’s sub-sector strengths are in life sciences and marine technology and the region in good shape due to excellent opportunities for funding growth.

Leading the world

For the second year in a row, the top seven ecosystems in the world remained unchanged. Silicon Valley leads at #1, followed by London and New York tied at second. Then, Beijing, Boston, Tel Aviv-Jerusalem and Los Angeles (tied at #6) follow. Next, Shanghai, Seattle and Stockholm round out the top 10.

Major impacts felt because of COVID-19

According to Startup Genome, four out of every 10 startups don’t have the wriggle room of three months of capital. If they don’t raise additional capital or rejig their business models to raise revenues and lower expenses, there could be a mass extinction event globally for startups.

Furthermore, startups have seen a dramatic disruption in the fundraising process, with investors canceling or delaying funding rounds, or becoming unresponsive.
Additionally, venture capital funding has dropped by 20% in the first three months of 2020 globally. In China, funding fell by over 50% relative to the rest of the world.


Global Advantage Consulting Group underscores the importance of accurate and timely COVID-19 economic data to understand the current pandemic situation as it unfolds and changes daily.
That’s why our new COVID-19 Impact Map offers insights for decision makers about the impact of COVID-19 on all stakeholder groups in Canada including federal, provincial, and municipal governments, organizations in Canada’s higher education, not-for-profit, private sector, and household communities as well as global markets.

The map allow you to position your organization within the Innovation Ecosystem in order to better understand how you affect other players and how they affect you, and how your goals align with national objectives.

Contact us to find out more about the COVID-19 Impact Map and packages including a briefing on the upcoming 2020 federal budget.

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