There are many reasons why it is important to support technology entrepreneurs in Canada. Technology entrepreneurship drives economic growth. Successful companies have a tremendous impact on the Canadian economy, generating strong job creation and wealth for themselves, their employees/shareholders, suppliers, customers and communities.
Technology entrepreneurship also promotes creativity and innovation both in business processes as well as in products or services that lead to new markets or foster changes in existing markets, attracting investment from local capital sources (VCs including Angel Investors), foreign investors, banks etc. they are proven promoters of positive spill-over effects for other businesses in their region or sector through increased productivity, higher wages or greater market share. These benefits are achieved at all stages of technological development with corresponding high rates of failure.
Failure is a natural part of the innovation process. Young companies face many difficulties in starting up, finding customers and generating revenue, which can lead to failure. Toronto research on Canadian VCs has demonstrated that 70% of Canadian venture-backed start-ups failed during the first 18 months of operation, but these failures are an essential step toward success for young companies. For example, Facebook was started by Mark Zuckerberg in February 2004 with his roommates at Harvard University as a social networking website that enabled registered users to create profiles consisting of basic information about themselves and post them for others to see; however, 4 months later it had only limited success after which the company nearly closed its doors due to lack of revenue until in September 2004 when Peter Thielalong with other PayPal Mafia members, including Elon Musk and Reid Hoffman joined Facebook's board.
The Canadian technology entrepreneurship ecosystem is made up of many different players that together contribute to the success or failure of a young company in Canada, which include "funders" (Angel Investors, VCs), business incubators, mentors/advisors, government programs, support organizations (e.g., enterprise Toronto), academia-research institutions etc. While there are many reasons for supporting entrepreneurs in their effort to build companies in Canada one reason stands out amongst all others: they are sources of innovation.
That's why the Central Innovation Society, which supports technology entrepreneurs in creating and growing successful companies and runs programs designed to develop and support an innovative technology community in the Northern Interior of British Columbia, is so important to society in Canada!
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According to Statistics Canada data for 2013 there were over 1 million Canadians working in science and technology occupations across the country representing 10% of total employment. A study by the Brookfield Institute for Innovation + Entrepreneurship at Ryerson University indicates that the number of high-growth firms in Canada has almost doubled between 2000 to 2012, representing 4.6%of all businesses i n 2012 compared to 2.5% in 2000. According to data published by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, there are now more than 28 active tech-clusters across the country generating over $50 billion dollars annually and employing about 290,000 people.
These companies also know how import is their role as innovative contributors to economic growth and stability as well as playing a key role as employers (engineers etc.) throughout Canada; therefore they realize that it is important those days not only to consider working for technology companies but also on them, that is, they need to be actors in the process of building technology-based companies from the beginning. This is why many of these high-quality educated professionals are choosing entrepreneurship as a career path and taking advantage of the range of support networks available throughout Canada with preference for those regions where there are significant numbers of incubators/accelerators or business associations offering training, co-working space, mentorship opportunities etc.
Recent developments demonstrate a growing interest among a subset of these workers to launch their own companies. They consider this as a challenging and satisfying alternative to working for traditional employers because it allows them not only to be innovative contributors but also owners who have an ownership stake in the ventures they help create from scratch which increases their commitment and engagement.