PitchBook, in cooperation with the Ontario Ministry of Economic Development, Trade and Employment, is on the road this week to investigate the venture capital and startup scene in Canada’s most populous province. PitchBook’s Adley Bowden, director of research, and Cristine Carlton, broadcast and multimedia associate, are on the scene in Toronto and are reporting with articles, videos and interviews with CEOs and VCs.
The biggest surprise so far has been the robust startup and venture capital ecosystem that has developed in Ontario. For most people, the Canadian venture capital scene probably runs well under the radar, but a lot of hard-working—and nice, it is Canada after all—folks are working to change that lack of recognition through mentorship programs, accelerators and an increased supply of capital. As a result, Ontario is a thriving market for startups and venture firms that includes numerous innovative companies, such as Desire2Learn, Shopify, Chango and WattPad, to name just a few. Investors as varied as OMERS Ventures, Ontario Emerging Technologies Fund and Extreme Startups also make their home in Ontario. And while there is certainly a heavy focus on tech companies that one expects with VC investing, as the chart below shows, VC-backed companies in Ontario focus on a wide variety of industries.
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By Adley Bowden, PitchBook Director of Research
Stay tuned for more updates from PitchBook’s on-location reporting from Ontario this week, and look for a comprehensive report with interviews and videos next week.