Toronto entrepreneurs 'as ambitious as their counterparts' in Silicon Valley, report says
Silicon Valley still ranks first, but Toronto, Vancouver and Waterloo, Ont., are among the world’s top 20 ecosystems for startups, according to a new report from San Francisco-based Startup Genome and Spain's Telefónica Digital.
The report, based on data compiled on more than 50,000 startups globally, ranked Toronto in eighth spot, followed by Vancouver in ninth and Waterloo at no. 16. Right behind Silicon Valley as “the leading alternative” was Tel Aviv.
Among its findings on the Canadian choices, the report called Toronto the largest startup ecosystem in the country and one of the largest globally, and said Toronto entrepreneurs are “as ambitious as their counterparts” in Silicon Valley.
Key challenges for Toronto-based startups, not dissimilar to other places, are customer acquisition, building the product, finding funding and building the team. The report said that “the increasingly vibrant startup activity of Toronto combined with its lack of capital presents a large opportunity for investors.”
The report noted that, similar to Toronto, Vancouver startups are “heavily undercapitalized in later stages,” creating an opportunity for “later-stage funds to find good startups cheaply.”
Waterloo, it said, offers “great access to talent and innovative projects and ideas,” and an opportunity for business angels or super angels to help startups grow.
The report also said Waterloo is among the startup ecosystems where the most entrepreneurs were previously based in Silicon Valley.
The full ranking of the top 20:
- 1. Silicon Valley
- 2. Tel Aviv
- 3. Los Angeles
- 4. Seattle
- 5. New York City
- 6. Boston
- 7. London
- 8. Toronto
- 9. Vancouver
- 10. Chicago
- 11. Paris
- 12. Sydney
- 13. Sao Paulo
- 14. Moscow
- 15. Berlin
- 16. Waterloo
- 17. Singapore
- 18. Melbourne
- 19. Bangalore
- 20. Santiago
For a Wall Street Journal take on Canadian cities making the list, click here.
U.S. shoppers plan to go big on Small Business Saturday
U.S. retailers are readying for the third annual Small Business Saturday, an initiative that falls on the Saturday following U.S. Thanksgiving to encourage shoppers to empty their wallets at small businesses.
Two-thirds of U.S. shoppers say they plan to “shop small” on Nov. 24, up from 44 per cent who said the same last year, according to a survey of 1,000 Americans released by the U.S. National Federation of Independent Business and American Express, the company behind the initiative.
The survey also found that 70 per cent of those who shopped Small Business Saturday last year plan to spend the same or more on this year’s day.
The top types of establishments they intend to frequent: 52 per cent said restaurants; 35 per cent said bakeries; 34 per cent said clothing stores; 31 per cent said gift shops and 29 per cent said bookstores.
And why are they getting behind small business? According to 76 per cent, it’s because they value the contributions small businesses make to their community, while 59 per cent cited better customer service.
Last year, more than 100 million Americans shopped on Small Business Saturday. Canada held its own first Small Business Saturday this year on Oct. 20 as an initiative of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business and Interac.
What it’s like to be married to an entrepreneur
Columnist and author Meg Cadoux Hirshberg shares the ups and downs of being married to an entrepreneur, based on her experience as the spouse of Gary Hirshberg, founder of yogurt company Stonyfield Farm, in this piece.
EVENTS AND KEY DATES
Innovation Funding Forum
Are you an Ontario entrepreneur looking for funding to help your tech business? You might want to check out the Innovation Funding Forum being staged by the Canadian and Ontario governments and ventureLAB, and including a variety of agencies that will shine the spotlight on available opportunities, and how best to put your firm in front of funding. Following presentations will be opportunity to speak one-on-one. The morning forum will take place on Nov. 21. For more information, click here.
Small Business Summit Toronto
T-2: That’s the countdown to the number of days until this Thursday’s Small Business Summit in Toronto. The day-long event, brought to you by The Globe and Mail, will feature a variety of offerings, from keynote speeches to panel discussions to networking opportunities, not to mention inspiration and information for entrepreneurs. For more information, click here.
EDITOR’S PICKS FROM REPORT ON SMALL BUSINESS
Four fast, and cheap, strategies to boost holiday-season sales
Columnist and consultant Chris Griffiths offers up simple ways to make sure you get your share of seasonal customers, and profits.
FROM THE ROSB ARCHIVES
Sales strategies for the holiday retail season
Holiday selling was on Chris Griffiths’ mind a year ago, too, when he wrote of how independent retailers can compete with big-box stores. “Since complacency is not an option,” he wrote, have a look back at what strategies he suggested for how smaller retailers could best go up against the bigger ones.
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