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Paul DeJoe, right, and Tal Raviv with Ecquire, a company that helps new tech startups, talk business at the Save-On-Meats coffee shop in Vancouver October 11, 2011.

A survey of CEOs at Canadian tech start-up companies says finding and keeping employees with the right skills is their biggest challenge.

The PwC annual survey found that 26 per cent of CEOs surveyed said "managing" talent was their biggest issue, followed by 25 per cent of those surveyed who said revenue was their main concern and 18 per cent who cited funding.

"On the one hand you could say that Canadian start-ups need to do a better job of finding and keeping the right people with the right skills," said Peter Matutat, PwC's national emerging company practice leader.

"However it's disconcerting that the current talent pool may actually lack the skills, knowledge or experience needed by today's tech companies," Mr. Matutat said in a news release on Tuesday.

Poor performance and poor skills fit were most often cited as the reason why CEOs let staff go, the survey said.

CEOs also surveyed also said that the well established "brain drain" of Canadian talent to U.S. companies continued to hurt their businesses.

"It's promising to see so many entrepreneurs in the market but it makes the talent shortage and the need for training, development and support for Canadian-based innovation that much more acute," said Mr. Matutat.

The 44-page report is based on a survey of about 150 chief executives of emerging Canadian software companies on a variety of topics including growth, recruitment, mergers and acquisitions and raising capital.

Overall, revenues in this sector are increasing with revenue growth at roughly 25 per cent in 2011.