Canada is home to some of the world's most successful startups. Among others, Canada can count KIK messaging, Slack, Shopify, Hootsuite, and Thalmic Labs – creator of the Myo armband, which allows people to interact with technology through gestures and motions – as native success stories.
(Via: Thalmic Labs/YouTube)
In fact, Canada's business ecosystem is so entrepreneur-friendly and technologically progressive that Google recently announced that they're opening a research center for their Artificial Intelligence project DeepMind, in Edmonton, Canada, where their researchers will work in close collaboration with scientists from the University of Alberta.
Here's a look at three factors that make America's massive northern neighbor a great space for entrepreneurs... and why you might want to grab your passport.
1) Exceptional educational institutions
Canada has some of the world's best universities, including the The University of Waterloo, which is home to the Velocity entrepreneurship program: the world's largest free start-up incubator. According to Time Magazine, Canada is the only country in the world where over half the population has a college degree, making it the most educated country in the world. Beyond that, they're turning out some of the brightest minds in tech: the University of Toronto is currently ranked #10 in the world for computer science and information systems, with the University of British Columbia coming in at #23.
2) Initiatives for entrepreneurs
The Canadian government offers a wide variety of grants, loans, and other forms of funding for start-ups. Not only that, they offer a startup visa for immigrant entrepreneurs seeking to relocate and build businesses in Canada: they've brought in over 800,000 immigrants over the last five years to help fill jobs. With the tech job market expected to create 182,000 jobs by 2019, Canada could be a very friendly place for anyone seeking to make a new home.
3) Simple economics
As of today, the Canadian dollar is worth $0.78 to the U.S. dollar or $0.68 to the Euro. With an incredibly educated workforce just waiting to be employed, foreign companies willing to cross the border stand to save on human capital costs in a culturally diverse and politically progessive country.
At a time when America seems to be inching closer and closer to international conflicts and trade wars, a move north could be an excellent strategy, especially for tech companies hoping to escape an atmosphere of increased uncertainty.