Ontario Startup Ecosystem Overview
Ontario is the thriving home of Ottawa, Canada’s capital and its largest city: Toronto. These cities alone attest for a very vibrant startup ecosystem and a large pool of talent, however a great traction has been registered in Kingston, Hamilton and Kitchener-Waterloo. With an emphasis on female entrepreneurship and support for international entrepreneurs, the region is slowly becoming a large yet interconnected network of cities full of entrepreneurial talent.
Ontario has the advantage of being the most populous province of Canada, accounting for 38.8% of its population. As the biggest provincial economy in Canada, Ontario is contributing 38.6% to the Canadian GDP (as of April 1, 2021). In Ontario we can find Canada’s largest labor force: a highly-educated pool of talent concentrated in services industries.
The Toronto-Waterloo Region Corridor is the second largest technology cluster in North America. More than 15,000 technology companies employ over 200,000 people along the 100 km Toronto-Waterloo Region Corridor.
In addition to being Canada’s main economic hub, Ontario is hosting some of the most reputed universities globally, such as the University of Toronto and the University of Waterloo. Waterloo’s tech cluster makes it one of the top regions for tech talent in North America. The Ontario government supports startups and small businesses through various schemes such as Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS), Ontario Resilience Fund, and hiring, training and research grants. Toronto is home to accelerators and incubators supporting startups across various sectors, from software and biotech to design and music.
Toronto is one of the world’s most multicultural cities, with more than 180 languages spoken by diverse communities which call Toronto home. Toronto is known for its art and culture activities: an industry that contributes more than $11.3 billion to the economy annually. The region is well-connected with roadways and railways acting as a gateway to the U.S. market. Smaller cities in Ontario like Oshawa, Waterloo and London are some of the fastest-growing cities in Canada.
A high number of government support programs for entrepreneurs and startups;
Huge potential for research and development for startups in the HealthTech and FoodTech industries;
Creative industries and the high-tech sector produce a strong synergy effect for the birth of new ideas;
Access to the biggest technology and manufacturing companies in the world that have a presence in the region;
Startup-friendly immigration policies;
World-class transport, infrastructure and good connectivity within the region;
High quality of life with cities being ranked as the best cities in the world to live in;
Gateway to the North American market;
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Ontario Startup Ecosystem