Is The Toronto-Waterloo Corridor the Next Silicon Valley?
What lead to Silicon Valley’s success, and is it possible to replicate this success in Canada? This article in the Globe and Mail highlights the potential possibilities of the Toronto-Waterloo corridor to become a true innovation centre in the country and the world.
Written by Iain Klugman, the CEO of Communitech, and Kevin Lynch, the Vice-Chair of the Bank of Montreal, this article rolls out the key “missing piece” that could be the difference between turning our region in the Canadian Silicon Valley.
Within the Toronto-Waterloo corridor, we produce superb technical talent, creative ideas and intellectual property to rival the world’s best – tens of thousands of our graduates work in Silicon Valley or Seattle or L.A., while others have opted to stay in Canada, or return after a stint away, to start companies.
Canadian entrepreneurs have repeatedly shown they can build game-changing technology right here at home, but too often these successes have been in spite of, not due to, the business conditions our innovators face.
To capture the full potential of the Toronto-Waterloo innovation corridor, we cannot think incrementally. We need a bold vision and even bolder leadership from government, the private sector and universities, buttressed by the ambition and confidence that we can take on the world and win. We also need to create concrete conditions for success, including more direct government support of technology development, faster transit links, financial lending services tailored to knowledge-based startups, strategic procurement by both governments and large firms, expedited visas for global talent and clear numeric targets for creating billion-dollar firms and tech jobs.