Canada’s startup landscape is far from perfect but it’s probably as good as it’s been in a long time. There is a lot of activity by entrepreneurs, who are bold, enthusiastic and opportunistic. And there’s more financing available, albeit far from ideal.
It was surprising, therefore, to read James Bagnell’s story in the Montreal Gazette about how tough it is for Canadian startups, who have little access to financing and little enthusiasm among domestic buyers for their products and services.
“Corporate buyers are often unwilling to take a chance on untested firms. Venture capitalists are too cautious. Investment banks and pension funds prefer to invest in much larger, more mature companies. Government procurement officials – worried in the extreme about making a blunder – opt for the perceived safety of established brands,” he writes.
With all due respect to Bagnell, one of Canada’s leading technology reporters, his story is overly dramatic because it doesn’t properly reflect the vibrant startup landscape.
While complaining about the lack of startup financing is a common refrain, I haven’t heard a startup complain about a dearth of local buyers because they’re focused on global customers. Nor have I heard startups say our financial regulations are a hindrance.
The bottom line is Canadian startups just have to do it rather than complain things aren’t perfect.
It is easy to suggest conditions could be better but it takes away from fact there are fertile opportunities for entrepreneurs to be successful with the right vision and ability to execute.
Yes, it would be great to have more startup capital but we’re not looking at a woe-is-me, the sky-is-falling landscape. Instead, there seems to be a healthy amount of optimism and confidence.