Canada has some of the biggest tech innovations globally, drawing in talent and investors from across the globe. Tech hubs in Canada are home to 10 of the largest technology companies, including the likes of Google, Microsoft, Apple, and Sage.
The Toronto-Waterloo corridor is the largest tech cluster in North America outside of Silicon Valley. Canada also has four of the top 20 tech talents markets in North America, namely:
- #4 Toronto
- #10 Ottawa
- #11 Vancouver
Canada’s tech sector was also responsible for creating 1.65 million jobs by May 2021, and in 2019 it was reported that Canada has more than 43,200 tech companies.
Interested to find out how to invest in Canada’s tech industry and how you could get Canadian citizenship by investment?
Reasons to Invest in Technology in Canada
1. Talented & Skilled Workforce
One of the reasons that Canada makes such a great place to invest in is its talented workforce. It has over 2.8 million STEM graduates and the world’s most educated population globally. It also has various immigration and work programs like the BC Tech Pilot and Ontario Tech Pilot, as well as the Global Skills Strategy that makes it possible to hire exceptionally skilled foreign tech workers in as little as two weeks!
The Scientific Research and Experimental Development (SR&ED) Program gives income tax credits and refunds for expenses on eligible Research and Development (R&D) like:
- operation research,
- data collection,
- psychological research, and
The Strategic Innovation Fund (SIF) helps strengthen business investments in some of Canada’s most dynamic and innovative sectors by supporting, for example:
- R&D projects,
- Firm expansion,
- Large-scale, global-investment attraction,
- Collaborative technology demonstration projects,
- Clean technology adoption and decarbonization.
It has already funded 99 projects with $5.1 billion in contributions, leveraging $53.8 billion in investments as well as creating and maintaining 87,000 new jobs!
It also has an $8 billion initiative to support projects that will enable Canada to reduce its domestic greenhouse gas emissions.
Mitacs provided financial support, through Canadian universities, to technology-specific internships and fellowships.
2. Leading Research Institutes
Canada is also home to some of the most significant research institutes in the world, which are great options for your business or investment pursuits. Here are just a few:
- The Institute for Quantum Computing;
- Centre for Innovation in Microelectronics of Quebec (CIMEQ)
- MiQro Innovation Collaborative Centre (C2MI)
- Canada’s National Research and Education Network (CANARIE)
- Canadian Photonics Fabrication Centre
- Montreal Institute for Learning Algorithms (Mila)
- Vector Institute for Artificial Intelligence
- Alberta Machine Intelligence Institute (Amii)
How to Invest in Canada’s Tech Industry
There are various ways to invest in Canada’s tech sector or become eligible for some of the various business incentives mentioned earlier.
You either bring your existing business to Canada or start your own business in Canada through the Start-up Visa Program, which requires:
- a minimum investment of $200,000 from designated Canadian venture capital fund; or
- a minimum investment of $75,000 from a designated Canadian angel investor group.
There are also various provincial entrepreneur and investor visas to help you get started, all of which offer permanent residency, which could eventually result in Canadian citizenship by investment!
Canada previously had an Immigrant Investor Venture Capital (IIVC) pilot program, which was closed and stopped accepting applications as of December 30, 2021. There are however other investment opportunities such as:
- British Columbia Entrepreneur Immigration Programs(3 streams);
- Ontario Entrepreneur Program
- Saskatchewan Entrepreneur Stream
- Manitoba Investor Stream, and Entrepreneur Pathway
- New Brunswick Entrepreneur Stream
- Nova Scotia Entrepreneur Stream
- Northwest Territories Business Stream
- The Quebec Immigrant Investor Program (QIIP)(Currently paused until April 2023);
- Yukon Business Nominee Program.
Ready to start to invest in Canada?