I’m in Canada today to attend a board meeting. I love Canada. It’s a kindler gentler more welcoming version of the US. And it’s increasingly an important place to be for the tech sector.
About 10% of USV’s active portfolio is in Canada. And 30% of our last ten investments are in Canada. We have portfolio companies in Toronto, Waterloo, and Vancouver. We also know that Montreal, Quebec, and Ottawa are attractive places to invest.
Canada has a lot to offer as a home for a tech company or a second office for a tech company.
The government is enthusiastic about tech companies and provides an R&D credit to tech companies. I don’t think this credit is so financially significant that it should determine where you locate your company, but it is a sign of the government’s enthusiasm for tech.
More importantly, the talent pool in Canada is rich. Canadians are well educated and there are a number of very strong engineering schools in Canada. All of our portfolio companies that have engineering teams in Canada claim they get higher quality and retention in those teams than the ones they operate in the US.
And, if course, Canada makes it easy for highly skilled workers to immigrate to Canada. In a time where high skilled immigration to the US has essentially been stopped, Canada is a great option to locate a team and recruit the smartest people in the world to it. What once was the game plan for tech in the US is now the game plan for tech in Canada.
Finally, entrepreneurship is alive and well in Canada. We have met and work with so many ambitious and agressive founders in Canada. And it’s a short plane ride from NYC and SF, depending on where in Canada you want to go.
We also work with a number of great investors from Canada. They are supportive and engaged and very much on top of the important trends in tech.
So I’m bullish on Canada and have been since we started investing here almost ten years ago. And unlike the US, Canada has the wind behind it’s back in tech right now.