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Toronto-Waterloo Corridor Stands Firm in Startup Ecosystem Rankings

The Toronto-Waterloo Corridor continues to be one of the world's leading tech hubs. Find out how it ranked in the latest Global Ecosystem Report from Startup Genome.

The Toronto-Waterloo Corridor has once again solidified its position as Canada’s leading tech hub, maintaining its 17th place ranking in Startup Genome’s Global Startup Ecosystem Report 2023.

For years, Toronto-Waterloo has stood shoulder-to-shoulder with the top 20 global tech ecosystems, including Silicon Valley and New York City, showcasing its ability to compete with the world’s best.

The report evaluates global tech hubs based on success factors such as performance, funding, market reach, connectedness, talent and knowledge. The Corridor’s overall score in these categories has increased from 30 to 34 since the previous report, indicating forward progress.

Another sign of the Corridor’s steady growth is the impressive 54.3% increase in ecosystem value, which measures the economic impact of the region. This value soared from $46B to an impressive $71B since the last report.

As the only Canadian region in the top 20, Toronto-Waterloo stands out as an ideal destination for business expansion in North America. Its reputation for innovation, highly skilled talent and workforce, and industry leadership continue to attract investment from companies across the world.

Let’s review highlights from the report and explore why Toronto-Waterloo is ideal for business growth.

Top 20 Global Startup Ecosystems

1. Silicon Valley

2. New York City (tied)

2. London (tied)

4. Los Angeles

5. Tel Aviv

6. Boston

7. Beijing

8. Singapore

9. Shanghai

10. Seattle

11. Washington, D.C.

12. Seoul

13. Berlin

14. Amsterdam-Delta

15. Tokyo

16. San Diego

17. Toronto-Waterloo

18. Paris

19. Chicago

20. Sydney (tied)

20. Bengaluru-Karnataka (tied)

Why did Toronto-Waterloo make the list?

The report cites several factors that have contributed to the Corridor’s success.

First, the Toronto-Waterloo Corridor is the leading tech hub in Canada and one of the largest in North America, with 15,000 tech companies, including 5,200 startups, and 250,000 tech workers.

Second, the region attracted significant investments, with Toronto receiving $2.7B in 2022 and Waterloo-based companies raising $632.9M in the same year, resulting in a combined total investment of over $3.3B. Miovision, a traffic-tech company based in Waterloo, contributed to this number by raising CA$260M ($192.2M) earlier this year.

Third, the Corridor benefits from Canada’s immigration-friendly policies. The Global Skills Strategy expedites the immigration process for highly skilled individuals to just two weeks. Over half of all Toronto residents were born outside of Canada, contributing to the diverse talent pool.

Fourth, the Corridor enjoys a continuous supply of talent from its leading universities, including the University of Waterloo, York University and the University of Toronto.

Finally, Toronto-Waterloo shows strength and promise in key sub-sectors. It leads in Artificial Intelligence with the most AI PhDs in Canada, has Canada’s largest concentration of hospitals and research institutes in the Life Sciences field and houses over 12,000 FinTech companies employing 360,000 people.

3 reasons to choose Toronto-Waterloo

If tech giants like Microsoft and Google are expanding in Toronto-Waterloo, there must be something to it. Here are three reasons, according to the report, why the Corridor is a smart choice for business expansion.

  1. Global Community: Toronto’s diverse and inclusive environment, with more than 230 nationalities represented, make it an attractive destination. In 2022 alone, over 400,000 people became permanent Canadian residents.
  2. Tech Talent: The Corridor boasts a strong tech talent pool, thanks to its 16 post-secondary institutions. The University of Waterloo stands out as Canada’s top-ranked institution, producing 494 founders who have collectively raised $19.4B.
  3. Strategic Location: Situated between America’s Eastern Seaboard and Midwest, the Toronto-Waterloo Corridor provides easy access to other major tech hubs across North America. This enables entrepreneurs and investors to expand their networks and explore new markets with minimal investment.

Canada’s best destination for future growth

As Startup Genome’s Global Startup Ecosystem Report 2023 reaffirms, the Toronto-Waterloo Corridor continues to be one of the most vibrant tech ecosystems in the world.

If you’re considering expansion and looking for a supportive business environment, access to top global talent and proximity to major markets, Waterloo may be the location for you.

Get in touch with our team to learn more