Startup Hubs Around The World: Toronto
Are you thinking of finding the next big spot for startups? If you have a business idea, location is one of the most important deciders of whether it’ll take, if it will be successful, or if it will fail. Areas like Silicon Valley, New York, and more have become tried-and-true locations for business growth, but did you know Toronto, Canada is right up there? The tech scene in Toronto is booming, and for all kinds of startups, success could be found in this city.
That’s right – America isn’t the only place for startups to thrive. That being said, new startup hubs like Toronto have taken tips from places like Silicon to build a solid ecosystem for new businesses.
But don’t just take our word for it – there are so many things to learn about Toronto’s business power. Knowing why Toronto could be so lucrative can mean the difference between a successful venture and one that doesn’t make it.
So today, let’s get into why the finance and tech scene in Toronto makes it one of the fastest-growing startup hubs in the world.
The city of Toronto is a prime location for a startup. Why? It’s situated in the most populous province of Canada, meaning there are lots of diverse potential audiences for your business. Let’s take a look at some of the main benefits of Toronto’s location.
Access to talent
Something absolutely necessary for any startup is good employee talent. Whether you’re looking to hire 1 or 20 employees right out of the gate, you can’t slack in this area. After all, there would be no company without the ones who make it operate!
The access to talent is almost unmatched relative to other parts of Canada. People flock to Toronto to make their living, and there’s a deep well of talent to be discovered. No matter what your industry of choice is, there’s bound to be a great selection of people who will do their best work.
An aspect unique to this area is that you’ll see a consistent stream of college graduates or even current students looking for part-time or full-time work. This will make your hiring processes hopefully go faster, saving you money long-term.
Speaking of universities, there are some excellent schools that are constantly producing top talent in the area. The University of Toronto is regarded as one of the top-ranked universities worldwide, with excellent programs across the board. York University is nearby, another school with excellent ranking, lots of students, and great organizations.
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Overall, there are many universities producing well-rounded potential applicants for jobs. Whether your business is finance-oriented, in hospitality, or joins the burgeoning tech scene in Toronto, there is bound to be a college grad that has experience fit for a role in your company.
If you plan to provide internships at some point in your business’s development, you could use that as a tool to both attract talent and test the waters for potential full-time hires. Offering internships can help college students get some experience as well as put your company on the map.
Support system and quality of life
If you live outside of Canada or on the western side, relocating to Toronto is no joke – maybe it’s far away from the place you call home. Having a support system is crucial for an entrepreneur. So, will Toronto be a place where you can grow as a business owner? The answer is yes, and so many are there doing the same exact thing.
Since you’ll be living in Toronto, it’s important to mention that it’s a place people move to apart from business reasons. Young people especially are flocking to Toronto to find new work and start their lives.
Your quality of life as a person and an entrepreneur is sure to stay solid as long as you can find people who will support you and your dreams. In Toronto, it shouldn’t be long before you find a local support system.
What is one of the top incentives for starting a business in a new place? The abundance of investors there might be. Regarding the business and tech scene in Toronto, you might be wondering what kinds of investors there are, and how many. After all, without investors, there might be no business, depending on your initial scaling goals.
Something about investors in the Canadian business world is that they’re well known for being very thorough. They want to make the most accurate decisions so they can make the highest possible return on their investment. While they’re not as quick to embrace novel concepts as some American investors looking for unicorns if your business is going to succeed they’ll be able to see that.
This area is the finance capital of Ontario. Because of this, Toronto is home to many highly-educated and highly successful people (not to mention angel investors). Thus there won’t be a shortage of people to pitch your idea to. Make sure to do your research on how to come up with the best investor pitch. Have a succinct business plan and be ready to sell your idea like you never have before.
Another thing to think about if you’re ready to start a business in Toronto is whether the legal landscape is friendly to startups. Wherever you might start a business, there will be different laws regarding business practice and freedom. So, what are the legal incentives for startup companies in Toronto, Canada?
Well, where do we start? The first legal incentive that comes to mind is the Startup Visa, which entrepreneurs can gain approval for if they have certain investors on board. If you can accrue $200,000 in regular VC or $75,000 in angel investor funding, you might have a huge leg up when it comes to immigrating and doing great business in Canada.
If you have that Startup visa, it’ll be faster, cheaper, and much, much, easier to start your business. But what else is there legally for the business and tech scene in Toronto?
Overall, it can be said that the costs of starting a business and running it in Toronto could be lower than in many parts of the world. This is because there is a more lenient requirement for licensure and a reduced need for expensive legal processes as a result. If you do end up needing some legal guidance for your business, there are tons of firms in Toronto specifically geared to help startup owners navigate the scene without hiccups.
The market in Toronto is steadily growing when it comes to startups and has been for the past few years. Because of this, more and more local resources have popped up that can help startups hit the ground running. For example, if you’re in need of a coworking space or accelerator program, that exists. It all exists just for companies like yours who want to save money where necessary.
Apart from the investor base that we mentioned before, there is also lots of talent around. The large pool of talent aided by the plethora of universities in the area is one of the top local resources you could ask for as an entrepreneur. Additionally, there are classes you yourself could audit at some of these universities to further your knowledge of business and successful entrepreneurship.
Assets like the talent pool and growing population are local resources that can be hard to find in other cities. Since Toronto is so large and diverse, you also have your pick of potential audiences. There are so many populations, groups, and types of people that you can test the market on, and eventually find your demographic.
Now that you know how many legal advantages startups could have in Toronto, it’s time to talk about taxes. Tax benefits for startups are a great reason to move to this city – in fact, it’s got some of the best tax conditions for new businesses in all of North America!
At 22%, the corporate tax rate is wonderfully low. This means more money that you can reinvest into the business each year, and use for new innovation or hiring more employees. The most successful startups will reinvest a large chunk of early profits to help themselves scale efficiently.
Canada’s government helps out with the finances, too – it’s hyper-focused on attracting new businesses. In fact, it has raised immense capital (500M+) to provide venture capital and tax credits for startups and full-fledged corporations. By inserting this capital into venture funds, investors are better equipped to support startups for the foreseeable future.
The government has also intentionally reduced corporate tax in order to help startups do more with the money they earn. There is a ministry of research and innovation that has led that charge, all to reduce overall taxes on businesses and give incredible tax credits. With all the internal support, it’s no surprise that Toronto is becoming such a business and tech startup hub.
Because Canada is so invested in the finance and tech scene in Toronto, they’ve made one thing clear: they’ve done so much work for businesses because they want to be the home of the next big thing. Toronto specifically wants to specialize as a startup haven so it can produce the best of the best. When cities are invested in the success of their startups, that could mean it’s time to go there right now while it’s on the way up.
There are a few industries that are seeing some potential for becoming Toronto’s main exports. These industries are fashion, tech, and financial services.
As fashion goes, Toronto is steadily becoming a force. There are lots of new fashion companies choosing Toronto as their home for all the reasons mentioned above. The amount of innovation in this space makes Toronto even more attractive for investors looking to help these kinds of companies succeed.
As for the tech scene in Toronto, that’s a major focus. Toronto is outwardly looking to become a force in tech, and it shows the number of resources the city has for tech-based startups. If your company idea is a technological concept, you can find lots of help along the way. For information on companies looking to provide VC or investment capital into startups like yours, you can check out the Startup Toronto site.