According to Entrepreneur.com Toronto, Canada has become one of the Hubs of Innovation and entrepreneurship in the world. Toronto and the wider GTA is, indeed, the go to place if one wants to be part of the innovation community. It has developed a diverse and rich culture of innovation and entrepreneurship and there are a number of Universities and Government entities playing an important role. Funding is available through Angel Investors and Venture Capital Funds. The Government is very supportive of the Innovation Community and has taken a number of steps to enable innovation. However, the most impressive aspect of the Toronto Innovation Space are the entrepreneurs who are truly passionate about their ideas and are ready to take the extra risks to enable the success of their dream.
There are a number of organizations playing an important role. Ontario Network of Excellence is playing a leading role in bringing together experienced entrepreneurs, advisors, organizations, and colleges and universities who are all playing a role in the innovation space. An example of this is MARS Discovery District which is one of the biggest incubators in Toronto with over 1,000 start-ups under its umbrella. Other entities such as the Angel One Investor Network are a source of funding for entrepreneurs and provide a defined methodology for Angels to identify quality deals. More sources of funding can be identified through portals such as Gust which provides access to over 40,000 accredited Angel Investors.
The question comes up what can Toronto and Canada do more to help entrepreneurs succeed. I feel that one of the major issues with Toronto Innovation Space is that it is not globally known as an Innovation Hub. When people think innovation, the first place that comes to mind is Silicon Valley and then places like Tel Aviv, Bangalore or Dublin. The Innovation Community in Toronto needs to do more to make the world aware that Toronto is a Centre of Excellence and our entrepreneurs here are breaking barriers and overcoming challenges to come up with new and innovative solutions.