Startups Will Be Critical to Canada’s Economic Recovery from COVID

Jacqueline Cruz

October 15, 2020

Read about the new ICTC White Paper, in partnership with ventureLAB.

Ottawa, October 15, 2020—Canada’s path to post-COVID economic recovery will be tied to the competitiveness of Canadian startups and small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), which are the heart of Canada’s economic engine and growth.

COVID-19’s devastating economic impacts include the loss of 2 million Canadian jobs, faltering supply chains, and a historic increase in Canada’s debt. Canadian Startups and SMEs that understand the importance of generating Intellectual Property (patents, trademarks, copyrights, and industrial designs) are the hallmark of innovation and Canada’s competitiveness in a global context.

ICTC’s latest white paper written in partnership with ventureLAB, Bolstering Growth: The Next Frontier for Canadian Startups, discusses the ingredients needed for a competitive and resilient scale-up ecosystem in Canada.

SMEs represent the vast majority of the Canadian economy. Those that are knowledgeable in IP are more competitive than SMEs with little or no knowledge of IP. SMEs that hold formal IP are three times more likely to grow domestically than those that don’t. IP-generating SMEs are four times more likely to expand internationally and nearly two times more likely to have high growth rates of more than 20% per year.

Bolstering Growth: The Next Frontier for Canadian Startups delves into the following topics and considerations:

  •  Creating, Protecting, and Incentivizing Canadian IP
  • Building a built-to-scale Canadian business culture
  • Establishing Canadian anchor companies, and leveraging trade

“A thriving Startup ecosystem in Canada will pave the way for strong economic recovery and job growth in the next number of years. This paper discusses the construct of a strong Canadian innovation landscape in this increasingly digital and globally competitive environment,” said Namir Anani, ICTC President & CEO.

“As businesses continue to adapt through unprecedented and dynamic circumstances, through disruption always emerges opportunity. We must create a sustainable environment for Canadian SMEs to support the growth and scaling of companies for global markets—and that includes the commercialization of IP, harnessing our talent, and establishing anchor companies headquartered in Canada but compete globally.”— Melissa Chee, President and CEO, ventureLAB.


About ICTC 

The Information and Communications Technology Council (ICTC) is a not-for-profit, national centre of expertise for strengthening Canada’s digital advantage in a global economy. Through trusted research, practical policy advice, and creative capacity-building programs, ICTC fosters globally competitive Canadian industries enabled by innovative and diverse digital talent. In partnership with an expansive network of industry leaders, academic partners, and policy makers from across Canada, ICTC has empowered a robust and inclusive digital economy for over 25 years.

About ventureLAB

ventureLAB is a leading technology hub located in Markham, in Ontario’s York Region, Canada’s second largest tech cluster. Through its programs focused on capital, talent, technology, and customers, ventureLAB has supported over 2,000 tech companies and entrepreneurs, including 100 companies that have raised over $100 million and created close to 4,000 jobs. ventureLAB’s innovation hub is a 50,000 square foot facility that is home to over 45 tech companies and partners that employ more than 300 people. At ventureLAB, we grow globally competitive tech titans that build-to-scale in Canada.


For an interview with an ICTC subject experts on this brief, or other media inquiries, please contact Paul Stastny at or 403.351.0138 Ext. 823.

To contact ventureLAB, please reach out to Justine Kintanar at or 647.242.8154.


A copy of the study can be accessed here.

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