Canada: Canadian Innovation: A Case For Confidence
Last Updated: June 12 2017

Bennett Jones recently co-hosted the Startup Canada Innovation Forum presented by Startup Canada's Private Sector Advisory Committee. The event was well attended by influential corporate leaders, high-growth entrepreneurs and government decision makers among others.

One of the key themes the speakers wanted the audience to know: Canada has what it takes to be a leading innovation nation, however, we need to resist our national tradition of being so polite especially when it comes to our world-class entrepreneurial sector.

The six speakers, including Startup Canada Co-Founder and CEO, Victoria Lennox and The Honourable Bardish Chagger, Minister of Small Business and Tourism, shared their success stories and experiences with startups in large technology clusters and small communities. They spoke about now being the right time for Canada in a global market with shifting industries, disruptive technologies and rapid-flowing information. They also related their experiences of visiting startup hubs around the world and confirmed that Canadian companies are regarded as highly-respected, world class innovators.

The key take-away from the night: Canada could benefit by changing our national mindset when it comes to the entrepreneurial sector. Canadians need to understand how dynamic our sector is and that we have the opportunity to be global leaders. The sector and Canada should be aggressively marketed internationally including by all levels of government, businesses and professionals who work with global clients. We need to educate ourselves about the incredible accomplishments of our innovators and help tell their stories. Lastly, we should work to foster an environment where the aim of Canadian companies isn't just to succeed in Canada, but to thrive globally.

The evening's themes were excellently summed up by the Honourable Minister Chagger: National pride is very important in helping our entrepreneurial sector flourish. Being vocal and proud about our role as world class innovators is good. Bottom line: Confidence is key.

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