Bruce Croxon: ‘Canadian Entrepreneurs are as Smart or Smarter Than Anywhere in World’

Bruce Croxon says that Canadian entrepreneurs are “as smart, or smarter, than anywhere in the world.”

The Lavalife founder and star of Dragons’ Den told the CBC this week that he finds it “ridiculous” that Canadian tech startups feel forced to move to Silicon Valley to grow: “Canadian companies go to the States to get their money or languish on the shelf because there isn’t the support here,” he fumed.

While this problem isn’t new to Canada, Bruce argues the situation has hit an all-time bad: “I’ve never seen the gap between good fundable digital entrepreneurs and available capital to back them be as large as it is today.” It’s the classic case of Canadian conservatism. Clearly, the adage is more than just a stereotype, and it’s hurting our local economy—there are as many as 350,000 Canadians living and working in the Valley, contributing to America’s bottom line instead of ours.

But others don’t consider this startup ecosystem pandemic to be an issue at all. In the same article, Saskatoon native Debbie Landa affirms that things are indeed just fine. The founder of Dealmaker Media and co-founder of GrowLabs works out of San Francisco and doesn’t see the problem with Canadians flooding the Valley.

“Canadian culture for as long as I’ve known, it’s always been discouraged that you should go to the U.S. The thinking seems to be ‘then you’ll be leaving us,’” she says. “Entrepreneurs should be told go down, get connected to everyone in Silicon Valley, sell their company for tons of money and then come back and start something here. Make it even bigger next time.”

Read their full debate here.