New Project Aims to Give Canadian Startups a Place to Call Home While in Silicon Valley

A new initiative aims to create working space for Canadian startups visiting Silicon Valley.

The project, dubbed Canada House, offers short-term coworking offices in San Francisco.

Canada House is a collaboration between MaRS Discovery District, Communitech, University of Waterloo Velocity, C100 Association, and RBC.

“The San Francisco Bay Area remains the most strategic destination for our companies from a customer, investor and talent perspective, with hundreds of entrepreneurs making several trips there per year,” said Salim Teja, executive vice-president of ventures, MaRS Discovery District. “By offering critical short-term space and services in a collaborative environment, Canada House will support our companies abroad and raise the profile of Canadian innovation in one of the world’s hottest investment markets.”

The goal is to help Canadian startups to gain access to resources in key international destinations where they have a high probability of raising capital and meeting potential customers.

 “Our fundamental belief is that Velocity startups don’t need to relocate to the Bay Area to be successful but they do need to part of that community,” said Mike Kirkup, Director of Velocity.

Based at WeWork’s Mid-Market location in San Francisco, Canada House will provide office space and meeting rooms, as well as access to international business networks, entrepreneurial talent, business development and investment opportunities for up to 25 companies.

“Canadian entrepreneurs need international sales and investments to scale their startups,” said Iain Klugman, CEO of Communitech. “By providing on-the-ground support in Silicon Valley—and in other strategic markets in the near future—we will help Canadian companies take advantage of greater opportunities for growth.”

“We expect this to be the first phase of a much larger initiative that will provide our network with the opportunity to gain perspective into emerging technologies and will also provide access to best-in-class Canadian entrepreneurs,” said Joanne Fedeyko, executive director of C100.

“Canada has a thriving community of innovators and Canada House will play an important role in showcasing their talents in the key Silicon Valley market,” said Bruce Ross, group head of technology and operations at RBC.