Canadian Superangel: Here’s How We Can Improve Our Country’s Startup Ecosystem

Canada has a solid startup ecosystem, but we’re not where we could be.

Canadian superangel Boris Wertz discussed this topic with Quentin Casey in an interview with the Financial Post.

The award-winning startup investor described the state of Canada’s tech sector as one that has “made some strides” but still lacks a healthy number of great companies and great entrepreneurs.

When asked how to change that, Wertz cited two ways.

“First, we have to get more entrepreneurs into the country,” he said. “We’re definitely not attracting enough really great entrepreneurs to our big ecosystems, such as Montreal, Vancouver and Toronto.” However, Wertz did acknowledge that programs like Startup Visa Canada are paving the way.

“Secondly, we need to celebrate entrepreneurship,” he continued. “We need more role models for people to aspire to, so instead of wanting to become a soccer or hockey player, they aspire to become an entrepreneur.”

Wertz is the founder of Version One Ventures, a $20 million fund targeting early-stage startups—something the investor feels is sorely lacking in Canada.

“If there’s one area where Canada is really weak, it’s on the early-stage funding side,” he told the Financial Post. “If a company does really well, there’s no challenge in attracting U.S. capital. But in the early stages you need angels and investors who are close to home. We definitely don’t have a lot of those guys.’