The Business Development Bank of Canada is hoping to forge closer links with early stage tech companies and entrepreneurs in its search for the next Shopify or Stingray.
Jérôme Nycz, executive vice-president of BDC Capital, says entrepreneurs needs more capital if another Shopify or Stingray is to emerge from the startup ecosystems across the country.
"This is building Canada's future prosperity," Nycz said in Waterloo, ON earlier this week.
On Wednesday, BDC launched Premium Fests, a series of festivals dedicated to startups. The first one in Montreal brought together angel investors (individuals who invest in small startups or entrepreneurs), venture capitalists, startups and accelerator centres to share information and best practices, and jump-start collaborations.
Too many Canadian startups hit $35 million in annual revenue before plateauing, Nycz says. More investment capital is needed to push those firms into the international big leagues.
"You can build a $35 million company in Canada quite easily, but to scale from $35 million to $150 million, that is the challenge," Nycz says. "And I think we have to pay attention to that."
There is a gap in what Nycz calls late-stage financing for growing technology companies that produce big exits, or huge paydays for founders when the companies go public.
Nycz has been the executive-vice president of BDC Capital, the investment arm of the federal Business Development Bank of Canada, since 2013.
About BDC Capital
With more than $2 billion under management, BDC Capital is the investment arm of BDC, serving as a strategic partner to Canada’s most innovative and high potential firms. It offers a range of equity, venture capital and flexible growth and transition capital solutions to help Canadian entrepreneurs scale their businesses into global champions. To find out more, visit bdc.ca/capital.