Atlantic Canada’s Innovation District
Atlantic Canada has a vibrant but small ecosystem of entrepreneurs that have supported one another for generations. With multiple examples of families that, in the previous century, built businesses that employed large numbers of people constantly re-investing into the region and supporting the next generation of business leaders. Not just family members.
These families may appear slow to invest in the next generation of businesses, largely tech, but I don’t believe that is a fair assessment.
We must be realistic in Atlantic Canada about the volume of innovative global companies that can be created and what the results will be from the few that get into a growth stage. There simply is not the volume of companies, yet, that can support growth like being witnessed in other parts of the country.
I have no doubt that if you take 20 companies founded in Atlantic Canada they will outperform 20 founded at the same time from anywhere else if they are all given access to the same resources.
But we need more to start and start in a way that gives them a better chance at finding success. Developing programs like the Creative Destruction Lab are a start but there is some heavy lifting required.