Saw my friend Allen Lau on CBC tonight pushing for faster fast track immigration for startups. While I applaud his conviction to this cause, and I know it's always a challenge to find top notch local talent, I have to disagree that we need to make it easy to not hire from the local talent pool.
We need to build our local startup leadership talent pool to ensure we build a long term advantage rather than a transient pool of "ringers" imported from outside the country.
We have a great legacy of Hitech successes (Nortel and Blackberry to name two ) which show the value and capabilities of home grown leadership and talent. Programs like the embedded executive programs can be expanded to help transition our leadership talent into the startup world.
There are better ways to do this long term that bring a better benefit to Canada. Just my 2c. Sorry Allen. ... See MoreSee Less
Boris MannAre there startups that underpay or in general suck and this have trouble "hiring locally"? Yes.
Is there huge overhead, arcane bureaucracy, and in general nearly impossible hurdles for startups attempting to bring in the best person for the job from outside of Canada? Yes.
So, making it easy to bring great people into Canada -- who become permanent residents and eventually Canadians -- really is part of having top notch local talent over the short and long term.
Alex TomicThis. The big picture is important. See my comment on the Globe and Mail article discussing the same issue the other day.
As long as we have 300,000+ Canadians working in Silicon Valley, I find it difficult to take these claims of a talent shortage seriously. If there is a shortage, it's low wages that created it, and rather than let the market fix that problem, we have an attempt by entrepreneurs to get the government to intervene in that market? Seems counter-intuitive to me.
Aram MelkoumovWayne Seifried I do agree that companies need to invest more in the local talent pool that is hungry for the opportunities but don't have the necessary experience vs a foreigner. Startups especially need to create and nurture their hires to become the next leadership frontier.
10 hours ago
Bonnie Foley-WongAs the Canadian-born daughter of immigrants, who immigrated to the UK, and moved back to Canada after 12 years, immigrating her Irish husband in the process (and for all intents and purposes, I might as well have been an immigrant in Canada because my credit and driving history were practically wiped out), I'm pro-immigration, pro-mobility, location-agnostic, and anti-pushing around big stacks of paper. There's a lot that can be learned and shared across borders - I believe a mix of local talent and talent from abroad is good for a sustainable, rich and diverse venture ecosystem.
6 hours ago · 1
Mark OrganA tide of immigrant talent will float the boats of tech startups here and allow us to hire and develop more local talent.
One of the few advantages that we have over Silicon Valley companies with their enormous war chests is the ability to hire talent from abroad easier and Allen is correct that this advantage should be further increased. This isn't the government intervening in the labor market, in fact just the opposite - it is liberating the market.
As Boris and others have pointed out, it's not a zero sum game, more immigrant talent = depressed wages and hiring of locals. We should look at talented outsiders as a strategic resource like oil or uranium in the last century. They make us stronger and allow more growth and development that benefit us all.
We have hired amazing people from the US, Europe and Asia. We could not have built Influitive without them and I am grateful for our government in letting us bring them in.
I guess these should be on hit list of any Canadian seed stage startup hitting the Valley. Some of them have invested in Cdn firms. And our good friend Angela Strange is a Cdn partner at A16Z! Plus Boris Wertz of Version One Ventures is a board partner there. ... See MoreSee Less
Varun MathurI will add Sherpa Ventures to that list (Uber, Airbnb, Slack, Munchery,..) - on-demand startups seed investor,
Apart from this, based on my anecdotal analysis of looking at a few Canadian tech startups which went from seed to series A - unless they are moving to the US outright, Canadian seed stage startups are doing just fine hitting their friendly neighbourhood Canadian seed stage investors who have connections with US investors :)But then again there are remarkable exceptions such as GoInstant was.
[email protected][email protected]startu...
According to the American Trucking Association, nearly 70 percent of all freight tonnage moved around the U.S. is transported by trucks. There's more than $603 billion in revenue coming from trucking -- making it a pretty valuable market -- and some are looking for modernized tools and software to h...
Canadian companies compete globally. And, for us to have a competitive advantage - Canada needs the best talent. Quicker immigration for best talent can become a competitive advantage for Canada as a country.
Alex TomicI am going to present what may be an unpopular opinion here, but I would welcome responses from people with more on-the-ground experience with these matters.
Whether I put on my IT professional or entrepreneur hat, I fail to see the need for this, and actually believe it may be harmful to the tech ecosystem here in the longer term. I am not an immigration expert, but we have both a points system and fast-track system that has been lauded as a model for much of the world to follow. For exceptionally talented individuals these programs are not sufficient?
If this is really about lowering tech wages rather than "top talent", I think this is harmful in a number of ways.
We have to ask why much of our home-grown, real top talent has already left? In 2012, there were estimated to be 350,000 Canadians (!!)  in Silicon Valley alone. There are zipcodes in SoCal where we make up among the largest immigrant groups. In my time there, the typical reasons for why people would never consider moving back are: much lower pay, fewer opportunities. I'm not expecting a tidal wave of Canadians rushing back here, even if Trump wins.
I recently had to pay a hefty sum for legal advice. Yet it never once occurred to me that we should advocate bringing in "top legal talent" from the English-speaking world to help our businesses compete in a globalized world. Why is there no similar push there?
If our mentality continues to be about wage suppression and not a cultural shift towards empowering and compensating tech workers appropriately, then the conveyor belt of home-grown top talent out of Canada will continue and we will remain a "branch plant" economy well into the information age.
/rant (thank you for listening)
my latest, an interview with Innovation, science and economic development minister Navdeep Bains. It's accompanying another piece that should appear very soon on a related topic of interest to this group. We're running a shorter version of this in the paper tomorrow but the online version (available to subscribers) talks in greater length about his thoughts on immigration, procurement and SR&ED. ... See MoreSee Less
Richard RemillardIt read to me as if the Minister kept the door open to various policy options, except insofar as targeting any subsequent program towards providing the requisite capital for growth-stage firms. In this regard, the UK's Business Growth Fund could prove interesting.
We're excited to announce that applications for the 2017 cohort of The Next 36: Canada’s Entrepreneurial Leadership Initiative are now live! Help us spread the word? We're on the hunt for students and recent grads with a strong entrepreneurial drive to either launch a high-impact startup, or grow their existing idea-stage venture. Visit our shiny new website for more: www.thenext36.ca.
At The Next 36, we believe that by fast-tracking the development of Canada's most talented young innovators, we will help create industry-changing businesses and grow Canada's long-term prosperity. The Next 36 transforms exceptional students into high impact entrepreneurs. Each year, we choose 36 yo...
Quick reminder that the July edition of StartupDrinksTO is tomorrow! If you're planning to attend, please take a moment to register. Eventbrite link is in the FB event page. Can't wait to see you all! ... See MoreSee Less
By popular demand we will be hosting the next StartupDrinks in Toronto on July 27th. Join us and keep the spirit of Toronto's startup community alive, one pint at a time.
It's a simple concept: Have a pint, connect, share experiences and issues you are facing, and meet some of your fellow up-and-coming startup company leaders!