Data & Analysis

Marketing and sales a crucial element for Canadian tech startup success

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The University of Toronto’s Impact Centre released the results of new research which is shining a light into the success of Canadian startups.

According to the new research, many Canadian technology companies wait until their products are launched before spending funds on crucial functions such as marketing and sales. This practice is delaying growth and success in fundraising. The new research is a follow-up to a study investigating the differences between successful and unsuccessful tech companies in Canada versus the United States.

The Impact Centre was developed in 2013 to bridge the gap between the university and science industry to accelerate the development of new or improved products and services. The new research, Canadian Tech Tortoises, was led by Charles Plant, Senior Fellow with the Impact Centre, working to develop research and education programs in innovation and entrepreneurship at the University of Toronto.

The latest study looked at job classifications of employees at over 900 private Canadian technology companies that had received external investment. Among the discoveries included that during the startup phase of technology companies, Canadian firms have significantly fewer employees in marketing and sales functions when compared to US firms.

The study also found that even among the best funded firms, Canadian technology firms have 25 per cent fewer marketing and sales employees than US based Unicorns do. This lack of emphasis on marketing and sales may be delaying and impeding rapid growth and our companies’ ability to get funding to scale to world-class status.

These new findings echo calls from ecosystem experts, who recently identified sales and marketing talent as an area that Canadian tech companies need to pivot their focus during a panel on the future of venture capital and in an article published by Stefan Palios of BetaKit.