Enabling Canada’s Technology Future

Alpha Exchange White Paper

KITCHENER, WATERLOO and TORONTO, June 14, 2012 /PRNewswire/ – At a technology stakeholders’ event hosted in Kitchener-Waterloo, the Alpha Exchange today unveiled its White Paper about “Building Connections and Fixing the Funding Challenge to Kick-Start Canada’s Technology Sector”.

Canada’s technology sector has underperformed since the internet bubble burst twelve years ago, more so than the technology sectors of some other countries such as the U.S. A case in point: despite Canada’s citizens having a reputation of being highly digitally connected, our “internet economy” as a percentage of GDP is below the G20 average and forecast to fall further behind.

Through a review of academic research and interviews with 22 thought leaders in the Canadian technology sector, we have scored Canada’s technology ecosystem on six functional characteristics: technical expertise, public support, regulation, finance expertise, management expertise and funding.

Our overall conclusion was that despite our strong technology talent, history of public sector investment and generally supportive regulatory environment, our shallow well of start-up management talent and mentors as well as our poor availability of funding nets the Canadian technology ecosystem a lackluster grade of C.

We have however identified five initiatives that could allow Canada to kick-start the re-establishment of its technology sector with no or minimal public money.  These five initiatives, which together are reinforcing each other, all aim at creating connections and liquidity to allow for the successful development and funding of technology firms through their entire life-cycle:

  • Connecting start-ups to talent and investors
  • Supporting crowdfunding
  • Developing an institutionalized pre-IPO capital market
  • Establishing an exchange focused on the technology sector
  • Supporting an “angel investor” tax-credit.

“These initiatives need to take place along with a redoubled focus on the host of other factors that create an environment for success for Canada’s technology companies.” notes Jos Schmitt, Alpha Exchange CEO. “With the right choices, we can prevent the impending decline in Canada’s global technology relevance, and support the development of an economy of the future. We believe there is tremendous untapped talent and opportunity in the Canadian technology sector. We are ready to play a key role in unlocking that opportunity by improving the funding process and connecting experienced advice and leadership with start-ups. Our first step has been the establishment of a technology focused exchange.” 

The five initiatives to kick-start Canada’s technology sector

You can access Alpha Exchange’s White Paper by clicking on Enabling Canada’s Technology Future.

About Alpha Exchange – Alpha Exchange is part of Alpha Group, an organization set up by nine leading Canadian financial institutions in 2007 to reinvigorate trading in Canadian markets at a time it was characterized by a lack of liquidity, efficiency, innovation and state-of-the art technology. After having achieved substantial results in the Canadian trading space with its Alternative Trading System (Alpha ATS), a marketplace competing for the trading business with other organizations such as the incumbent exchange, Alpha Group decided to bring similar change and benefits in the Canadian listing space. This led to the formation of the Alpha Exchange, the new generation Canadian exchange built on the principles of entrepreneurship and operational excellence. Alpha Exchange will not only foster quality listings and liquidity, but also re-energize innovation and entrepreneurship in Canada across the industry sectors that have been neglected over the past several years.

For further information regarding Alpha Exchange, visit www.alpha-group.ca

Image with caption: “Alpha Exchange releases White Paper about “Building Connections and Fixing the Funding Challenge to Kick-Start Canada’s Technology Sector”. (CNW Group/Alpha Group)”. Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20120614_C8681_PHOTO_EN_15151.jpg

Image with caption: “Alpha Exchange’s White Paper identifies five initiatives to kick-start Canada’s Technology Sector. (CNW Group/Alpha Group)”. Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20120614_C8681_PHOTO_EN_15152.jpg

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