If you’ve been following stock markets over the first few weeks of 2016 - well, hopefully you’ve also had plenty of aspirin on hand. Simply put, markets have been in a tailspin across the board, with many experts pointing to a dismal energy and mining sector as one of the main sources of pain for global stocks.
Though stocks are down substantially across North America, te common wisdom seems to be that the fundamentally strong US economy will shortly weather the storm in the coming months, while the more energy and mining-based Canadian economy might experience prolonged suffering. In actuality, despite the stereotype of Canada’s economy built largely on mining and oil extraction, those struggling industries actually only account for about 8.00% of Canada’s economy - approximately equivalent to science, tech services and information industries, as of 2014. As evidenced by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s recent plea in Davos, Canada has much more diverse opportunities than investors are aware of.
It’s a message that the upcoming Cantech Investment Conference is hoping to spread as well.
Taking place at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre on Jan. 26, and sponsored by Cambridge House International, the Cantech Investment Conference is a day-long event billed as, “The ultimate showcase for Canadian technology development and opportunities.” The conference brings together thought leaders, influential investors and rapidly growing companies in the Canadian tech development sector. This year’s speakers include Michael Kousaie, Head of Business Development, Technology for Toronto Stock Exchange and TSX Venture Exchange, Ian Black of Uber Canada, Markus Frind of Plenty of Fish, Lavalife co-founder Bruce Croxon and Janet Bannister of Real Ventures, among many others.
Topics covered at the event include, “Investing in Disruptive Technologies,” “Finding the Next Narwhal,” and a presentation on what to expect from FinTech in 2016. While the topics are diverse, one theme is immediately apparent: the Canadian tech sector is robust, and rapidly growing.
Prime Minister Trudeau Looking to Make Canada a Global Leader in Tech
Investors and conference-goers can take heart in knowing that spurring momentum in forward-thinking entrepreneurial activity in Canada isn’t just a pipe dream, but a focus of Trudeau, as he elucidated at the recent World Economic Forum in Davos. “My predecessor wanted you to know Canada for its resources,” said Trudeau during his speech in Davos, “I want you to know Canadians for our resourcefulness.” It’s true that despite their infamous humility, Canadians have provided a number of impressive technological achievements over the years, from Nova Scotia resident Alexander Graham Bell’s telephone in 1876 to Blackberry (BBRY), based in Waterloo, Canada.
Addressing the crowd at the World Economic Forum, Trudeau suggested that we may be “in the early stages of a fourth industrial revolution. “Steam power changed the world utterly. Do did electricity and more recently, computers,” said Trudeau. “And now we may be on the cusp of change equal in magnitude and fo a far swifter pace.”
Whether Trudeau’s grand predictions come to pass remains to be seen. However, at the rate that tech development has been increasing across the globe, technology and information industries are all but assured to make up an even larger segment of the Canadian GDP in the coming years. Those attending the Cantech Investment Conference on Tuesday are no doubt aiming to position themselves at the forefront of Canada’s technological future.
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