Canada

Atlantic Canada
If Atlantic Canada were to be ranked as an ecosystem, it would be #66 in the Emerging Ecosystems rankings.

MEMBERS:
Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency Innovacorp

"Atlantic Canada attracted us with venture capital, non-dilutive dollars, research partners, talent, ocean access and an incredibly welcoming business community. This is the ideal region for us to develop our ocean climate technology."

Mike Kelland
CEO and co-founder, Planetary Technologies
Top 20 North American Emerging Ecosystem in Funding
Top 30 North American Emerging Ecosystem in Talent & Experience

Highlights

Atlantic Canada — made up of the eastern provinces of New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island — continues to demonstrate that it is a fast-growing and successful ecosystem, boasting innovation in Oceantech and several other sectors. The region is producing globally leading companies such as CarbonCure Technologies, a Carbon Xprize winner that has been touted by its investor Bill Gates on CBS’s 60 Minutes. SaaS platform Introhive has raised over $125 million and was listed in the Deloitte Technology Fast 500 ranking for three consecutive years.


The ecosystem is home to 16 universities and many support programs that provide startups with a wealth of resources to support their growth. More than 80% of graduates from Innovacorp’s acceleration program have secured early-stage equity investment. PEI BioAlliance is adding a bioscience manufacturing incubator to the resources it offers its flourishing bioscience cluster. Industrial biotech companies are coming from around the world to join the AscendBio scale up program. CDL Oceans is a global ocean technology accelerator. A company from its most recent cohort, Planetary Technologies, won a $1 million Xprize Carbon Removal Milestone Award in April 2022.


Female-focused seed-stage fund Sandpiper Ventures is the newest venture capital fund based in Atlantic Canada. It closed the first CA$10 million ($8 million) of a planned CA$20 million ($16 million) funding round for its flagship SV Fund in September 2021.


Recent Atlantic Canada fundraising success stories include Newfoundland-based Mysa’s November 2021 $20.3 million Series B, and in January 2022, Saint John, New Brunswick-based TrojAI raised a CA$3 million ($2.4 million) seed round.

Ecosystem by the Numbers

EARLY-STAGE FUNDING
(2019H2-2021)
$275 m
GLOBAL AVG. 2023
$687 m
ECOSYSTEM VALUE
(2019H2-2021)
$4.4 bn
GLOBAL AVG. 2023
$28.6 bn
MEDIAN SEED ROUND (2019H2-2021)
$913 k
GLOBAL AVG. 2023
$671 k
MEDIAN SERIES A ROUND (2019H2-2021)
$3 m
GLOBAL AVG. 2023
$4.7 m
SOFT. ENGINEER SALARY (2021)
$47 k
GLOBAL AVG. 2023
$46 k
3.5 bn
GLOBAL AVG. 2023
11.3 bn
47
GLOBAL AVG. 2023
101
Amount ($)
Count (#)

Exits

(2017-2021)
EARLY-STAGE FUNDING GROWTH TIER (2018/19 VS. 2020/21)
6
Calculated on a scale of
1 (lowest) to 10 (highest)
TOTAL VC FUNDING (2017-2021)
$1.3 bn
GLOBAL AVG. 2023
$4.5 bn
TIME TO EXIT (2017-2021)
9.5 years
GLOBAL AVG. 2023
9.4 years

Sub-Sector Strengths

Life Sciences

The BioFuture 2030 report plots a course to double the number of Life Sciences companies in the region and almost quadruple annual sales to CA$1.1 billion ($881 million) by 2030. Medical device developer Adaptiiv raised a $4 million Series A round in July 2021. ABK Biomedical has raised $50 million to fund the development of its liver cancer radiation therapy.

Blue Economy

Atlantic Canada is one of the world’s leading ecosystems for Blue Economy startups. It is home to Canada’s Ocean Supercluster — which has approved projects with a total value of more than CA$320 million ($256 million). The Ocean Startup Project has provided more than CA$1.4 million to entrepreneurs developing solutions to address ocean industry challenges. Planetary Technologies raised CA$7.8 million for its technology to remove carbon using direct ocean capture while restoring ocean health and generating green hydrogen.

Cybersecurity

The Canadian Institute of Cybersecurity, based at the University of New Brunswick, is home to a host of Cybersecurity companies including Sonrai Security, which raised $50 million in an October 2021 Series C round. Fraud detection unicorn Verafin was founded in St. John’s, Newfoundland, and was acquired by Nasdaq for $2.75 billion in February 2021.

Reasons to Move Your Startup to Atlantic Canada

Global Impact

Atlantic Canada is strategically located for access to both Europe and North America: four hours behind London and four hours ahead of Los Angeles. Its founders are creating solutions for the world’s most urgent problems, especially in the areas of Life Sciences, Cybersecurity, and the Blue Economy.

Living Well

Atlantic Canada is home to four cities ranked in the top 10 best communities in Canada by Maclean’s: Halifax, Charlottetown, Moncton, and Fredericton. Affordable real estate, low crime rates, proximity to ocean and nature. In Atlantic Canada, it’s possible to work all day, surf at night. The region boasts a full-stack lifestyle.

Supportive Ecosystem

Atlantic Canada’s close-knit ecosystem partners strive to support and connect founders to experts they need to accelerate growth. The percentage of immigrant and female founders is higher than the global average. The collaborative and inclusive ecosystem is supported by 31 higher educational institutions, including 16 universities, that provide a reliable pipeline of educated talent.

Selected Startup Organizations

Startup Genome Members

Key Ecosystem Players

News from the Ecosystem

Get connected

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