When it comes to tech, the first thing many associate with game-changing companies is Silicon Valley. But tech innovation is happening north of the 49th parallel, and Canada is gaining a global reputation as a tech incubator churning out heavy-hitting disruptors across a variety of industries. From online shopping platform Shopify, to mattress industry maverick Endy, Canadian tech companies are making waves and breaking news.
Which companies are the ones to watch in the north? Here is a shortlist of Canadian tech companies to keep an eye on in 2020.
Xanadu has built the world’s first practical quantum computer. What is quantum computing, and why is it important? There are limitations to the amount of data that classical computers using bits that process binary code (such as your laptop) can process accurately. Quantum computing, on the other hand, uses qubits, which exceed the binary (they can be one, or zero, or both at the same time) and open up possibilities for processing enormous amounts of complex and interlocking data almost instantaneously.
Imagine searching for a number in a phone book. A classical computer would search line by line for the number, while a quantum computer could look at all the numbers simultaneously. The goal of Xanadu’s cutting-edge technology is to offer lower-priced quantum computing solutions that are accessible to a whole new generation of businesses and consumers.
A disrupter in the print industry, StickerYou has made it possible for consumers to create their own custom stickers, labels, decals, temporary tattoos and more in any shape, any size, and any quantity using a patented online stickermaker. While traditional printers offered only large runs, StickerYou allows customers to order as few as one, or as many as they like, opening up endless possibilities for both business and personal expression.
This may sound quaint until you look at the numbers. The global label industry alone generates upwards of $70 billion a year. Stickers and labels are big business, and cracking open the potential for anyone to order in whatever amount they need and customized to exact preferences is revolutionary.
StickerYou has also made the move into brick and mortar, recently opening the world’s largest sticker store in Toronto, Canada.
At Pivot Furniture, sustainability and comfort come together to provide the best home furnishings, delivered seven days a week, with all of the ease that only a subscription service can provide. All of their furnishings keep old pieces out of landfills and put new pieces in homes around the country. It is a simple, yet effective alternative to purchasing brand new pieces from stores.
Pivot offers furniture for your living room, dining room, and bedroom — plus accessorizing items such as lamps, throws, rugs, and more — and you can return any piece of furniture or accessory, buy it, or cancel your plan at any time you wish.
Do you want to have a meeting, but everyone is in a different office, different time zone or a different country entirely? (Hey, it happens in today’s global marketplace.) This app helps you obtain the best results by connecting you through one program. You can schedule, set up, and sign on everyone in one place, while also keeping track of appointments and hosting meetings.
Best of all is that Zoom can find the best time for everyone to meet in under a minute’s time — no more back and forths via email or comparing 10 people’s calendars for a corresponding half-hour where everyone can meet. It will also directly interface with your CRM or ATS to give an extra productivity boost.
This is just a snapshot of the exciting things happening in Canadian tech. Whether it’s AI, or marketing, optimization or disruption, Canadian tech companies have it covered, and then some. Savvy investors would do well to monitor Silicon Valley North. It may just be the place to find unicorns.