Michigan has long enjoyed an amicable and collaborative relationship with the province of Ontario dating back over one hundred years. The two regions have long pooled their resources to promote cross-border trade between the world’s largest economy and its northern neighbor. With both regions bordering the largest bodies of freshwater in the world, the great lakes, it’s not a stretch to state that Michangers and Ontarians share more in common than either would with their Floridian or British Columbian compatriots.
One key area where this partnership is more than apparent in the 21st century is that of technology. Both Detroit and Toronto have sought to distinguish themselves as hotbeds of innovation, seeking to create climates favourable to start-ups, and their close connection across borders is seen by both regions as a pivotal component to this overarching strategy.
Suffice to say, the economy of Canada, which is the 10th largest in the world with a projected GDP of $1.73 trillion is not small by any means. But when compared with its southern neighbour, which commands a GDP of $23.32 trillion, it’s easy to see why capital and innovation tends to flow northwards more often than the other way around. So what are the major tech sectors that are moving north in the wake of the US’ not inconsiderable influence?
The global games industry is now the largest entertainment sector in the world by some margin, with an annual revenue thought to be around $300 billion as of 2023. For context, that is three times larger than the film industry. The global leaders in this sector are the United States and Japan – both of which got their start as industry pioneers in the late 70s and on into the 1980s – though it may surprise some to know that Canada is also considered a leader in this field.
Among Canada’s largest companies you will find Electronic Arts and Ubisoft, who, behind Activision Blizzard, represent the world’s largest developers and publishers, accounting for some 28.5% market share of console game sales in 2022. With Canada serving as home for some of the world’s biggest and best-selling game franchises in recent years, such as Assassin’s Creed and Battlefield, its central role in this fast paced industry is unlikely to change any time soon.
There has however been one major growth area for the Canadian gaming market in recent years – that of iGaming, following the repeal of US federal legislation known as PASPA in 2017. This effectively opened the door to iGaming’s expansion at the state level in the United States, which has markedly influenced the sector’s development in Ontario and beyond. Now reputable platforms such as CasinoBonusCA have come to represent a vanguard for this sector’s development in Land of the Maple Leaf, furnishing competitive welcome bonuses and sign-up offers to tech-savvy casino fans seeking on-demand entertainment prepared by gambling experts through extensive research for consumer education.
The global eCommerce sector has enjoyed phenomenal growth in the wake of the economic disruptions of the 2020s that have disproportionately impacted the brick-and-mortar retail sector. All told, the eCommerce market has grown from $3.5 trillion in 2019 to $6.3 trillion today, an increase of some 78%.
It’s not common nowadays for a new player to make waves in this rapidly consolidating sector, which is why the impressive rise of Canadian point-of-sale platform Shopify in recent years is so exceptional. Founded in 2006, Shopify expertly identified that there would be a growing need among small businesses moving online for simple, trustworthy and robust integrated point-of-sale features, and Shopify has now become synonymous with this product category and is widely considered the go-to eCommerce platform for startups.
While Shopify is without a doubt one of Canada’s greatest tech start-up stories, there are multiple other native players in the eCommerce space worth paying attention to. Among these you’ll find Elastic Path, a Vancouver-based eCommerce API designed to seamlessly integrate with existing systems. It has particularly enjoyed success in the travel and telecom markets. Another rising giant of Canadian eCommerce is Lightspeed.
This Montreal-based point-of-sale platform overlaps somewhat in its core feature-set with the much larger Shopify, though Lightspeed has in recent years come to distinguish itself with rich analytics, inventory tools, and customer management features. The flexibility this offers has made Lightspeed a favourite among specific sectors, such as the food service industry.
This article was provided by Alex Vel