Canada looks to own another podium

Tim Lougheed
June 15, 2022

Members of Team True North celebrate outside the TMX Market Centre
Photo by Sara Jalali/Communitech

Just as the country realized its Olympic dreams by identifying and supporting those athletes who had demonstrated the ability to win medals, Waterloo-based entrepreneurial accelerator Communitech announced its own business-based version of this aspiration — a Team Truth North, made up of Canadian innovation firms with the greatest potential to achieve $1 billion in revenue by 2030.

This roster features 35 companies (see Table below) in five provinces, as well as the United States, which represent the leading 1 per cent of high-performing global private companies in Canada. Altogether, these firms had a combined 2021 revenue of $5 billion. Fully one quarter of them were founded by immigrants to Canada, and 40 per cent of the firms have women working in C-suite positions. These enterprises cover a range of technology sectors, including cybersecurity, health, energy, communication, and material science, and in at least 10 cases, they have some aspect of artificial intelligence at the core of their operations.

Team True North made its first public appearance today, as part of an Investor Day event at the TMX in Toronto, where representatives of several of these firms were on hand to speak. The occasion was celebrated by Communitech CEO and President Chris Albinson, who pointed to some of the distinct advantages Canada now possesses as a place where business leaders can build trust in cutting edge technologies. He had introduced this high tech ecosystem several weeks earlier as part of Research Money’s annual conference, in a session entitled “Getting to a Billion — Canada’s opportunity to grow multinational companies”.

“Canada is now the second-largest innovation hub on the planet, and the fastest growing,” he said. “The Canadian community has come together and said innovation and a knowledge economy is really critical. So how did that happen? We’ve always had a great quality of life, great technologies, great founders like Open Text, that were in the last wave 20 years ago. The other thing that is our superpower is our ability to attract and retain talent from all over the globe. So we have unequalled access to talent, we have complete access to global capital, and we have pretty much the best access to global markets. And you ask yourself, where else on the planet does that exist?”

As part of that conference session, Olympic speed skating medallist Cathy Priester described her work as a board member of the Own the Podium initiative in 2010, which used key performance indicators and other business methodologies to identify those athletes in a variety of sports with the potential to win medals. In a similar way, Communitech assembled Team True North using data gathered by the major high-tech commercial lender Silicon Valley Bank and analysis conducted by the New York data science firm Two Sigma. This work yielded four specific criteria that combine a firm’s current annual revenue with its current growth rate to predict its likelihood of reaching $1 billion in revenue.

These calculations revealed the firms of Team True North, which in 2021 had an average annual revenue of $141 million and average year-over-year growth of 149 per cent. Among them is the Waterloo-based cybersecurity firm eSentire, whose President and COO J. Paul Haynes was part of the Research Money panel explaining how the Own the Podium concept could be applied in this way. He also emphasized the need to attract Canadian-based investors, just as his company has done, who will prefer to keep these successful ventures in this country.

Albinson noted that Communitech will be updating and expanding the Team True North roster regularly, with a similar announcement planned for later this year. In the meantime, he urged everyone to appreciate the current announcement as an important signal of the extent to which Canada’s tech companies are thriving and contributing to the health of the country’s economy.

“That’s what’s going to sustain our quality of life and allow Canada to compete,” he concluded. “And it’s pretty fun to sit in the stands and cheer them on.”

Research Money intends to do just that, by speaking directly with the people behind these promising companies about how they got to where they are, and where they intend to go next. Watch for these conversations in the weeks to come.

Table: Team True North

Ada (Toronto, ON)

Ada empowers brands to automate their most valuable interactions, bringing a true VIP experience to every customer and employee.

ApplyBoard (Kitchener, ON)

ApplyBoard simplifies the study abroad search, application, and acceptance process by connecting students with educational institutions on one platform.

Arctic Wolf (Waterloo, ON)

Arctic Wolf is a global leader in security operations, delivering a premier cloud-native security operations platform designed to end cyber risk.

Benevity (Calgary, AB)

Benevity, a certified B Corporation, is a leader in global corporate purpose software, providing the only integrated suite of community investment and employee, customer and nonprofit engagement solutions.

BioVectra (Charlottetown, PEI)

BioVectra is a CDMO specializing in clinical-to-commercial scale production of high-quality regulated APIs and Intermediates.

Clearco (Toronto, ON)

Clearco is the world's largest e-commerce investor providing equity free capital solutions to e-commerce businesses.

Clio (Vancouver, BC)

Clio is the legal operating system for client-centered law firms.

Clutch (Kettleby, ON)

Founded in 2017, Clutch is Canada’s largest online used car retailer, delivering a seamless, hassle-free car buying and selling experience to Canadian drivers.

Cymax Group (Burnaby, BC)

Cymax Group is a leading eCommerce technology and services platform for furniture vendors and retailers.

Doxim (Toronto, ON)

Doxim is a customer communications management technology leader, providing omnichannel document & payment solutions that increase customer engagement.

Ecopia (Toronto, ON)

Ecopia is leveraging AI to create a digital twin of the Earth - through the creation of digital maps that represent the real world in real time.

Eddyfi/NDT (Sainte-Foy, QC)

Eddyfi/NDT is a fast-growing, innovative, and private industrial technology group focused on leveraging advanced diagnostic technologies to enhance the monitoring of our world’s infrastructure health.

Elastic Path Software (Vancouver, BC)

Elastic Path offers Composable Commerce products for the world's leading brands, such as Pella, Deckers Brands, T-Mobile, and 250+ innovators.

eSentire (Waterloo, ON)

eSentire is the Authority in MDR, protecting the critical data & applications of 1200+ organizations in 75+ countries, representing 35 industries from known & unknown cyber threats.

Faire (Waterloo, ON)

Faire is a wholesale marketplace founded in 2017 to help independent brands and retailers thrive. Our mission is to help connect independent retailers and brands using the power of technology, data, and machine learning.

Flexiti Financial (Toronto, ON)

Flexiti provides flexible 0% interest financing at point-of-sale to help customers seamlessly finance purchases through instant approvals.

FreshBooks (Toronto, ON)

FreshBooks is a leading cloud accounting software, changing the way business owners manage their books.

FT Synthetics (Langley, BC)

FT Synthetics is a fully integrated manufacturer of coated woven fabrics, with a dedicated focus of developing industry-leading new and unique underlayment products designed for the steep slope roofing industry.

Heliene (Sault Ste. Marie, ON)

Heliene is one of North America’s fastest-growing domestic solar module manufacturers serving the utility-scale, commercial, and residential markets.

Jane (Vancouver, BC)

Jane offers online booking, charting, scheduling, secure video and invoicing on one secure, beautifully designed system.

Jobber (Edmonton, AB)

Jobber’s business management software automates operations and keeps track of everything so home service businesses can provide 5-star service at scale.

Klue (Vancouver, BC)

Klue is the Competitive Enablement platform for every department of every business.

League (Toronto, ON)

Founded in 2014, League is a platform technology company powering next-generation healthcare consumer experiences.

Ledn (Toronto, ON)

Ledn provides financial products with a mission to help clients across the globe unlock the power of digital assets to build wealth for the long term.

Paystone (London, ON)

Paystone is a leading North American provider of seamlessly integrated payment processing, customer loyalty programs, gift card solutions, and reputation marketing software.

PointClickCare (Mississauga, ON)

PointClickCare is a leading healthcare technology platform that spans the care continuum, fostering proactive decision‐making and improved outcomes.

RenoRun (Montreal, QC)

RenoRun offers a selection of thousands of building materials & supplies that can be ordered on our app, online or by phone & delivered to any job site.

SmartONE (Markham, ON)

SmartONE delivers Smart Community technology to multi-family residential buildings in partnership with large telecommunication companies.

SMART Technologies (Calgary, AB)

Headquartered in Calgary, SMART is a world leader in education and collaborative technology, providing interconnected solutions to help every person discover and develop the greatness within them.

Solink (Ottawa, ON)

Solink is the leader in cloud video security for businesses of all sizes.

StackAdapt (Toronto, ON)

StackAdapt is an advertising technology company, offering a multi-channel self-serve platform to media buyers at agencies and brands.

Trusscore (Kitchener, ON)

Trusscore is changing how people construct buildings and the environmental footprint left behind when they do. Trusscore is focusing on R&D and bringing material science to its formulations – making its products functional and beautiful. Trusscore Wall&CeilingBoard is transforming the way the world builds interior walls with a material that installs four times faster than drywall and is incredibly durable, easy to install, and recyclable. The company’s marketing and R&D teams are based at the Communitech Hub in Kitchener with manufacturing plants in Palmerston, Ontario, Calgary, Alberta, and Dayton, Ohio.

Vention (Montreal, QC)

Vention helps some of the most innovative manufacturers automate their production floors in just a few days through a democratized user experience.

Vidyard (Kitchener, ON)

Vidyard is the easiest way to record and send video emails that stand out from the noise and connect with more leads. Vidyard lets you add personal video messages into your cadence to boost response rates and generate more pipelines.

Voyce (Toronto, ON)

Voyce, Inc. provides specialized Video Remote Interpretation to the legal, health care, and business communities.


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