By Satish Kataria
Kaufmann Institute – a global authority on studying and reporting entrepreneurial trends – in its study titled ‘High Growth Firms and the Future of American Economy 2011’ – mentioned that only about 4 - 10% of new companies in any given year actually become high growth companies – but the top 1% of new companies generate around 40% of new jobs and 5% roughly generate 66% of new jobs in a given year.
The role of entrepreneurship to drive an economy is thus re-ascertained.
And then as they say – it takes a village to raise a start-up. Or rather – a village wherein each resident knows what is happening, brings to ground what they have with them – and make raising of the start-up a well-tuned collaborative initiative.
We recently witnessed the success of this ‘collaboration’ – when our trip to Canada introduced us to Ontario Network of Excellence – or ONE as it is called. It’s an start-up engine – which brings together more than 150 organisations and more than 1,100 commercialisation experts, business and community leaders and investors across the province of Ontario – all tuned towards helping build, mentor, fund and propel start-ups. The following are some success metrics to look at:
Since 2007, ONE has enabled:
- Created over 1,200 innovative firms
- Created/retained 40,000 new jobs
- Leveraged over USD 860 Million from other sources
- Helped launched 2,400 new products and services, generating 37,000 new customers – 59% of which are outside the Canadian market
- Assisted with development of more than 3,300 new prototypes
- Helped firms patent 3,700 new ideas and technologies
- Help establish 1,100 technology licenses between private sector and research institutes
- Authored and provided 3,476 intelligence reports to various corporates – valued at almost USD 45 Million
ONE was an initiative borne out of Ontario’s Innovation Agenda – a USD 3.2 Billion strategy by the government to help make innovation the driving force of Ontario’s economy – and to initiate right steps to convert high-end research and technology into new, high value industries and jobs.
ONE thus becomes direct access to business advise and mentorship, early stage capital, education and industry intelligence – and most importantly, an ever-growing network – for start-ups – attempting to pick those initial threads.
ONE works on hub-&-spoke model – wherein about 20 Regional Innovation Centres and Start-up acceleration hubs – become the first interface for the start-ups – providing them with physical space and host of programs, events and mentors (Our next article will provide some operational insights into working of some of Canada’s best start up accelerators). Post this, ONE then connects them to companies, common investors and research facilities – endeavoring to thus enable technology development lead to tangible results. Besides the central resources, each Regional Innovation Centre also engages local investors, companies and institutes, thus working to offer optimal assistance to various start-ups.
Giving yet another metric of success – MaRS – which is a RIC based at Toronto, has invested USD 21.2 Million through its ‘Innovation Acceleration Fund’ (powered by government and set of few private investors) – which have received a follow-on investment of USD 86.1 Million. There have been 4 exits so far, returning 70% RoI and no investment write-offs.
Inspirations for India
There’s no doubting that India is now at threshold of strong initiative to push and support entrepreneurship – with number of angel networks, incubators, mentor enablers and even government assistance – the likes of Incubator support initiatives from Department of Science & Technology – mushrooming up and creating a positive ecosystem.
But then, we guess that this is also the right time to communicate to all of them – the need to set some common collaborative platform – which can thus become a strong access point and repository of investmemt givers and investment seekers. And once this network is up & running – the next step could be to thus start connecting it with various institutes and research/technology grounds – so as to thus engage a whole new community, pushing the agenda for innovation and new emerging India.
Do you feel that our start-up ecosystem players – say for instance the angel networks – open to share and collaborate with each other? What else do you feel can help this collaboration to happen and even take our research labs into its fold? Please do comment…
Our next article will provide some interesting peeks at Canada’s strong start-up accelerators.
|< Prev||Next >|