Celebrating Canadian Startup Success Stories

Today I was happy to see two announcements about Canadian companies. First, Vancouver startup (is it still a startup?) Hootsuite reached 2 million members, and created a fun Infographic to show some stats about its usage.

Second, the news that Twitter has acquired Toronto startup Backtype. Founders Chris Golda and Mike Montano were in a past YCombinator class, then were based in Toronto for a while (where they demo’d at a Sprout Up and made it on my BlogTO list of the hottest startups of 2009) until they relocated to San Francisco. They’re both really nice guys with a solid product so I’m happy to see them successfully exit. 

Also a shout-out to one of my favourite Toronto-based startups, personal safety app Guardly. Founder Josh Sookman wrote a post outlining the ups and downs of their first 300 days. I’ll be watching their progress closely! 

Add that to the recent acquisitions of TinyHippos by RIM and Postrank by Google in Waterloo, and it’s good news all around.

Sure, Toronto’s not Silicon Valley. And sure, our talent sometimes leaves to go to Silicon Valley (the dreaded brain drain). But whether an entrepreneur starts, builds or sells their company while on Canadian soil, I still consider it a homegrown success story. And I’ll be watching for the next crop of success stories. 

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