TechCrunch, the bible of the Silicon Valley startup cluster, published a long-form article on the Atlantic Canadian startup community this weekend, showcasing the growth of the segment in the world’s biggest tech centre.
Titled “Does Atlantic Canada have a blueprint for rural revival in the post-pandemic era?”, the article was written by Matthew Carpenter-Arevalo, a graduate of Fredericton’s St. Thomas University. Since leaving Fredericton, Carpenter-Arevalo has had a fascinating career that included stints at Google and the World Economic Forum. He now lives in Ecuador, where he carries out a range of jobs, including freelance reporting for TechCrunch.
Carpenter-Arevalo brings an interesting perspective to the TechCrunch article, because he knows the turf in Atlantic Canada, but he’s also well traveled and can assess the strengths and weaknesses of the ecosystem.
For example, he quotes Sonrai Security CTO Sandy Bird as saying one of the attractions of building a company on Canada’s East Coast is the low turnover of employees. “Thanks to our high retention, we’re able to build a company culture that makes up for any of the disadvantages of a smaller labor market,” Bird told Carpenter-Arevalo.
The article also mentions the poor air links, a problem that has been exacerbated by the pandemic.
The most important aspect of the article is that it was written at all. TechCrunch wouldn’t have published this story 10 years ago, nor five years ago, or even two years ago. Companies like Verafin and CarbonCure Technologies are changing our profile.
This is, of course, part of a trend. Canada’s national media is taking more notice of startups in Atlantic Canada, and Bill Gates has been highlighting CarbonCure in his blogs and media appearances. Next week, the Canadian Venture Capital and Private Equity Association will include a special section on Atlantic Canada (written by Entrevestor) when it publishes its fourth quarter 2020 data report.