Strong momentum continues for Saskatchewan-based tech companies in 2021.
In August, the Canadian Venture Capital & Private Equity Association (CVCA) reported Saskatchewan Venture Capital investment reaching a record-breaking level of $171 million for the first half of 2021.
"The investment momentum continues for Saskatchewan-based tech companies," Minister Responsible for Innovation Saskatchewan Jeremy Harrison said. "The province's natural economic strengths - strong wages, lower cost of living, and government programs that encourage investment - are showing the world that Saskatchewan is a great place to develop technology."
One key program that helps encourage investment in early-stage tech startups in the province is the Saskatchewan Technology Startup Incentive (STSI), run by Innovation Saskatchewan. STSI - one of the most aggressive angel investment tax credit programs in Canada - offers a 45 per cent tax credit to Saskatchewan-based investors.
First introduced as a pilot in 2018, demand through STSI has grown exponentially. The program has generated over $40 million in private investment to date, resulting in nearly 150 jobs created. This tax incentive program has increased the size of the province's investment community, with 62 per cent of eligible investors reporting that they had never made an angel investment prior to applying. That number jumps to 76 per cent of investors reporting having never invested in tech companies prior to participating in STSI.
In addition to the growing venture capital investment in the province, four Saskatchewan tech companies made this year's list of Canada's Top Growing Companies, from the Globe & Mail's annual Report on Business. These companies include Vendasta, 7shifts, Coconut Software, and sMedia. The program ranks participating private and public Canadian businesses on three-year revenue growth.
The Saskatchewan tech community is shining on a national, and international stage, demonstrating explosive investment growth and potential for the province. Investing in innovation translates to more economic opportunities, prosperity, and improved quality of life for the people of Saskatchewan.