This final piece of our “How to Start a New Tech Company” series is about making sustainable decisions to take your company to the next level and how to use the tech ecosystem to your full advantage. Going from startup to scaleup takes commitment, resilience, and passion to turn your technology company into the success you had in mind when the idea first came to you. You are a scaleup once you already have a proven model, have gotten past the initial hurdles of funding, hiring the right people, and finding the sweet spot for product-market fit. Now it’s time to scale your revenue.
Ready to level up your startup?
- Access resources: Our province’s most successful tech companies all have one thing in common: they have leveraged Saskatchewan’s vibrant startup culture and strong tech sector to their advantage. Considering all of the programs and funding options available, it only makes sense to dig into and utilize any of the resources that your company qualifies for. At Innovation Saskatchewan, we have an ever-growing list of initiatives, challenges, and opportunities open to startups and tech entrepreneurs, and we fully encourage you to use them!
- Get involved with the community: The beauty of growing your startup in Saskatchewan is that you’re only a handshake away from someone who has an answer to your question—or someone who knows someone that can help. We’ve consistently heard that people in our community are always willing to help out, which isn’t something you always see in larger tech hubs. Being active and involved in our tech scene and networking with other companies, mentors, and resource coordinators is a huge payoff in the long run since it takes a village to scale a startup.
Not sure who you should be reaching out to? As mentioned in our incubators feature, some excellent places to start are by speaking to the folks at Co.Labs, Cultivator, SaskTech, HackRegina, and WESK.
- Explore all local opportunities: Be sure to keep tabs on your local options and get connected to key finance leaders and organizations. You’ll want to have people like Sean O’Connor in your corner, the Managing Director Conexus Venture Capital & Emmertech, who helps most (if not all!) tech entrepreneurs in Saskatchewan. Conexus Venture Capital, run on behalf of Conexus Credit Union, focuses on improving the economic well-being of Saskatchewan by investing in promising Saskatchewan-based startups and helping fuel the province’s startup ecosystem.
Another resource to tap into is the National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC IRAP). Driving growth through innovation and technology, IRAP provides advice, connections, and funding to help Canadian small and medium-sized businesses increase their capacity and take ideas to market.
- Expand into new markets: As you’re looking to scale, you’ll want to be looking for outside sources to start expanding into new markets. For opportunities outside of Saskatchewan and are national in scope, Prairies Economic Development Canada (or PrairiesCan, formerly Western Economic Diversification Canada) offers valuable support to entrepreneurs with their aim to build a strong, competitive West by focusing on business development, innovation, and community development.
If your goal is to grow outside of Canada and expand in other countries, the Canadian Trade Commissioner Service (TCS) can help. The Trade Commissioner Service helps Canadian businesses who are ready to grow by connecting them with funding and support programs, international opportunities, and their network of trade commissioners in over 160 cities worldwide. Representing the Manitoba and Saskatchewan Regional Office, Reynolds Lauer is your go-to contact for discussing opportunities in the US and beyond.
We’re thrilled to see such incredible innovations come to life from here at home! Saskatchewan is the Silicon Prairies, and we’re fortunate to have such a robust tech sector brimming with talented people and invaluable resources. From pathfinding and getting started, to participating in incubators and programs, to securing investments, to taking your company to the next level—we’re always happy to answer any questions you might have along the way.
Like we said at the start of this series: Starting a new tech company isn’t easy, but it’s worth it. And there’s no better time to start since it’s going to be a busy decade as we work hard to meet the Government Growth Plan commitment to triple the tech sector by 2030. Challenge accepted.
Cheers to you, your team, and your new tech company! We can’t wait to see where your big idea takes you.