CEOs of Businesses in Ottawa seek government assistance

Canadian tech CEOs survey conducted by Sampford Advisors’ annual survey reveal that raising capital and acquiring talent are top worries in the mind of the nation’s executives.

The Ottawa-based technology firm M&A surveyed dozens of CEOs from across the country with a vast majority of them running Ontario-based businesses. Nine out of ten of these firms were more than three years old, with nearly two-third operating in software.

Those who were surveyed, their biggest concern that they were facing was acquiring customers and recruiting talent. In spite of these challenges, 72% of the respondents say they grew their firm’s revenues in 2016, with 87% forecasting continued growth in 2017.

It also indicated a crowded market for raising capital. Roughly two-third of the respondents said they were planning on raising an investment in the next two years, with nearly two-thirds of those aiming for series-A listing.

This was the local result for this year’s Ottawa Business Growth Survey, which found that 56% of the respondents planned to raise the capital in the coming years.

“With so many CEOs looking to raise capital and the VC market continuing to contract in terms of the number of deals, it will be very important for Ottawa’s businesses that want to raise capital to stand-out front from their competition and clearly articulate their value propositions and unit economics,” said Sampford Advisors President and CEO Ed Bryant.

In the same Samford survey, half of the CEOs who indicated they would look to raise capital said they expect the money to come from the United States of America.

The result of the survey comes as several local industry observers say there are growing opportunities for Canadian firms to access US venture capital market as investors south of the border are seeking alternatives to overshopped and overvalued American companies.

Despite the announcements this year, such as $950 million in supercluster funding and $400 million in late-stage funding from BDC, Canadian executives would like to see the government play a more active role in the country’s tech sector. 69% of the respondents had told Sampford that they believe the government is not doing enough to support the industry.