Trust and innovation are core Canadian qualities that have made Jane Software a hit with domestic customers. The same attributes are proving just as attractive to international buyers.
“We get a very warm reception when we say we’re from Canada,” says co-founder Alison Taylor, whose Vancouver-based company has more than 50,000 clients in Canada, the U.S, the U.K., Australia, New Zealand and elsewhere. “We feel proud to be a Canadian company – it’s a brand strength, for sure.”
Jane Software, whose mission is to “help the helpers,” has been making practice-management software for physiotherapists, chiropractors, massage therapists and other wellness professionals for nearly a decade.
The company’s strong growth, global aspirations and commitment to “tech you can trust” have earned it a spot on Communitech’s inaugural Team True North – a data-driven initiative to identify, support and celebrate Canadian private companies on track to achieve global scale.
The initial roster of 35 companies (full list below) was announced today at a TMX Investor Day event at the Toronto Stock Exchange.
Modelled on Canada’s Own the Podium Olympics program, which identifies athletes most likely to win medals and surrounds them with support, Team True North aims to help at least 14 high-growth Canadian tech companies achieve $1 billion in annual revenue by 2030.
“Backed by objective and verified performance data, Team True North confirms that Canada – with its diverse set of best-in-class firms from coast-to-coast – is well on its way to becoming the world’s top tech ecosystem,” says Communitech CEO Chris Albinson. “These companies have the highest probability of achieving billion-dollar status not only because of their impressive growth rates, but also their unwavering commitment to building trust into technology, which gives Canada a distinct global advantage.”
The Canadian tech ecosystem has made great strides in recent years. Canada is the second largest global hub and the fastest growing by 3.5x; our tech workforce grew faster last year – by percentage and numbers – than any other tech hub; Canadian tech companies attracted a record $17.2 billion in investment in 2021; and five-year venture capital returns on Canadian tech investments have grown steadily in the past decade and are now competitive with U.S. returns.
The bottom line: Canada has built a solid foundation for future growth, despite the current economic cycle and challenging markets.
“This is Canada’s time,” says Albinson. “This is the best place on the planet to build big, awesome tech companies.”
To identify Team True North candidates, Communitech reviewed data gathered by Silicon Valley Bank and analysis done by U.S. data-science firm Two Sigma. It then applied Communitech’s own model for confirming high-potential companies.
Each company on Team True North meets one of four criteria:
“If you want to be the best in the world, not only do you have to say that out loud and express that goal, but you have to be really thoughtful about what it takes to get there,” says Albinson.
An essential part of the Canadian brand is trust.
“Trust is at the centre of the flywheel," says Albinson. "Canada is known as a trusted nation. It’s a key differentiator. And we’re committed to building trust into technology.”
Identifying Canada’s highest-potential tech companies is just the first step in the Team True North initiative.
“The next piece of it, which is really the hard work that we’re going to do over the next eight years, is, ‘What does it take to get 14 of those companies to a billion dollars in revenue by 2030?’” says Albinson.
As part of that process, Communitech plans to follow up today’s announcement with a four-pronged strategy to support Canadian tech founders.
The Team True North initiative is part of Communitech’s overall True North strategy, which aims to help tech companies at all stages of growth, stimulate the economy and give individual Canadians greater access to leading-edge Canadian innovations in areas like health care.
“Supporting the Team Tech North companies and helping them grow puts an engine on the train for the whole innovation ecosystem across the country,” says Albinson. “And that will ultimately help companies from the earliest stages all the way through.”
Being a founder can be a lonely experience, which is one of the reasons Jane Software’s Alison Taylor is thrilled to be associated with other high-performing companies and like-minded entrepreneurs through Team True North.
“I love the mission of connecting all these founders together within the Canadian ecosystem so that we can learn and grow from one another,” she says.
Taylor, who launched Jane in 2014 with co-founder Trevor Johnston, is also keen to leverage Canada’s brand in international markets.
Based on her experience, she sees two key advantages to starting a business in a relatively small market like Canada. First, it forces growth-focused founders to develop an international strategy from the very start. Second, before jumping into international waters, Canadian founders get a chance to build their business, acquire customers and generate revenue – all of which helps them succeed internationally.
“There's a benefit to starting in a smaller market in that we can build something more complete from the beginning and we also have to think about international growth for our long-term strategy early on,” says Taylor. “If you start in the U.S., you don’t need to think about that (early on), but then when you try to internationalize your strategy after that, you might have a much more difficult job.”
Taylor says Team True North has also given her added confidence to market Jane Software abroad as a Canadian company.
“We were like, ‘Would it be better if we were a U.S. company selling to the U.S. or a Canadian company selling to the U.S.?’ It’s another reason why I was really inspired by this True North idea – like, what if putting that we’re a Canadian company on our website becomes a brand strength? I love that.”
The inaugural Team True North includes:
Ada (Toronto, ON). Ada empowers brands to automate their most valuable interactions, bringing a true VIP experience to every customer and employee.
ApplyBoard (Kitchener, ON). ApplyBoard simplifies the study abroad search, application and acceptance process by connecting students with educational institutions on one platform.
Arctic Wolf (Waterloo, ON). Arctic Wolf is a global leader in security operations, delivering a premier cloud-native security operations platform designed to end cyber risk.
Benevity (Calgary, AB). Benevity, a certified B Corporation, is a leader in global corporate purpose software, providing the only integrated suite of community investment and employee, customer and nonprofit engagement solutions.
BioVectra (Charlottetown, PEI). A CDMO specializing in clinical-to-commercial scale production of high-quality regulated APIs and Intermediates.
Clearco (Toronto, ON). Clearco is the world's largest e-commerce investor providing equity free capital solutions to e-commerce businesses.
Clio (Vancouver, BC). Clio is the legal operating system for client-centred law firms.
Clutch (Kettleby, ON). Founded in 2017, Clutch is Canada’s largest online used-car retailer, delivering a seamless, hassle-free car buying and selling experience to Canadian drivers.
Cymax Group (Burnaby, BC). Cymax Group is a leading e-commerce technology and services platform for furniture vendors and retailers.
Doxim (Toronto, ON). Doxim is a customer communications management technology leader, providing omnichannel document and payment solutions that increase customer engagement.
Ecopia AI (Toronto, ON). Ecopia is leveraging AI to create a digital twin of the Earth through the creation of digital maps that represent the real world in real time.
Eddyfi/NDT (Sainte-Foy, QC). Eddyfi/NDT is a fast-growing, innovative and private industrial technology group focused on leveraging advanced diagnostic technologies to enhance the monitoring of our world’s infrastructure health.
Elastic Path Software (Vancouver, BC). Elastic Path offers composable commerce products for the world's leading brands, such as Pella, Deckers Brands, T-Mobile and 250+ innovators.
eSentire (Waterloo, ON). The Authority in MDR, protecting the critical data & applications of 1200+ organizations in 75+ countries, representing 35 industries from known & unknown cyber threats.
Faire (Waterloo, ON). Faire is a wholesale marketplace founded in 2017 to help independent brands and retailers thrive. Our mission is to help connect independent retailers and brands using the power of technology, data and machine learning.
Flexiti Financial (Toronto, ON). Flexiti provides flexible 0% interest financing at point-of-sale to help customers seamlessly finance purchases through instant approvals.
FreshBooks (Toronto, ON). FreshBooks is a leading cloud accounting software, changing the way business owners manage their books.
FT Synthetics (Langley, BC). FT Synthetics is a fully integrated manufacturer of coated woven fabrics, with a dedicated focus of developing industry-leading new and unique underlayment products designed for the steep slope roofing industry.
Heliene (Sault Ste. Marie, ON). Heliene is one of North America’s fastest-growing domestic solar module manufacturers, serving the utility-scale, commercial, and residential markets.
Jane Software (Vancouver, BC). Jane offers online booking, charting, scheduling, secure video and invoicing on one secure, beautifully designed system.
Jobber (Edmonton, AB). Jobber’s business management software automates operations and keeps track of everything so home service businesses can provide 5-star service at scale.
Klue (Vancouver, BC). Klue is the competitive enablement platform for every department of every business.
League (Toronto, ON). Founded in 2014, League is a platform technology company powering next-generation health-care consumer experiences.
Ledn (Toronto, ON). Ledn provides financial products with a mission to help clients across the globe unlock the power of digital assets to build wealth for the long term.
Paystone (London, ON). Paystone is a leading North American provider of seamlessly integrated payment processing, customer loyalty programs, gift card solutions and reputation marketing software.
PointClickCare (Mississauga, ON). PointClickCare is a leading health-care technology platform that spans the care continuum, fostering proactive decision‐making and improved outcomes.
RenoRun (Montreal, QC). RenoRun offers a selection of thousands of building materials & supplies that can be ordered on our app, online or by phone, and delivered to any job site.
SmartONE (Markham, ON). SmartONE delivers Smart Community technology to multi-family residential buildings in partnership with large telecommunication companies.
SMART Technologies (Calgary, AB). Headquartered in Calgary, SMART is a world leader in education and collaborative technology, providing interconnected solutions to help every person discover and develop the greatness within them.
Solink (Ottawa, ON). Solink is the leader in cloud video security for businesses of all sizes.
StackAdapt (Toronto, ON). StackAdapt is an advertising technology company, offering a multi-channel self-serve platform to media buyers at agencies and brands.
Trusscore (Kitchener, ON). Trusscore is changing how people construct buildings and the environmental footprint left behind when they do. Trusscore is focusing on R&D and bringing material science to its formulations – making its products functional and beautiful.
Vention (Montreal, QC). Vention helps some of the most innovative manufacturers automate their production floors in just a few days through a democratized user experience.
Vidyard (Kitchener, ON). Vidyard is the easiest way to record and send video emails that stand out from the noise and connect with more leads. Vidyard lets you add personal video messages into your cadence to boost response rates and generate more pipelines.
Voyce (Toronto, ON). Voyce Inc. provides specialized video-remote interpretation to the legal, health care and business communities.