In the run up to next week's federal election who is really listening to the startups that make our economy healthy? While we like to think of ourselves as having a market economy it is virtually impossible to do a startup in Ontario without running into the distortion of a government funded gatekeeper.
Almost all innovation policy and spending by the Ontario and Federal Governments are focused on subsiding private sector risk. These kinds of government programs create artificial gatekeepers, arbiters empowered to make capital allocation decisions despite never having "been there and done that" -- or often being less qualified to evaluate a new billion-dollar-plus opportunity than the startup founders they are judging.
Abdullah Snobar is the executive director of Ryerson University's DMZ business incubator, ranked first in Canada and fifth in the world. That puts Snobar in charge of the downtown Toronto home to over 400 entrepreneurs and 50 employees.