said by digitalfutur:
The main reason why American startups are more successful is that they have much better access to venture capital, and investors there are not as conservative as they are here. It's a trade-off, less pronounced peaks and valleys in the economic cycle here than in the U.S., but less innovation as well. Or more accurately, greater dependence on American innovation.
Plus, when you have the population of Canada in an area half the size of Ontario, plus a much warmer climate (literally and figuratively), there's already wind in your sails.
I don't think this is new.
You can go back to Bat Masterson and Mack Sennett to find examples of Canadians who moved to the states and didn't look back.
More recently, Dan Aykroyd, John Candy, so many others.
This applies to engineers, scientists, and other academics as well.
The migration is overwhelmingly southward, not northward, even allowing for the 10-fold population difference.
BTW, Canada was well represented in Nobel prizes in the hard sciences between 1981 and 1994, but after 1994 only 2 winners (2009 and 2011).
As an outsider I may say a couple of politically incorrect things.
1) Without demeaning the other fine Canadian universities, Canada could use another couple of McGills.
2) In the 1860's the US provided funding for colleges under the Morrill Land-Grant Act. This led to the establishment or the expansion of Cornell, MIT, the University of California, Michigan State, Purdue, Rutgers, Ohio State, and many others.
This paid off handsomely for the US.
Where and when did the Federal government of Canada look to similarly support their national/research universities?
3) With the way the world is these days, Canada might have greatly benefited from having a whole big province whose language AND culture was based on Spain or Japan or China. But having a whole big province based on the language and culture of France, is not a big help in the world today.
3a) The Quebec language barrier means that what businesses remain in Quebec are isolated from the rest of Canada and from the world. But more important, the Francophone universities are even more isolated from the rest of Canada and from the world.
3b) Here is objective fact. The Commonwealth of Nations (formerly the British Commonwealth) is more successful than ever. By total contrast, when France tried to do the same thing (the French Community) it was a flop, and it was terminated some years ago with no one even noticing....