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Advice for Canadians, from the Silicon Valley diaspora

Canadian entrepreneurs are gaining a degree of polish and sophistication they didn’t have five years ago. I spoke with a dozen founders in the Bay Area about the Canadian diaspora and its emerging influence on tech and innovation. Some said they aren’t seeing a homespun attitude to match Canada’s growing footprint, but all had wise words for new cohorts of Canuck implants on how they can change that. Here’s what some of them had to say about harnessing their homegrown advantages to thrive in Silicon Valley.

Michelle Zatlyn, Co-founder and COO of Cloudflare

From Saskatchewan

“Building a $10-million dollar-revenue company is fine, but that’s just not going to move the needle. We need many more $100-million-plus exits [in Canada]. There’s a lot of companies where it’s, ‘Hey, I want to be the best at this in Canada.’ That’s what their pitch deck would say, and I’m like, ‘Well, can you make that a broader mission? Can it be beyond just Canada? Could you do it for North America, the world? Why just Canada?’”

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