Communitech members top the Narwhal List

Stars, unicorns, top bananas and narwhals

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Being on a best-of or ones-to-watch list of key media outlets, industry pundits, VCs and potential investors can help you scale. It can attract attention you can leverage to get funding, top talent and more customers.

But there are a lot of firms vying for market mindshare and a place on the path towards the $1B valuation mark that signals ‘Hey, I’m a unicorn!’ or ‘Look at me, I’m a narwhal!’

The Narwhal Report takes a deep dive on the Canadian technology companies best poised to become world-class firms. Communitech members represent 4 out of the top 10 and 20% of the top 40 of the 2021 Narwhal list including member companies SOTI, D2L, Ada, Thinkific and Nicoya.

How’d they get there? They had really high Scale-up Scores.

Score big and get noticed

All firms are – eventually – judged by their ability to turn ideas into cash, and cash into growth. But how do you know what your score is?

Your Scale-up Score is an assessment of where you are on the continuum from startup-to-star. It’s a fact-based, data-driven, real-world assessment of economics and market readiness that benchmarks your firm against the best-of-the-best around the world. (It’s like a credit score, but without the super-annoying commercials.)

More importantly, your Scale-up Score gives you the tools to know where to focus your attention, when and what number you have to hit.

Easy, right?

Actually, it is.

Communitech can help you

  • Benchmark your firm’s performance.
  • Understand where to focus in order to scale.
  • Alter your trajectory for a better score.

Figure out your score and then start scaling

This program plunges you (no belly flops… oh, the stinging) into the economics behind the world’s most successful companies – the 1%, the $1B, the unicorns.

Unicorns get five key growth factors right: market size, competitive differentiation, product market fit, marketing efficiency and capitalization. This program helps you recognize the economics of a startup’s journey, and develop your firm’s capacity to do the right things, at the right time and with the right emphasis. It actually gives you the ‘scores’ that your firm has to hit in order to scale and become a unicorn.

Here’s what you get

  • Five 1.5-hour workshops
  • Five 30-minute individual coaching sessions with the instructor
  • Written materials and workbooks

With Communitech Intensive Track we will help you stay true and on track to the five factors required to increase your Scale-up Score (and be ready for stardom). You’ll work with our coaches to create a customized growth plan to help you grow in the right areas. Each plan is based on your Scale Score assesment and can include areas such as:

  • Market size
  • Competitive differentiation
  • Product market fit
  • Marketing efficiency
  • Capitalization.

The Intensive Track programming helps you figure out your organization’s business plan, create a winning culture, find capital, find new markets strategies or strengthen sales and marketing to speed up customer acquisition.

Here's how you get started

If you’re a startup founder or CEOs who wants to scale big, attract market attention or become a unicorn (mane and tail optional). Talk to us.

Communitech members: Ask your advisor about Scale-up Scores, Unicorn Math and Intensive Track programming.

Do you support high growth startups and scale-ups? Maybe you are an innovation centre, VC, or other firm with a portfolio of companies. Talk to Karen

Not a member yet? No worries, we’ll save you a spot. Click here, send us a note and we’ll reach out and get you all set up.

Startups getting off the ground with less than 20 employees receive membership for free. Scale-up memberships start at $2,000 per year plus HST with 21-40 employees. See our Membership page for the full breakdown.

What's in it for you

Unicorn Math and the Intensive Track are intended to help CEOs and founders design and practice winning growth strategies. Unicorn-wannabe companies will take the guesswork out of scaling and better understand what-where-when-how-why to focus in order to score big.

The Unicorn Math program was developed to help more Canadian companies get on a $1B trajectory because it’s good for Canadian firms, communities and for Canada. The research team crunched numbers from over 20 years of data on unicorns – startup through to sale or IPO. That number crunching shaped the program to help you with

  • An analytical approach to company growth.
  • Five factors needed for rapid growth.
  • Recommendations for focus at each stage of development.
  • The score that need to be met.
  • A methodology you can apply over and over again as you grow.

The program is open to ten companies per cohort.

Your instructor for the program is Charles Plant, the person behind the Narwhal List – a list of Canadian technology companies best poised to become world class firms.

Charles, a serial entrepreneur and innovation economist, is founder of the Narwhal Project. Charles has been an officer, director or investor in over a dozen technology companies and a consultant to multiple governments in Canada, South America and Europe. Charles has worked in venture capital, as well as investment and corporate banking. He was on the faculty of York’s Schulich School of Business in the MBA program and taught innovation and entrepreneurship at the University of Toronto. He has an MBA in marketing, is a Chartered Accountant and is currently pursuing a PhD in Economics.

Knowledge is power

This doesn’t replace all the great things you already do to make your startup growth-ready. The regular 1:1 time you spend with coaches who have been there and done that is invaluable. Keep doing workshops to improve your management skills, learn from your peers, get into ecosystem mashups, do pitch competitions… in fact, keep doing all the good stuff you’re doing.

Want to look at more of what you can do with Communitech? Check it out.

Learn at the speed of tech. The Communitech Academy offers educational opportunities and programs to help companies develop the skills to meet the needs of Canadian industry. Programming helps employees take their skills to the next level; equips leaders with the skills and mindsets to lead effectively; and ensures workers, companies and communities continue to succeed through the evolution of the workplace.

Are you an innovation and ecosystem-supporting organization serving entrepreneurs? Want to get your firms involved? Connect through CDMN. CDMN is a network of 29 regional innovation hubs across Canada. The network exists to help Canadian tech companies, entrepreneurs and the innovation hubs that support them. Contact your CDMN hub to learn more.

Megan Wigboldus

Have questions?

Megan Wigboldus is happy to help.

Start & Scale Coordinator | Email Megan Wigboldus or call +1 (519) 888-9944