BlueCat’s Michael Hyatt explains why proposed tax changes are an attack on entrepreneurs

michael hyatt

On the latest episode of The Disruptors, BlueCat Networks co-founder Michael Hyatt — who exited BlueCat for $400 million this year — sat down with Bruce Croxon to talk about what it takes to build a business and plan an exit.

Croxon asked what Hyatt means when he recommends entrepreneurs to be Canadian, and act American. “I think our values are some of the best in the world, and I think doing business here is wonderful,” Hyatt said. “But sometimes I just want to tell my fellow Canadians, ‘let’s stay here, let’s build companies here, let’s be Canadian,’ but we have to give it to Americans. Maybe we should be more aggressive, and lean in a little more.”

Hyatt also touched on what the thinks about the country’s current entrepreneurial landscape. “I’m nervous about it…it’s just starting to happen for Canada. The green shoots are coming up, investing is happening, the culture is coming together, people are starting businesses, and women entrepreneurs are getting going,” said Hyatt. “And then there’s this odd narrative that’s going on.”

He pointed to the ‘Make America Great Again’ narrative from US president Donald Trump, and the narrative from the Canadian government to be fairer to the middle class. The latter is what the Canadian government has been saying in response to backlash on proposed tax changes that would affect small business owners.

“It sounds like the right thing,” said Hyatt. “But it’s not. You have to put up so much and be ready to sacrifice so much to start a company, and we should be pushing everything we can to get people to start companies because we’re a very small population. We’re 34 million against 300 million down south.”

Hyatt said that what entrepreneurs actually need is more tax breaks. “I don’t think we should complain, we should just vote this government down. What else can you do? People are misunderstanding,” he said. “It’s not just an attack on entrepreneurs. It’s an attack on doctors, farmers… people who are building the ecosystem.”

Watch the full video below:

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Jessica Galang

Jessica Galang

Jessica Galang is BetaKit's News Editor.

  • Mohamed Abdinur

    What a horrible narrative without foresight. Taxes also help entrepreneurs in Canada. It pays for research, education programs, government services that reduce those entry barriers, first responders, healthcare, roads, and more than they could imagine.

    The high risk of being a start up should not be subsidized by lowering taxes. That is the very nature of income inequality. Governments shouldn’t be in the business of ensuring outcomes but rather opportunities. Making life easier on startups inevitably leads to hardships on other tax payers just ask the Americans he thinks so highly of. They’re so cutthroat they’re about to yank “affordable” healthcare from 32 million of their own people.