Wealthsimple and Koho CEOs talk productivity, entrepreneurship, and financial innovation

INNOVATEwest Daniel Eberhard (Koho) and Michael Katchen (Wealthsimple)
Two of Canada’s FinTech leaders tell founders to “get back to work.”

The inaugural INNOVATEwest wrapped a few short weeks ago, and like with SAAS NORTH, BetaKit was happy to host some great Canadian tech conversations on the BetaKit Keynote Stage for our friends on the Best Coast.

“I think it would be a mistake if we make Canada even less competitive at such an incredibly important moment in time for us to embrace competition and productivity.”

Michael Katchen,

Like the fireside conversation I had with Wealthsimple CEO Michael Katchen and Koho CEO Daniel Eberhard. Presented as a check-in with two companies disrupting the Canadian financial sector, the fireside chat came at an awkward time: hours after Payments Canada announced that the Real-Time Rail would not be available for industry testing until 2026, and just hours before Budget 2024 would drop.

The news sandwich scenario allowed me to cajole commentary on both, with Eberhard noting the delays were “symbolic” of Canada’s financial services ecosystem and Katchen saying he was “extremely nervous” about reported capital gains tax changes that eventually came true.

But the real focus of the panel was on the meta conversation, digging through the productivity, competition, and entrepreneurship (?) issues that plague the country. On all fronts, Katchen and Eberhard were clear-eyed but optimistic, with the former reminding founders to be “naively ambitious.” Eberhard’s instruction was more direct: “get back to work.”

So what is the state of productivity, competition, and entrepreneurship in Canada? Let’s dig in.

The BetaKit Podcast is presented by Osler, Hoskin and Harcourt LLP.

Osler, the leading law firm for startups, high-growth companies and investors in Canada, has released its third annual study of 486 anonymized Canadian venture capital and growth equity financings.

Read the Deal Points Report: Venture Capital Financings.

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The BetaKit Podcast is hosted by Douglas Soltys & Rob Kenedi. Produced & edited by Kattie Laur. Feature image courtesy INNOVATEwest.

Douglas Soltys

Douglas Soltys

Douglas Soltys is the Editor-in-Chief of BetaKit and founder of BetaKit Incorporated. He has worked for a few failed companies and written about many more. He spends too much time on the Internet.

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