The numbers always tell a story. The problem is getting hold of the data.

Which is why the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario Thursday announced $2.5 million in funding for Wilfrid Laurier University’s Lazaridis Institute for the Management of Technology Enterprises to support a “national scaleup data platform” designed to capture and track growth metrics for Canadian startups.

Laurier, the host for Thursday’s announcement, will partner with Toronto-based financial market data startup Hockeystick to make the data available — for free, for up to five years — to every innovation organization in Canada, including incubators, accelerators, scale-ups and startups.

“For the first time, it will be possible to obtain a comprehensive picture of the evolution of Canadian companies from early to late stages, giving Canada … invaluable insights into why companies fail or succeed,” said Lazaridis Institute Executive Director Kim Morouney.

The new platform is intended to make it easier for accelerators to identify startups that meet their program parameters and to provide provincial and federal governments with detailed company metrics. The platform will additionally serve as a tool for startups and scale-ups to find funding programs and streamline their applications for funding. The Lazaridis Institute will use the platform to identify companies to be nominated to its Lazaridis Scale-up Program.

The data will additionally allow companies to measure how they’re performing across a variety of metrics against other startups.

“Every company on Hockeystick is contributing to the knowledge we have of how these companies perform,” said Hockeystick CEO and founder Raymond Luk.

Companies, he said, will be able to compare “how much rent I’m paying per square foot versus what startups pay in Toronto,” and determine whether they’re “outside the norms” of other startups. They’ll be able to evaluate  themselves against peers in categories such as compensation, sales growth and salesperson commissions.

“Just because they’re a private company doesn’t mean they want to be a black box,” said Luk. “Private companies have an incentive to share. The buy-in has been incredible.”

More than 1,2,00 private companies and Canadian funders belong to the Hockeystick network, the company said. The company name Hockeystick refers to the common business nomenclature for displaying accelerated corporate growth on a graph.

Making the announcement of the federal money was Waterloo MP and Minister of Small Business and Tourism Bardish Chagger.

Also on hand were Raj Saini, MP for Kitchener Centre and Marwan Tabarra, MP for Kitchener South-Hespeler.

The national scaleup data program can be accessed at https://www.hockeystick.co/accelerate