6 Elevate Tech Fest Speakers That Caught Our Attention

Toronto’s tech community converged on the city in September for Elevate Tech Festival, a collection of educational tracks, panel discussions, startup pitches, networking events and keynote speeches from prominent figures in the tech community.

The Role of Tech in Sustainability

Al Gore, former US Vice President and Founder and Chairman of The Climate Reality Project, delivered encouraging words of optimism by acknowledging the contribution and efforts of Canada’s tech community toward protecting our planet.

The Climate Reality Project boasts a network of over 5 million activists, all trained to spread awareness about the reality of the current climate crisis. The organization works toward finding a global solution to the climate crisis and triggering the action necessary to implement change.

 

Al Gore and Eric Schmidt at Elevate Tech Festival

 

Gore also sat with Alphabet Inc.’s Chairman and Technical Advisor, Eric Schmidt, to discuss how Canada can improve its level of action towards the sustainability revolution.

 

 

Schmidt was appreciative of the volume of tech talent coming out of Canada and recognized how Canadians have been instrumental to Google’s growth over the years.

He also addressed worries over data privacy issues, stemming from Google parent company Alphabet’s Sidewalk Labs program and its connection to the City of Toronto, stating that there is no cause for concern.

 

Canada’s Tech Scene is Booming

In another fireside-style chat, Shopify Founder and CEO Tobi Lütke shared the stage with Canada’s Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, Navdeep Bains. They discussed the recently released Digital Industries Economic Strategy Table, chaired by Lütke himself.

 

Shopify CEO Tobi Lütke & Canada's Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development Navdeep Bains

 

The two Canadian tech icons also expressed their desire to see Canadian tech companies at the forefront of developing technology that is rooted in the values of our national heritage, such as diversity.

Lütke stated that he aspires for Canada to seem like a time machine when visitors arrive in our country for the first time because of our level of innovation. His optimism was prevalent, saying that Canada is ‘not far behind’ in the global tech industry.

 

 

The Future Looks Bright

The festival had a solid representation of youth in technology by partnering with The Knowledge Society (TKS), a Toronto-based innovation program for students aged 13 to 17.

 

TKS's Ananya Chadha sharing her insights on brain interfacing.

 

TKS student and developer Ananya Chadha shared her aspirations for the future of brain-computing interfacing and how it can affect humanity.

 

 

Diversity and Inclusion Are Here To Stay

Elevate’s CEO & Co-Founder Razor Suleman sat with CEO & Founder of location-based social and dating app Bumble, Whitney Wolfe Herd, to discuss her ambition to create platforms that empower women.

 

Bumble's CEO Whitney Wolf Herd sharing her ambitions for a more inclusive tech community, with Elevate Co-Founder Razor Suleman

 

The Bumble CEO also expressed her satisfaction with Canada’s protection of women’s rights saying “It’s so feminist. I think I should move here someday.”.

 

 

Elevate King West Recap

As the Official Tech Sponsor of Elevate Tech Festival, we were excited to host Crowdlinker’s Casino Royale as part of Elevate King West, a party crawl spanning the entire King West area of Toronto.

 

CasinoRoyale party as part of Elevate King West

 

Crowdlinker was honoured to host Toronto’s top tech startups and enterprises for an epic night of music, food and games. Congratulations to Steve Kisic, for winning a pair of tickets to the Opening Night performance of Casino Royale in Concert, courtesy of the Sony Centre For The Performing Arts!

 

Crowdlinker client and leading VR company SpinVFX

We were excited to have our client, and cutting-edge Virtual Reality company BRIOVR (owned by SpinVFX) join the festivities by demonstrating their amazing VR experiences to our guests.

 

Elevate Tech Fest CEO & Co-Founder Razor Suleman with Crowdlinker CTO & President Muneer Nawab & Director of Marketing Masood Raza at The Creator's Backstage Party

Overall, the festival was a big success for the tech community in Toronto and we hope to see the festival grow every year. It’s worth noting that Elevate is run almost entirely by volunteers who share a passion for tech and are willing to sacrifice their time away from their own startups to help the industry thrive in Toronto.

Thank you to Razor Suleman, Ruth Buder, Patrick Colquhoun, Andrew Budd, Josh Lilien and everyone else on the Elevate team who helped Crowdlinker make the most of our participation in the festival.

What’s In Store for Elevate 2019?

We’ve caught wind that Elevate Tech Fest 2019 could possibly be hosting a music festival and/or an e-Sports gaming tournament, and will feature a keynote by Astronaut Chris Hadfield. Register here to get your tickets for Elevate Tech Fest 2019!