Toronto is the most densely populated city in Canada and the fourth most populous in North America. It is the provincial capital of Ontario and the national centre for entertainment, finance and technology. Toronto is the home of all five of the major bank headquarters, numerous multinational corporations and a bubbling tech startup scene.
Often times, Toronto is compared to “Silicon Valley” of California for its outstanding track record of innovation and entrepreneurial spirit. In a very short time, this city has managed to develop an ecosystem of innovators that has seeded, nurtured and grown some of the most promising tech startups into valuable enterprises.
A large part of Toronto’s success in the tech space has been due to their ability to create an open and supportive community. This community has grown exponentially over the last few years from a few individuals with an interest in technology to large, institution-backed incubators and tech events.
Each month, Toronto Tech Events have grown in size and engagement. July was particularly a busy month for Tech Events in Toronto. Major events that took place included TechWeek Toronto, OneEleven Tech Summer Social and HackerNest Toronto Tech Social.
TechWeek is a purpose-built conference and media company in 8 cities, running week-long conferences throughout the year. Toronto played host to Techweek during July 24 to July 28. Featured events included seminars, growth summits and Q&A’s with Toronto’s top tech leaders.
More TechWeek Events:
- Growth Summit – An event for Founders & CEOs to come together to share, connect and grow
- Launch – A platform for early-stage tech startups to access mentorship, funding & knowledge
- Fest – Collection of events designed to provide job seekers with an opportunity to make industry connections
OneEleven – a community of data-driven startups threw their annual summer social, hosting some of North America’s brightest tech startups. What promised to be Toronto’s largest tech party did not disappoint. The social was attended and enjoyed by founders, funders, decision makers, industry and talent who gathered at the OneEleven Railyard (325 Front Street West) on Thursday July 27, 2017 to network, mingle and catch up with old friends.
More OneEleven Events:
- Talent Challenge – An evening of expert panel discussions around structuring equity options for key hires
- DisasterTech Hackathon – A chance at winning $7000 for developing technology solutions to help curve the impact of natural disasters
HackerNest is a nonprofit and community ran, organizer of tech events. The July edition of the monthly HackerNest Meetup hosted a special guest – Norm Kelly. The event consisted of speeches, updates, and plenty of time for networking.
More HackerNest Events:
- October Tech Social – Arrive, relax & connect with Toronto’s Tech Community at Pivotal Labs
- Fishackathon – Join 3300+ participants in 34 countries to combat over fishing through digital solution
Crowdlinker, a digital agency in Toronto, was well represented at these tech events. Members of the Crowdlinker team had a chance to interview some of the outstanding startups and talents. Below is a spotlight of companies making an impact in the Toronto Startup scene.
Altus Assessments aims to provide a way for educational institutes to get a more holistic measure of applicants. Their product (CASPer) took over 10 years to develop and was aimed at solving the growing number of complaints that are related to a lack of professionalism in the workplace.
It was noted that of the thousands of candidates who apply for top academic programs, only a few hundred are assessed on their personal and professional characteristics. Assessment items like GPA, CVs, personal essays and reference letters are unable to assess communication skills, ethics and empathy.
The solution, CASPer, is a reliable, valid measure of personal and professional characteristics for applicants to educational programs that is better able to differentiate between the very good applicants from the superb applicants.
- Over 12 years of research and 70,000 applicants
- Trusted by Top-Tier Academic Institutions across North America
- The process is easy to adapt and comes at no additional cost to the program
Basqet by Healthbit Corp is your neighbourhood-based online marketplace to get free delivery from farmers markets for personalized nutrition. Basqet’s offering has expanded into major cities within the Toronto and GTA region. Their products range from organic bread, dairy, meats and much more!
- Home delivery saves you time and the hassle of shopping
- Food is sourced from top local & organic farmers markets
- The entire process is risk-free, smart and personal
HackerNest is a nonprofit organization that runs community driven events for companies and individuals in the tech sector. HackerNest was started to build and support tech communities with “unpretentious” tech events. HackerNest has now expanded into over 30 cities by hosting over 450 tech-related socials, hackathons and job fairs.
- Running across 14 countries with 65,000 members
- Tackling global issues & challenges through Hackathons
- Bringing together developers, designers and technologists
NEO Exchange is a Toronto-based startup which aims to provide a better way for investors, businesses and dealers to participate in the stock exchange. NEO looks to alleviate the often manipulated stock market process from unfair behaviour like high-frequency trading. Neo also offers their members free real-time market data for all NEO-listed securities.
- Driving competition and innovation
- Enabling better synergy between investors, advisors and investment product providers
- Major shareholders include: Barclays, OMERS Capital Markets & RBC
U-Feast offers communal dining experiences in the city’s hottest restaurants. Members purchase seats at their events, just show up and eat. U-Feast emphasizes a unique experience — offering great food, great value and great social interactions.
P.s Congrats on graduating from the DMZ!
- Access to exclusive dining experiences
- Hosted by top local chefs and restaurants
- Share the experience with old friends or make new friends at the event
The Upside Foundation is a non-profit that aids high-growth startups give back through sharing equity in their company. By donating equity instead of cash allows startups to take part in philanthropy while at the same time saving their scarce resources. As of July 2017, over 150 companies have pledged to give back. Some powerhouse names include Betakit, Wealthsimple and Wattpad.
- Make an impact in your community and company culture
- Join the exclusive network of donors
- Qualify for a host of perks
Wealthsimple, yes those guys with the hilarious commercials and awesome website, are a robo-advisor service that simplify and automate investing. Their company reached prominence by offering better on-average ROI than traditional investors while at the same time charging less in terms of fees. Wealthsimple has rapidly grown for a company that was only founded 2 years ago, reaping more than 30 million in Series A investments and over $1 billion in assets under their management.
- Custom investment portfolios to fit your financial goals and risk-level
- Trusted by over 40,000 people and backed by Power Financial Group
- Automated and socially responsible investing in under 5 minutes
Zensurance, winner of the Next Big Idea in FinTech, is an online concierge service looking to aid small to medium sized businesses purchase general liability insurance. Their service promises a quick and easy way to compare and purchase the most cost-effective insurance package that is also tailored specifically for your business. Late last year, Zensurance scooped up a $1 million investment as they continued on their mission to remove the headache from purchasing liability insurance and working with big insurance institutions to revolutionize the entire FinTech sector.
- Policies tailor for your business needs
- Buy online through an intuitive portal that is open 24/7
- Compare rates, save time and only pay for what you need
July was a busy month for Tech Events in Toronto. Major events including TechWeek Toronto, OneEleven Summer Social and HackerNest hosted some of Canada’s most promising startups across all sectors.
Crowdlinker, Toronto’s Digital Agency, was honoured to attend and connect with some of these startups. If your startup wants be featured in the August 2017 edition of this article series, get in touch with Ali Abbas – firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the upcoming months, Toronto Tech Events will continue to grow in size and frequency. September and October alone will see the inauguration of two new Toronto Tech Summits – Elevate Toronto & Take Over Innovation Conference. Crowdlinker will once again be on-site to provide coverage. For more, find us on twitter!
Upcoming Tech Events in Toronto
Sept 6: Paid Search, Paid Social and Everything in Between hosted by Top Hat
Sept 12-14: Elevate Toronto Festival at Sony Centre
Sept 13: King West Social
Sept 14: NewCo Toronto
Sept 14: Spotlight Awards at Four Seasons
Sept 26: Google Connect Premier PPC Workshop hosted by Google
Sept 28: Startup Open House
Sept 30 – Oct 1: WordCamp at Ryerson University
Oct 2: TakeOver Innovation Conference hosted by Tribal Scale
Oct 10: Scaling with Amazon Web Services hosted by TechTO
Oct 16: TechTO & Afterparty
Oct 18: MarketingTO (Inaugural Edition)
Oct 23: FintechTO hosted by RBC
Oct: 25: The Future of Sales & The Making of Successful Sales Professional hosted by SalesTO
Oct 28: Reaching Travellers in an Age of Personalization hosted by TravelTechTO