You may have noticed that Toronto is solidifying its place as a North American tech hub. The Atlantic recently published a piece on how Toronto is more than happy to bring Silicon Valley employees and prospective tech talent up north. Meanwhile, in June, Tech Crunch reported on how the city is likely to become the next great producer of tech startups. The recently announced Elevate Toronto festival in September I think will only further Toronto’s status as a tech capital.
According to Inside Toronto, Elevate Toronto is the first real tech-centered festival to show off Toronto’s status as a tech hub. Running from September 12 to 14 this year, the festival is meant to promote Toronto “as a world class destination for innovation, startups, talent and investment.” If publications like The Atlantic are to be believed, the city is already doing a good job of proving its worth as a technology center all on its own, but Elevate Toronto will elevate it further.
Elevate Toronto has 17 technology organizations backing the three-day festival. It’s led by MaRs, Tech Toronto, #MoveTheDial, OneEleven, Cossette Communications and the Spotlight Awards in partnership with the City of Toronto, according to Inside Toronto.
A question can be asked though: namely, is it the right time to have such a large technology event in Toronto? Are organizers jumping the gun a little too early?
Not if you ask Razor Suleman, the co-founder and CEO of Elevate Toronto. As he explained to BetaKit, “Toronto is an amazing city and is incredibly well positioned to capitalize on the current wave of emerging technology. It’s our time. Startups and corporate leaders are aligning with the government’s innovation agenda creating the perfect circumstances for accelerated growth.”
And he’s right.
CNBC reported in March that more than $2 billion in venture capital was disbursed in Canada last year – the most funding since 2002, according to the Canadian Venture Capital & Private Equity Association. The outlet also reported that there are currently between 2,100 and 4,100 active tech startups in Toronto, according to a report by Tech Toronto. The tech scene in Toronto is growing like never before, and it’s the perfect time to show off a little bit.
The festival’s organizers have mentioned that the event will include a conference segment, with keynote addresses on subjects like artificial intelligence, and that Elevate Toronto will also take on themes like diversity and inclusion in tech – a topic that clearly needs attention right now, if debacles with big-name companies like Uber are anything to go by.
Anyone who’s involved in the tech scene in Canada should be very excited by the upcoming Elevate Toronto festival. It’s poised to accelerate the energy and escalation of Toronto’s tech community, and truly prove that the city is the Silicon Valley of the north.
And Toronto is more than ready to take on this challenge.tech startups in Toronto,