News Pick – Trudeau versus Trump is a win for Toronto tech and innovation

Acceptance and Application Rates

June 30, 2017 – “Silicon Valley startups are tapping into Toronto’s tech talent. Okta Inc., which JPMorgan Chase & Co. calls one of the fastest growing public software firms, opened a 60-seat office this month on trendy King Street West. Lured by a deepening pool of engineers in a city routinely ranked among the world’s most innovative, the company is following peers such as Uber Technologies Inc. and Amazon.com Inc. across the border. Okta chose Canada’s biggest city because it’s home to the University of Toronto and is near the University of Waterloo, which are “educational sector leaders in developing future tech leaders,” said Armen Vartanian, vice president of global workplace services. “With respect to the talent supply that’s there, this is effectively a no-brainer for us.”” Read more at Bloomberg


News Pick – US tech talent coming to Canada

Shopify

June 28, 2017 – “It’s a great time for Canadian startups to attract top talent from south of the border as the U.S. government is creating an unwelcoming environment, the chief executive of Shopify says. “The Americans are doing a really great job of uninviting a lot of kinds of people who otherwise would go there,” said Tobias Lutke, who founded the e-commerce platform firm in 2004. Since U.S. President Donald Trump assumed office in January, he’s signed a number of controversial executive orders, including a ban on travel to the U.S. from several predominantly Muslim countries, and other measures, such as withdrawing the U.S. from the Paris Climate Agreement. Lutke said Shopify (TSX:SHOP) has been receiving many more applications from job seekers in the U.S. than before the 2016 presidential election.” Read more at National Post


News Pick – Canadian Tech is having a moment. The trick is not to mess it up – Bloomberg

Canadian Tech

June 14, 2017 – “Not so long ago, Canadian tech entrepreneurs had a long list of grievances: a dearth of early and late-stage funding, long visa wait times for foreign hires, local corporations that wouldn’t buy their products, the best and brightest decamping for Silicon Valley. Fast forward to today, and those problems have largely evaporated. Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government, eager to brand itself as innovative, has given tech leaders pretty much everything they asked for, including special fast-track visas for tech workers and hundreds of millions of dollars in venture capital money and support for artificial intelligence research.” Read more at Bloomberg


News Pick – An overdue welcome to foreign talent

Canada

June 8, 2017 – “Canada’s tech sector will have reason to cheer on June 12 when the federal government releases its long-awaited Global Skills Strategy, which promises to break open the bureaucratic logjam that currently impedes the ability of high-growth firms to hire skilled foreign talent. The boldest promise being made is that Canadian high-growth companies will be able to enjoy a 10-day turnaround time for processing work permit applications needed to hire highly skilled foreign talent. That will be a welcome change from the current system this new strategy is designed to replace, which is painful for too many of the companies that participated because the processing time of a single application was uncertain and there was no guarantee of success in the end.” Read more at TechVibes


News Pick – Launch Academy's startup visa program gives entrepreneurs permanent residency in Canada

Canada

June 2, 2017 – “As the U.S. seems to be hell-bent on making itself less attractive to immigrants and visitors, its neighbors to the north are sensing an opening and going the other way in an effort to attract the smartest tech entrepreneurs. The country launched its startup visa program a few years ago and even though growth was slow (maybe too slow) in the early years, it’s now ramping up. To apply for a startup visa, entrepreneurs had to first secure a minimum investment of at least $200,000 from a Canadian venture capital fund or $75,000 for a Canadian angel investor.” Read more at TechCrunch


News Pick – How Toronto's tech startup scene is blowing up – InsideToronto

Uber

May 25, 2017 – “Toronto’s technology ecosystem is a breeding ground for the latest startups and innovative technology. Companies like Uber, Google and Twitter have flocked to Toronto to establish Canadian headquarters because it’s seen as the place to foster the next wave of technology to move society forward. And it’s not on a whim. There are more than 400,000 people employed in the tech sector in the city and it is still growing. Because of that, the City of Toronto is putting more emphasis on nurturing its tech talent. According to Scarborough Southwest councillor Michelle Holland, the city’s first appointed official as advocate for the innovation economy, it starts by tackling the sector’s branding issue. “Toronto really punches above its weight when it comes to being a tech city. It’s the number 1 city for startups and a great place for people to start and grow a business,” Holland said.” Read more at InsideToronto


News Pick – The time for entrepreneurship is now – BNN

Shopify

May 25, 2017 – “In honour of Canada’s upcoming 150th birthday, Shopfiy one of Canada’s leading tech companies, which was once a startup, is looking to celebrate and encourage entrepreneurs in Canada. According to Statistics Canada, 97.9 per cent of Canada’s economy is made up of small business and the trend is expected to continue. The dream of owning your own business, according to a new survey conducted by Shopfiy, is alive and well. Sixty-eight per cent of those surveyed dream of being their own boss. Currently three in 10 Canadians have started their own business and more than half (53 per cent) believe that entrepreneurship is a possibility in the future.” Read more at BNN


News Pick – Toronto tech firms seeing more interest from U.S. job seekers — and not just because of Trump – CBC

Toronto

May 24, 2017 – “Last month, Roy Pereira, CEO of Toronto startup zoom.ai, received so many applications for a software engineering position from U.S.-based job seekers that he thought they were fake. “I thought it was maybe bots spamming us,” he remembered, noting only about one per cent of the company’s past applications had come from the States. The applicants he interviewed, many of whom were living in Silicon Valley, praised Toronto’s tech scene and expressed doubts about how they’d fare under the mercurial immigration policies of U.S. President Donald Trump.” Read more at CBC


News Pick – Here's how likely your startup is to get acquired at any stage

Acquisition

May 17, 2017 – “Let’s say you randomly selected 1,000 seed-stage startups based in the United States. How many of those would go on to raise a Series A? Of companies that go on to raise a Series A, how many would go on to raise a Series B? You could keep this process going until only a few companies remain. But it’s not enough to just ask what the survival rate of companies is from round to round. The bigger question is what happens to those that don’t make it through the fundraising gauntlet? Sure, mortality is a fact of startup life. But there are also happier reasons for not making it to the next round, like when companies exit the funding rat race by way of acquisition or IPO. So what share of those companies find an exit?” Read more at TechCrunch


News Pick – Creative Destruction Lab expands startup program nationally – G&M

Creative Destruction Labs

May 17, 2017 – “Creative Destruction Lab is blowing up. The acclaimed tech startup program based at University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management will reveal Thursday that it is expanding to Calgary, Montreal and Halifax, after its first external foray this year when it partnered with University of British Columbia’s Sauder School of Business to open a Vancouver lab. CDL is also planning a U of T-based offshoot focused on creating firms that specialize in artificial intelligence “machine learning,” using powerful quantum computers from D-Wave Systems, one of Canada’s emerging technology stars.” Read more at The Globe & Mail