Tech News Toronto 2017
I often call Toronto a young but fast growing tech center. In my opinion outside of Silicon Valley, Toronto is the only other major tech center in North America. I am starting a series of blog posts to back this claim by highlighting the exciting tech related news from the Toronto region.
Google parent’s company focused on smart city technologies, will build a “mixed-use, complete community in Toronto on its eastern waterfront, with the aim of building a livable space from the ground up using innovations in construction techniques, self-driving, climate friendly energy systems and more to build a community that’s affordable and accessible with a focus on connected tech.
Geoffrey Hinton and the Vector Institute are planning to make Toronto the AI capital of the world. The masterminds in charge of AI research at Apple and Facebook have one thing in common: they studied under U of T professor Geoffrey Hinton, a.k.a. the Godfather of Machine Learning.
Toronto’s top entrepreneurs on start-up stereotypes, wild investor stories and who they admire most. In June, Toronto Life sent a questionnaire to dozens of start-up founders and tech company CEOs in the Toronto-Waterloo Corridor. We asked them what they love about working in the GTA, what tech buzzwords they hate.
Inside Thalmic Labs’ secret wearables warehouse. Last year, Thalmic got $120 million (U.S.) from Amazon and Intel to develop a new interface for wearable technology that would rival iOS.
When Uber hired U of T professor Raquel Urtasun, she didn’t move to their San Francisco offices—the company came to her. Urtasun, an AI expert, is head of the Toronto branch of Uber’s Advanced Technologies Group, a new lab dedicated to researching self-driving cars.
The coolest new offices from the hottest American tech transplants. Slack a web-based platform where colleagues can talk and brainstorm moved into a three-storey, 22,000-square-foot complex in a former knitting factory at Queen and John.
Though he had co-founded two companies previously and worked at LinkedIn’s head office in Silicon Valley for six years, Vikram H-1B visa did not allow him to start a company of his own on American soil.
The Hyperloop, a pneumatic tube system that would hurtle riders from A to B at 700 kilometres an hour. The U of T start-up TransPod is working on a plan and hopes to release a prototype by 2020.
How Toronto became the world’s fastest-growing tech market. Toronto has more than 400,000 tech workers, a figure that accounts for 15 per cent of local employment. And the city was recently named the world’s fastest growing tech market.
Allen Lau, CEO of the fast-growing storytelling app Wattpad, believes running his company in Toronto gives him an unfair advantage over his entrepreneurial counterparts in Silicon Valley. In Silicon Valley, where he ran a previous company, he’d be vying for engineers against Google and Facebook.
ETHWaterloo, which is the largest Ethereum hackathon in the world, hosted its inaugural event this past weekend at the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI). The hackathon saw several companies come together for 36 hours to imagine and build their visions of a decentralized future.
With the rapid spread of tech jobs out of Silicon Valley and beyond the tech sector to other industries, the northern Californian tech hub is no longer the mecca it once was when it comes to jobs in the field, according to a report by Glassdoor.
And it’s not just tech workers who appear to be drawn by the lure of the Great White North — Facebook, as VentureBeat reported earlier this month, has chosen to open an AI office in Montreal. While that’s great news for cities like Toronto and Montreal, that’s bad news for a lot of U.S. cities who are struggling to convince Silicon Valley startups that they have the tech talent necessary to support them.
Canada is seen as setting the best example with 81% of respondents saying it has a positive influence on world affairs. Australia and Germany complete the top three.
Quebec’s largest city is becoming internationally renowned as a research hub for artificial intelligence. Google (GOOGL, -0.19%) last November established a new A.I. research group in its Montreal office, pledging to invest $4.5 million over three years in the Montreal Institute for Learning Algorithms, an A.I. research lab at the University of Montreal.
Image of the WeWork offices from Unsplash.com