Guess what I’m doing this week? No, I’m not trying to calculate the volume of a pool so that I can fill it with Jell-O and swim in it. I’m not trying to figure out which lesser-known member of the OVO crew I can rope into marriage. I’m going to Toronto Tech Week!
Toronto is going to be packed to the gills with venture capitalists, programmers, and project managers until July 29th. Throughout the week, the conference will host numerous events, including interactive workshops, a hackathon, a start-up pitch competition, networking events and educational speaker panels – all with the goal of providing resources for local tech start-ups to create the products you use every day within one of the fastest growing technology ecosystems in North America.
Panels and speakers will touch on some of the biggest and most sensitive issues in the industry today, such as the state of investment in Toronto and obstacles to growth in the entrepreneurial journey (and I am finally going to get someone to explain to me how Bitcoin works). Speakers include Michele Romanow of Dragon’s Den, Rajen Ruparell (co-founder of Groupon International/Citydeal), Tara Sinclair (Chief Economist of Indeed), Jamie Michaels (Head of Brand Strategy at Twitter) and Janet Bannister (General Partner with Real Ventures).
Some of the events are ticketed, but quite a lot of them are free and open to the public and will only cost you an email address once you register. These tickets are intended for people who are curious about working in the industry and want to get their feet wet without committing to the total lifestyle change that start-up culture asks for from potential employees.
Free events include a Hacker Nest social with the opportunity to schmooze with John Tory, or to communicate through dirty looks alone just how much the Scarborough subway expansion was a bad policy decision – whichever floats your boat! There’s also a hiring fair, hosted rather appropriately by Hired, a company that aims to match the best talent with the best placements. Take a stroll through the MARS building on College and watch baby start-ups compete for $50,000 in funding. There’s a lot to do, even if you aren’t well-versed in the latest buzzwords. Actually, let’s clear some of those up before we begin:
Scalability is the capability of a system, network, or process to handle a growing amount of work, or its potential to be enlarged in order to accommodate that growth. This is how Apple went from two guys in a garage to making the device you’re probably reading this with.
IPO (Initial Public Offering) is when start-ups go from playing minors to the big leagues by selling shares of their company to investors that, in turn, sell to the general public on a securities exchange for the first time.
Internet of things. This is a woefully utopian way of producing consumer products. If large swaths of the Valley have it their way, every toaster, fridge, thermostat, bed, toothbrush, pet food bowl in every house will have a chip in it and will be able to communicate with each other and collect data about how you use them. Sounds great, until you realize what a headache that can be with regards to waste produced, and the (lack of) security and privacy.