New tech fest aims to 'elevate Toronto' on world stage

News Jul 11, 2017 by Hilary Caton City Centre Mirror

Toronto techies rejoice! This city is getting its own technology-focused festival in September.

Elevate Toronto is the first tech-centred festival, running from Sept. 12 to 14, that will showcase Toronto’s booming technology scene, while promoting the city as a world class destination for innovation, startups, talent and investment.

It’s a collaboration between 17 technology organizations to create 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.

“This is Toronto’s coming out party. We have many amazing things going on here. We spent the last 30 years building a strong tech community, but the world doesn’t know about it,” said Alex Norman the co-founder of Tech Toronto an organization that helps tech entrepreneurs connect.

“This is our desire: to claim a week to get everyone to join the party and see what’s happening. This is about getting our story out there.”

The festival announcement took place at the CN Tower with the help of Mayor John Tory, who was adamant that Toronto should be “the home of disrupters” when it comes to the latest technology.  

“We are the financial and innovation centre of Canada and it’s time to showcase all of this,” he said.

“We don’t want to miss the opportunity, when people come here in September ... in the end, if we can say to them we have a great place to build a career, a great place to build a business, and a commitment to disruption. This is our opportunity to showcase that.”

The three-day festival will have Ted-style talks, keynote speeches from founders and entrepreneurs, curated networking and formal programming, all of which will be held in different venues across the city.  

“The goal is to show the best of our Toronto innovation ecosystem,” said Jodi Kovitz, founder of #MoveTheDial, an organization focused on bringing women to the forefront of the tech industry.

Elevate Toronto is a grassroots initiative with the central festival theme of diversity and inclusion.

“Diversity is our strength,” said Razor Suleman, co-founder and CEO of Elevate Toronto.

“We want people with different perspectives participating … everybody can participate because it’s about collaboration.”

Suleman hopes the festival can become the SXSW Interactive of the North, to help the tech community showcase and even brag a little about what they’ve accomplished here in Toronto.

Michelle Holland, the City of Toronto’s advocate for the innovation economy, was also on hand for the announcement and believes this festival is long overdue to show the world Toronto's top talent.

“This is amazing. We’ve been trying to amp Toronto’s brand in terms of ecosystems. So we’re just trying to elevate the brand that is Toronto’s tech ecosystem,” Holland told Metroland Media.

 “This festival will absolutely catapult Toronto, I believe, on the international stage.”

New tech festival aims to 'elevate Toronto'

Three-day festival set for September

News Jul 11, 2017 by Hilary Caton City Centre Mirror

Toronto techies rejoice! This city is getting its own technology-focused festival in September.

Elevate Toronto is the first tech-centred festival, running from Sept. 12 to 14, that will showcase Toronto’s booming technology scene, while promoting the city as a world class destination for innovation, startups, talent and investment.

It’s a collaboration between 17 technology organizations to create 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.

“This is Toronto’s coming out party. We have many amazing things going on here. We spent the last 30 years building a strong tech community, but the world doesn’t know about it,” said Alex Norman the co-founder of Tech Toronto an organization that helps tech entrepreneurs connect.

“This is our desire: to claim a week to get everyone to join the party and see what’s happening. This is about getting our story out there.”

The festival announcement took place at the CN Tower with the help of Mayor John Tory, who was adamant that Toronto should be “the home of disrupters” when it comes to the latest technology.  

“We are the financial and innovation centre of Canada and it’s time to showcase all of this,” he said.

“We don’t want to miss the opportunity, when people come here in September ... in the end, if we can say to them we have a great place to build a career, a great place to build a business, and a commitment to disruption. This is our opportunity to showcase that.”

The three-day festival will have Ted-style talks, keynote speeches from founders and entrepreneurs, curated networking and formal programming, all of which will be held in different venues across the city.  

“The goal is to show the best of our Toronto innovation ecosystem,” said Jodi Kovitz, founder of #MoveTheDial, an organization focused on bringing women to the forefront of the tech industry.

Elevate Toronto is a grassroots initiative with the central festival theme of diversity and inclusion.

“Diversity is our strength,” said Razor Suleman, co-founder and CEO of Elevate Toronto.

“We want people with different perspectives participating … everybody can participate because it’s about collaboration.”

Suleman hopes the festival can become the SXSW Interactive of the North, to help the tech community showcase and even brag a little about what they’ve accomplished here in Toronto.

Michelle Holland, the City of Toronto’s advocate for the innovation economy, was also on hand for the announcement and believes this festival is long overdue to show the world Toronto's top talent.

“This is amazing. We’ve been trying to amp Toronto’s brand in terms of ecosystems. So we’re just trying to elevate the brand that is Toronto’s tech ecosystem,” Holland told Metroland Media.

 “This festival will absolutely catapult Toronto, I believe, on the international stage.”

New tech festival aims to 'elevate Toronto'

Three-day festival set for September

News Jul 11, 2017 by Hilary Caton City Centre Mirror

Toronto techies rejoice! This city is getting its own technology-focused festival in September.

Elevate Toronto is the first tech-centred festival, running from Sept. 12 to 14, that will showcase Toronto’s booming technology scene, while promoting the city as a world class destination for innovation, startups, talent and investment.

It’s a collaboration between 17 technology organizations to create 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.

“This is Toronto’s coming out party. We have many amazing things going on here. We spent the last 30 years building a strong tech community, but the world doesn’t know about it,” said Alex Norman the co-founder of Tech Toronto an organization that helps tech entrepreneurs connect.

“This is our desire: to claim a week to get everyone to join the party and see what’s happening. This is about getting our story out there.”

The festival announcement took place at the CN Tower with the help of Mayor John Tory, who was adamant that Toronto should be “the home of disrupters” when it comes to the latest technology.  

“We are the financial and innovation centre of Canada and it’s time to showcase all of this,” he said.

“We don’t want to miss the opportunity, when people come here in September ... in the end, if we can say to them we have a great place to build a career, a great place to build a business, and a commitment to disruption. This is our opportunity to showcase that.”

The three-day festival will have Ted-style talks, keynote speeches from founders and entrepreneurs, curated networking and formal programming, all of which will be held in different venues across the city.  

“The goal is to show the best of our Toronto innovation ecosystem,” said Jodi Kovitz, founder of #MoveTheDial, an organization focused on bringing women to the forefront of the tech industry.

Elevate Toronto is a grassroots initiative with the central festival theme of diversity and inclusion.

“Diversity is our strength,” said Razor Suleman, co-founder and CEO of Elevate Toronto.

“We want people with different perspectives participating … everybody can participate because it’s about collaboration.”

Suleman hopes the festival can become the SXSW Interactive of the North, to help the tech community showcase and even brag a little about what they’ve accomplished here in Toronto.

Michelle Holland, the City of Toronto’s advocate for the innovation economy, was also on hand for the announcement and believes this festival is long overdue to show the world Toronto's top talent.

“This is amazing. We’ve been trying to amp Toronto’s brand in terms of ecosystems. So we’re just trying to elevate the brand that is Toronto’s tech ecosystem,” Holland told Metroland Media.

 “This festival will absolutely catapult Toronto, I believe, on the international stage.”