Toronto has many local policies and programs that help foster and grow technology and innovation. “Together, Canada, the Province of Ontario and the City of Toronto enable a fl ourishing entrepreneurial community in the city: Universal healthcare, R&D grants, immigration and cultural diversity as well as a strong commitment of society to make the world better,” says Michael Schwanzer, CEO and founder, ZEITDICE INC. “Toronto is home to the MaRS Discovery District, one of the world’s largest urban innovation hubs. MaRS cultivates high-impact ventures and equips innovators. It’s like a one-stop-shop to learn about entrepreneurship, get advice and chat at the many meetups happening every week.”
One of the most important characteristics of a tech hub is competition, but also to help out one another for the sake of the industry. Toronto has that camaraderie. “This is actually something that is particularly special about Toronto. Because we’re still a relatively small community, we defi nitely stick together and have each other’s backs,” says Drew Shark, CEO of Matter and Form. “I’ve noticed the difference of this vibe in my visits to California, where things are much more competitive and cutthroat whereas here in Toronto, it’s mutually benefi cial for all of us to succeed.”
The University of Toronto and York University are two of the top engineering-focused schools in the immediate Toronto area. Both universities create leaders, develop critical thinkers and help produce catalysts for the Toronto entrepreneur and startup scene. “The universities in the area provide excellent talent to help startups grow here. There are great programs to help, like the Creative Destruction Lab (CDL) at Rotman School ofManagement,” says Schwanzer. “The CDL helps innovators transition from science projects to high-growth companies. We had a great experience going through the CDL program.”
Michael Schwanzer, CEO/Founder, ZEITDICE INC.
“ZEITDICE invented a time-lapse camera that does not run out of battery or memory (patent pending), to enable people to capture stories that take days, weeks, months or even years to unfold. I am proud to call Toronto my home now. All of us here are working hard every day to make things better for everyone and I hope one day I will get to give back to this wonderful community that has given me so much support.”
Drew Shark, CEO, Matter and Form
“Matter and Form is all about 3D photography. We make the tools for people to be able to create and share in 3D. It was hard to deny the pull of Silicon Valley. But at the same time, the Toronto scene was growing up around us and it was really exciting to be a part of that boom. It’s also been important for us from the start to remain a fully Canadian company. We are pretty pumped to have Bevel launch as a 100 percent Canadian product.”
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