New Emerging Technology Organization in Toronto

I’m sitting at a meeting with ICT Toronto and I’m realizing that we need to start a non-governmental organization like the SDForum here in Toronto and possibly Canada. There’s a number of pseudo-competing organizations including: ITAC, York Technology Association, CIPS, NMBA, CATA, CITO and others. This is something where MaRS could be a leader in the founding of this new entity.

I think we should incorporate a new entity that is focused on (copied from the SDForum ):

  • Provides a venue for engineers, executives, researchers, technology leaders, and venture capitalists to exchange information on emerging technologies and best practices.

This is something that we should start immediately. MaRS provides a lot of the proposed services:

  • Monthly Events
  • Business Seminars
  • One-to-One Advisory Meetings
  • Special Interest Groups
  • Meeting Space
  • Annual Conferences

We need to build a sense of community. We need to attract individuals forced emerging technology and practices. We should take what we’ve built with TorCamp and Innovation Commons and figure out how to serve the community. This is my call to action.

  • We need to incorporate a not-for-profit organization focused on emerging technologies

Would companies be willing to join an entity that could provide like the MaRS events? We need to figure out how to seed this entity. We need to find seed money, whether this is government money, corporate money, and individual money to get this started. We need a founders loan to kick start this. Is it MaRS that should host this? Should we talk to a Celtic House, VenturesWest, GrowthWorks, or others that have financial investment interest? Is this a government program?

12 thoughts on “New Emerging Technology Organization in Toronto”

  1. <p>Put together a small Council, incorporate as a non profit (if you have to… ?) and go to Government, Private Equity and successful TO tech companies and show them your track record with this stuff.</p> <p>If they don’t understand that this is all a good thing (what has been happning here) and that if it really gets going, it will mean more opportunity for everyone, then they just really aren’t smart people.</p> <p>It’s not a government program—they would kill it.</p> <p>Nobody in particular is the host. Ideally, you will have venues competing to get these events.</p>

  2. <p>I couldn’t agree more. Two excellent templates exist in the Waterloo region. Watstart (<a href="http://www.watstart.com) " target="_blank"><a href="http://www.watstart.com)" target="_blank">www.watstart.com)</a> </a>and its sister site Communitech (<a href="http://www.communitech.ca)</p> " target="_blank"><a href="http://www.communitech.ca)</p>" target="_blank">www.communitech.ca)</p></a> </a> <p>Toronto needs to emulate these sophisticated but remarkably grassroots kind of organizations. They are kicking our ass. No, worse. They are shaming our ass.</p> <p>As an example, Entrepreneur week (<a href="http://www.entrepreneurweek.ca/section/view/) " target="_blank"><a href="http://www.entrepreneurweek.ca/section/view/)" target="_blank">http://www.entrepreneurweek.ca/section/view/)</a> </a>features 40+ speakers and multiple events spread across five days. Where is Toronto’s version?</p> <p>My .02</p>

  3. Put together a small Council, incorporate as a non profit (if you have to… ?) and go to Government, Private Equity and successful TO tech companies and show them your track record with this stuff.

    If they don’t understand that this is all a good thing (what has been happning here) and that if it really gets going, it will mean more opportunity for everyone, then they just really aren’t smart people.

    It’s not a government program—they would kill it.

    Nobody in particular is the host. Ideally, you will have venues competing to get these events.

  4. I couldn’t agree more. Two excellent templates exist in the Waterloo region. Watstart (www.watstart.com) and its sister site Communitech (www.communitech.ca)

    Toronto needs to emulate these sophisticated but remarkably grassroots kind of organizations. They are kicking our ass. No, worse. They are shaming our ass.

    As an example, Entrepreneur week (http://www.entrepreneurweek.ca/section/view/) features 40+ speakers and multiple events spread across five days. Where is Toronto’s version?

    My .02

  5. <p>I believe there's a lot of latent demand for such an organization. People have been making do with other groups and I think can be attracted to a new one if there's enough oomph behind it: publicity and statements of support by those with profile (both individuals and organizations), as well as volunteer and financial strength.</p><br />
    <br />
    <p>I don't think most government programs would be suitable because the application/decision process usually takes a long time and the result is unpredictable. That's not to say that there is no appropriate program; I don't know.</p><br />
    <br />
    <p>As for MaRS, I doubt that we could count on their hosting unless the organization were part of MaRS. That is one option: to ask MaRS whether they would be able and willing to take on such an initiative themselves (with help of course). This would however mean that MaRS's stakeholders would be in charge, a very different situation from TorCamp and Innovation Commons.</p>

  6. I believe there's a lot of latent demand for such an organization. People have been making do with other groups and I think can be attracted to a new one if there's enough oomph behind it: publicity and statements of support by those with profile (both individuals and organizations), as well as volunteer and financial strength.

    I don't think most government programs would be suitable because the application/decision process usually takes a long time and the result is unpredictable. That's not to say that there is no appropriate program; I don't know.

    As for MaRS, I doubt that we could count on their hosting unless the organization were part of MaRS. That is one option: to ask MaRS whether they would be able and willing to take on such an initiative themselves (with help of course). This would however mean that MaRS's stakeholders would be in charge, a very different situation from TorCamp and Innovation Commons.

  7. <p>We are, as always, in. I think this is a great idea (that got floated at the recent ICT Toronto/Barcamp meeting) and we should move on it before we lose the momentum. I even liked the name <strong>Tech T.O.</strong> that was floated at the meeting.</p> <p>So, now what?</p>

  8. We are, as always, in. I think this is a great idea (that got floated at the recent ICT Toronto/Barcamp meeting) and we should move on it before we lose the momentum. I even liked the name Tech T.O. that was floated at the meeting.

    So, now what?

  9. <p>There is something happening now….if you look at the different meetups and this-n-that camps. People are grabbing at the opportunities. I could see something like this working and attracting people from outside the GTA. </p> <p>I think that anything that helps grow the community and the awareness of the world is great. There is no reason that Toronto can support activities of the sdforum. </p> <p>I know that you could count on me making the drive in for events.</p> <p>Let us know how we can help …</p> <p>cheers </p> <p>scott</p>

  10. There is something happening now….if you look at the different meetups and this-n-that camps. People are grabbing at the opportunities. I could see something like this working and attracting people from outside the GTA.

    I think that anything that helps grow the community and the awareness of the world is great. There is no reason that Toronto can support activities of the sdforum.

    I know that you could count on me making the drive in for events.

    Let us know how we can help …

    cheers

    scott

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