Welcome to the new Silicon Valley

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 and what they’d be doing if they couldn’t run their own business, among other burning questions. Here’s what they told us.

Will Toronto’s tech scene ever truly rival Silicon Valley’s?

Have you ever worked in Silicon Valley?

Have you ever watched HBO’s Silicon Valley?

The best thing about running a start-up in Toronto is…

“It’s the real world, not a tech la-la land. When you’re building a product for real, diverse people, it’s important to do it with and among real, diverse people.”
– Michael Katchen, Wealthsimple

“World-class talent and living standards in a (relatively) affordable city.”
– Hongwei Liu, MappedIn

“Toronto is the underdog and everyone knows it, which pushes founders to help each other to win.”
– Satish Kanwar, Shopify

“A safe community that embraces people’s differences, rather than managing them.”
– Ben Baldwin, The Founder City Project and ScaleDriver

 

The worst thing about running a start-up in Toronto is…

“Lack of access to executive talent and general low-ambition culture.”
– Mike Silagadze, Top Hat

“Being overshadowed by Valley start-ups and ignored by U.S. media and investors. It’s changing, though.”
Allen Lau, Wattpad

“Doing business in Toronto and Canada in general is really tough. Most of my peers in the tech community are doing more than 50 percent of their business outside of Canada.”
– Chris Wiegand, Jibestream

“Cold winters.”
Steve Irvine, Integrate.ai

 

This article was originally published on the Toronto Life website. You can access the full article by clicking here. The October issue of Toronto Life featuring a full overview of Toronto’s booming Tech Sector is on newsstands September 21, 2017.

 

 

 

 

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