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Yonge & Eglinton : Innovation + Job News

19 Yonge & Eglinton Articles | Page: | Show All

Eglinton LRT to get first issue of Ontario's new Green Bonds

In the fall of 2013, the provincial government unveiled a plan to start issuing green bonds: bonds that are in some way tied to projects that help achieve environmental goals.

"Participating in the green bond market will provide an opportunity for Ontario to broaden its investor base and raise additional funding in this rapidly growing sector of the bond market," a government primer on the project says. "In addition, green bonds raise awareness of climate and environmental challenges and allow investors to support green initiatives."

Soon after, an advisory panel was created to help in the selection fo elgible projects, which in general fall into one of the following categories: clean transportation; energy efficiency and conservation; clean energy and technology; forestry, agriculture and land management; and climate adaptation and resilience.

A few days ago, the government announced the first project that would receive a green bond issue: the Eglinton Crosstown LRT, currently under construction in Toronto—that issue may be up to $500 million.

“Ontario is taking a major step forward in planning for a greener, more sustainable future and is the only province in Canada to release a certified green bonds program" finance minister Charles Sousa said when announcing the green bond issue. "People are looking for new and innovative ways to invest in a secure and socially responsible manner. Ontario’s Green Bonds will help us to invest in transit, create jobs and raise capital at competitive rates.”

Few additional details were immediately available, though the government does hope to make this first issue of bonds available early next year.

Writer: Hamutal Dotan
Source: Ministry of Finance

Who's Hiring in Toronto? Penguin, Jane Goodall Institute, and more

In the world of books, major publishing house Penguin is hiring a digital and social media coordinator to both maintain their websites and work on engagement campaigns. Also the literary sector, the Ontario Arts Council is looking for a literature officer to help manage their grants programs. The post is for a five-year term.

Hart House, the cultural hub at the University of Toronto's downtown campus, is looking for an education and production coordinator for a 10-month contract to provide support to their theatre programming. Finally, the Canadian Opera Company is seeking an assistant music librarian. It requires a strong background in music and familiarity with standard office computer programs.

UNITY, a charity that works to empower youth through artistic self-expression, has three posts available. They are hiring a program coordinator, a festival & volunteer coordinator, and a managing director, operations. Contracts, qualifications, and salaries vary per posting. 

If you're interested in urban agriculture, non-profit Cultivate Toronto is looking for a community relationship manager. The organization focuses on creating food gardens in people's front and back yards, and the position involves developing and maintaining relationships with program participants.

In technology jobs, the Ontario Public Service is on the hunt for a senior interactive developer with significant experience working with open source technologies and platforms.

And finally, in leadership positions, the Jane Goodall Institute is looking for a new CEO. The position requires experience both in conservation and in financial management, and they are hoping to find a billingual candidate. Among environmental groups, think tank Pembina is looking for a single candidate to split their time between two functions: director of development for the Pembina Institute, and exective director for the associated Pembina Foundation.

Know of any innovative job opportunities? Let us know!

Who's Hiring in Toronto? OCAD, TVO, Fresh City, and more

The best of the job opportunities we've spotted this week:

Ontario public broadcaster TVO is hiring for two digital positions right now. They are looking for a digital media producer to help create online content and maintain existing TVO websites. For those with more seniority, TVO.org is also looking for a manager to lead the digital team.

Also in broadcasting, the CBC is on the hunt for a mobile developer to maintain current sites and build new mobile web pages.

If you have an interest in the arts, Canadian Stage is looking for a digital marketing manager for the summer (with a possible contract extention) to help develop web content, execute social media campaigns, and provide project management. Small World Music Society is also looking for some communications help: the charity needs a marketing coordinator with a background in graphic design, media relations, and social media.

Friends of the Greenbelt and the Greenbelt fund are a pair of non-profits that work closely together to support the permanent swath of green space that runs through southern Ontario. They are currently seeking a communications manager with at least five years of experience to take the lead on marketing and media relations, as well as an education and outreach specialist to develop an engagement plan for their local food-purchasing program. Meanwhile Fresh City, a Toronto farm, is looking for a research assistant to help them understand the environmental impact of their operations.

In the academic sector, OCAD University needs a manager of graduate studies to provide oversight of their administration and business affairs.

Toronto's best-known incubator, MaRS, is hiring again, this time for a project manager with a particular background in business analytics. Finally, the Centre for Social Innovation, which runs three shared-space facilities across the city, is looking for a manager to take the lead on day-to-day operations at their new Regent Park location.

Are you hiring or do you know of an innovative job opportunity in Toronto? Email Yonge Street's innovation and jobs editor Hamutal Dotan to let her know. 

Who's hiring in Toronto? MaRS Discovery District and more

Welcome to Yonge Street's first ever job round-up, where we highlight a few of the most interesting job opportunities available in Toronto right now.

Community-oriented food organization Not Far From the Tree helps homeowners collect fruit from the trees in their yards, and sends much of the harvest to local agencies like food banks and shelters. NFFTT is looking for a project director to start this spring. It is the organization's primary leadership position.

Also for those with a green thumb, the Toronto Botanical Garden is looking for a new executive director to oversee all programs and fundraising. Candidates should have a background in horticulture as well as organizational leadership.

FreshBooks makes easy invoicing and accounting tools for small businesses and freelancers. The company is seeking an Android developer who will "make FreshBooks a world-class Android development centre."

Another organization on the hunt for a mobile developer: the Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants. The company needs someone to develop an Android and potentially also an iOS educational app. The app(s) will explain the benefits of citizenship to youth ages 16-24.

MaRS Discovery District, Toronto's best-known innovation centre, is hiring an investment manager for the Investment Accelerator Fund, which puts funds into early-stage technology companies. This business development opportunity is a mid-level position.

Major design firm DIALOG (550+ staff) does work in urban design, interior design, architecture, and engineering. They are seeking a graphic designer to work in their Communications and Creative Services departments.

The Ontario Power Authority is looking for specialist to help support their Conservation Fund, which is OPA's "vehicle for the incubation of innovative approaches to energy conservation and demand side technologies."

Finally, ebook and ereader company Kobo is looking for a front-end web developer to work on merchandising and marketing materials.

Writer: Hamutal Dotan

Toronto among the world's leading cities for startups

"While nearly all high growth technology startups have historically emerged from no more than 3-4 startup ecosystems, namely Silicon Valley and Boston, this trend appears to have reached its end. Simultaneous with a global explosion of entrepreneurship has been an explosion in the rise of new startup ecosystems around the world, and a newfound maturity in others."

So begins a new report from the Startup Genome called the Startup Ecosystem Report (available for free online, though registration is required). And among those ecosystems that are currently flourishing: Toronto, which ranks the highest in Canada on the report's index, and eighth in the world. (Vancouver is right behind us in ninth; more surprisingly Waterloo is further behind, at sixteenth.)

All cities in the index are compared to Silicon Valley (which predictably is the benchmark first-place ecoysystem) across a variety of metrics. While we are similar to Silicon Valley in terms of our level of ambition, our technology adoption rates, our sector mix and mentorship support, one key area of difference, according to the report, is that "startups in Toronto receive 71% less funding than SV startups. The capital deficiency exists both before and after product market fit."

While that may sound like grim news, it actually provides a very useful roadmap for future growth. The report goes on to conclude that the current under-investment in Toronto-area startups "presents a large opportunity for investors. Moreover, "policy makers can help closing the funding gap by attracting late-stage venture funds through tax breaks and incentives, and investor-friendly policies."

Writer: Hamutal Dotan
Source: Startup Ecosystem Report

Sunnybrook opens new $160M lab

Last week Canada's Governor General came to town, to offically open the Centre for Research in Image-Guided Therapeutics at Sunnybrook.

The new $160 million lab—official acronym: CeRIGT, pronounced "see right" (since they focus on imaging technologies)—was built with the help of $75 million from the federal government's Canada Foundation for Innovation.

About 80 per cent of health-related research happens in hospital-based enterprises, says Dr. Michael Julius, vice president of the Sunnybrook Research Institute, but because a hospital's first and primary focus is providing care to its patients, that research "often gets lost." The new lab's goal is to bring the clinical and research worlds closer together, and foster opportunities to use research to have a more immediate impact on the care that's provided.

"This infrastructure is novel," he says, "in that it is a physical plant that brings our science and their teams, and our clinicians and their teams, all working together shoulder to shoulder."

Julius gives a few examples of the kinds of collaborations that are already in progress, calling them harbingers of what's to come. One such instance: researchers who are monitoring cancer therapies as they are administered in real time, enabling clinicians to decide whether a particular course of treatment is working within a week rather than by running tests on patients three or four months later.

The lab includes 30 private sector partners, and will create opportunities for about 10 or 15 new principal researchers, each of whom may have a team of up to 10 trainees and assistants.

Author: Hamutal Dotan
Source: Dr. Michael Julius, Vice President, Sunnybrook Research Institute

Social media platform Keek closes $7M in new funding

Since its initial launch, Keek has seen more than six million videos uploaded to its platform; in August 2012, an average of 66,000 new videos a day were created. Rewarding that rapid growth: several new investment partners, who between them will be putting $7 million into the (so far free-to-use and free-of-advertising) video-sharing service.

If you're not familiar with it, an explanation by analogy: roughly, Keek is to YouTube as Twitter is to traditional blogging—that is, shorter, faster and with more back-and-forth conversation. Users create "microvideos" (maximum length: 36 seconds) called keeks, as a sort of status update, and can also communicate via private videos/keeks, similar to the "direct message" function on Twitter. "A keek," explains the company's FAQ whimsically, "by definition is a quick look, glance or peep."

"This new funding will allow us to keep the momentum going, accelerate product development, scale the infrastructure and expand globally," said Isaac Raichyk, Keek's CEO, in a press statement announcing the new investment, which follows on a previous round of $5 million in financing secured about a year ago.

Keeping it local, the three major partners in this round of funding are also based in Toronto, in addition to Keek itself: Canson Capital Securities, Pinetree Capital and Whitecap Venture Partners.

Writer: Hamutal Dotan
Source: Isaac Raichyk, CEO, Keek

AppHero closes $1.8M in new financing, looking to expand staff & product offerings

Sometimes you need a certain app for your mobile device: a photo editor, say, or a task manager. But how do you find the apps you don't even know you need?

Enter AppHero, a five-person startup that has just secured $1.8 million in financing to expand and enhance their service.

In brief, what AppHero does is process a range of information about your and your online activities, and use that to suggest apps that might interest you, even though it might never have occured to you to look for them. If your Facebook activity suggests that you like hiking, for instance, and your search engine activity indicates you've just booked a vacation, AppHero might put those two pieces of information together and suggest an app which maps hiking trails near your holiday destination. And then, based on whether you choose to go ahead and download the suggested app or ignore it, AppHero refines its future recommendations accordingly.

It's a process that company founder Jordan Satok likes to call "serendipitous discovery," and it has piqued the interest of several venture capital firms who are providing this round of seed money.

"The financing will help us attract some of the best people," says Satok, "amazing machine-learning experts that we're hoping to join us." (Machine learning, a subdiscipline in the field of artifical intelligence, focuses on designing computers that can improve their performance as they receive new data.) Those experts will help AppHero increase the quality of the recommendations it provides, fine-tuning the algorithms it relies on further. The seed funding may also allow for expansion to other platforms (AppHero is currently available for the iPhone and iPad).

AppHero is currently seeking an engineer to join their team; other job opportunities are expected to follow soon.

Writer: Hamutal Dotan
Source: Jordan Satok, Founder and CEO, AppHero

Mihealth Global Systems Inc. strikes partnership to provide remote patient monitoring

At the intersection of increasing health care costs and growing public comfort with medical information lies Mihealth Global Systems Inc., a company founded on the idea that if patients had quicker, easier ways to communicate with their physicians everyone would benefit. Mihealth provides a secure web portal through which patients can access their medical records, and a smartphone app which lets patients take that information with them wherever they go.

Last week Mihealth announced a new partnership with American company Preventice to expand those digital services. The technology the companies will be implementing falls into the category of body telemetry, a growing category of medical service which allows physicians to keep watch on patients from a distance.

Typically, body telemetry mechanisms have tended to be cumbersome (keeping users from bathing, for instance), but this new one will make the process vastly less burdensome, says Mihealth founder Dr. Wendy Graham.

Graham says it will consist of a "disposable patch the size of a Band-Aid, and a tiny sensor," which will transit information via Bluetooth. Physicians will be able to monitor blood pressure, heart rate and respiration; a later iteration of the device will provide for motion sensors as well, to check sleep patterns and ensure patients are appropriately active.

Like any new medical device, this one will need to make its way through the standard regulatory and approvals processes; Graham hopes that Ontario residents will have access to it within a year. It's a way of saving the health care system money, she points out, by allowing faster, easier patient monitoring, in addition to providing patients with greater freedom.

Writer: Hamutal Dotan
Source: Wendy Graham, Founder and CEO, Mihealth

Continuing education innovators Destiny Solutions hiring at least 9

Way back in 1995, the company that would become Destiny Solutions was founded as Destiny Web Designs, putting the best practices of the then emerging World Wide Web to work for Toronto business clients.

"One of our clients was the University of Toronto's continuing education department. We built out their site in the late 1990s and realized there was a huge opportunity in creating applications for this new market in higher education," says senior vice president Jonathan Tice. The needs of continuing education departments are different than those of traditional "tuition cohort" models, and new administrative tools were needed to help grow the potential of those departments. 

He says that U of T was the first university in North America to put its systems fully online in 2001, and the reputation the school's then-president, Mary Cone Berry, had as an innovator gave the newly born Destiny Solutions a great advantage. "That relationship made it easy to make Stanford our second client."

Eleven years later, the Yonge and Eglinton-based company is the leader in providing specific administrative solutions for non-traditional learning departments at some of North America's biggest and most prestigious schools, including Georgetown, Duke, Penn State, Stanford and University of Toronto. It's a market that has begun to rapidly transform education itself. Tice cites US education department executive Richard Culatta's impression that "this is education's Internet moment."

"We're growing quite quickly," says Tice. Currently at 40 employees, the company is hiring for nine positions now. Tice says they've been growing their staff at a rate of about 25 per cent per year—revenue growth has significantly outpaced that. "We really can't hire fast enough, but we're very specific about who we hire. We serve clients who are the best in the world, and we're really looking for A-players."

Writer: Edward Keenan
Source: Jonathan Tice, Senior Vice President, Destiny Solutions

Microvideo social startup Keek gears up with $5.5 million in financing

After launching its microvideo social networking platform in September, Toronto startup Keek got a shot in the arm late last year when it attracted $5.5 million in financing. The concept is simple: it takes the status update stream format of Twitter, but replaces the text-based messages with YouTube-style short videos (up to 36 seconds) that can be posted from Android and iPhone mobile devices or from desktop computers.
"The youth of today clearly want to use video for both communication and entertainment," said Keek founder and CEO Isaac Raichyk in launching the product last fall. "We've created a platform that provides users with a fun new way to connect and share their lives."
Based at Yonge and Eglinton, the company has grown to about 30 employees since launching in early 2010. With the new capital in hand and a mission to constantly refine and build out its platform, it continues to grow its team. 

Writer: Edward Keenan
Source: Miranda McCurlie, Manager, Public Relations and Marketing, Keek Inc.

Profound Medical closes $9.4 million venture round, will hire 15

Profound Medical, headquartered in the Yonge and Lawrence area, recently closed a venture capital round that raised an astonishing $9.4 million to advance clinical trials of its new prostate cancer treatment. "To put that in perspective, venture capital financing for the entire life sciences sector in the first quarter of 2011 was $12.5 million," says Paul Chipperton, co-founder and CEO of Profound Medical. "So we've basically almost doubled that in this one announcement."

The company is a spin-off from Sunnybrook Health Sciences, where the MRI-based, relatively non-invasive treatment for localized prostate cancer has been pioneered and developed over the past decade. In Profound's short history, it has won a series of accolades, including the Premier's Catalyst Award for best Life Sciences Innovation and winning the Canada's Top 10 Life Sciences competition.

Chipperton says that the new financing will lead to the hiring of about 15 new staff--he's already hired three this month--and will help the company proceed to human clinical trials. Though time frames for trials and approvals vary by jurisdiction, Chipperton says a best-case timeline would see Profound entering the market with approval to treat in some places in roughly two years.

Writer: Edward Keenan
Source: Paul Chipperton, CEO and co-founder, Profound Medical

Toronto's KineticD named top up-and-coming tech company in Canada

Online data backup company KineticD, based at Yonge and Eglinton, has been named the top up-and-coming technology firm in Canada by the Branham Group. The 15-employee company established in 2002 serves business clients with online data storage and sharing services.

The annual Branham300 ranks the top technology companies in Canada every year, while its subsidiary list, "The Next 50" ranks the fastest-growing up-and-coming companies. KineticD ranked number one on the latter list this year when it was unveiled last week.

It was just the latest in a series of encouraging signs for KineticD. Early last month, the company announced it had acquired cloud backup software company Robobak, earlier this year it announced some key appointments and the launch of iPad capabilities for its software, and last fall the prominent Deloitte Technology Fast 50 list showed KineticD as the 19th fastest growing company in Canada.

"It is an honor to be recognized as one of the fastest growing companies in Canada," Jamie Brenzel, CEO at KineticD, said in a statement when the Deloitte list was unveiled. "KineticD has seen rapid growth over the last five years. Our dedication to delivering innovative new offerings ensures our customers and partners have access to the most secure and reliable storage, recovery and remote access solutions in the industry."

Writer: Edward Keenan
Source: Jamie Brenzel, CEO, KineticD

Health innovation startup Enthrive looking to change world, hire 4

The team behind mobile application startup Enthrive are not modest about their goal to "change the world." They aim for nothing less than a revolution in the way people approach their health. The startup recently achieved the first stage of that goal by closing a $2 million financing round.

As a next step, they are currently building a team, starting with at least four hires now. The positions are in development and engineering, but they're looking for a particular type of candidate. As they write: "We're taking an unusual approach to building the company: assemble a relatively small, tightly knit collective of extraordinarily talented peers, while pursuing impact and revenue goals typically associated with large hierarchical enterprises. By keeping the team small, individual contributors can have greater ownership and input into decisions than is possible in traditionally-structured corporations, and life is generally more pleasant."

Writer: Edward Keenan
Source: Jonathan Graff, Enthrive

Growing exercise empire Fit Chicks adds 4 new locations (including one in Mississauga)

When we last wrote about the Fit Chicks fitness empire one year ago, the workout training company had expanded to reach 15 locations in the GTA since its launch in 2008. Co-founder Laura Jackson told us then that she expected the company to keep on growing, and the activity in the twelve months since has borne out her prediction.

Last week, the company announced the launch of four new locations -- one in Vancouver, one in Calgary, one in Ottawa and one in the GTA, in Mississauga -- bringing the total number of locations now to 28. In almost doubling in size over the past year, the company has gone national, opening gyms in Ottawa, Calgary and Vancouver for the first time.

The business was founded by Jackson and Amanda Quinn, who say they've "been besties since grade nine" in 2008 to fill a hole they saw in the fitness market. The concept is a series of "bootcamps" run by fitness instructors focused on a challenging but achievable workout that also gave women (or "chicks," according to company lingo) education about how to live healthy. As part of a plan to expand into merchandising and larger scale wellness, the company recently introduced a "High Intensity Hottie" workout video that is now included with bootcamp registrations.

Writer: Edward Keenan
Source: Laura Jackson, Head Chick, Fit Chicks
19 Yonge & Eglinton Articles | Page: | Show All
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