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Parkdale : Innovation + Job News

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Who's Hiring in Toronto? The CBC, Toronto Atmospheric Fund, and more

The most interesting and innovative opportunities we've spotted this week:

There are a good number of interesting openings in media right now. Canadian Journalists for Free Expression are hiring a digital development coordinator to work on IFEX, a network of organizations that promotes free expresion as a human right. Also, a new Canadian affairs and cultural magazine called Depict is launching soon. It will consist entirely of visual elements -- infographics and "visual storytelling" -- and they are looking for both a creative director and a graphic designer.

Continuing with the media opportunities, Global News is looking for a project manager with at least 3-5 years of experience to handle several digital projects. And finally, a very significant opening at the CBC: they are on the lookout for a new managing editor of cbcnews.ca--a senior position for someone with at least five years of related experience.

Moving on to the environmental sector, the Toronto Atmospheric Fund was established by the municipal government to provide support to new initiatives that combat climate change. They are currently seeking a summer intern for a 12-week project. The position is paid and candidates should have completed some graduate level work in public policy or environmental studies.

Real Food for Real Kids provides healthy catering for child care centres and camps, with an emphasis on local and organic ingredients. They are looking for an assistant kitchen manager.

In medical research, the Ontario Brain Institute is hiring for three six-month internships: one in industry relations, one in community outreach, and one in finance and governance. All the positions are paid, and applications are due by the end of this week.

And finally, Toronto-based financial software company FreshBooks is hiring for several positions, including a MySQL developer and a product manager.

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. 

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

New 6,000-square-foot studio and event space in Liberty Village latest venture for WIDEawake

WIDEawake Entertainment Group, which in just over the past year has begun managing the soul  singer Sean Jones and purchased legendary hip-hop label Death Row Records is set to open a luxury recording and performing facility in Liberty Village in April.

The new space, WIDEawake Liberty Studios, will encompass 6,000 square feet in all, including a 1,200-square-foot event space/soundstage, music recording studios, editing suites and other facilities for both film and music production.

WIDEawake Vice Chairman and Chief Operating Officer Robert Thompson-So did not site specific numbers, but said that the company intends to "ramp up basic staff levels to get things going" over the next few months, and expects the site to be a significant employment hub, both directly and through the creative professionals who use the facility.

Thompson-So says the location is of paramount importance to the new venture. "If you spend time in Liberty Village, you see that the growth is just explosive. And the common theme is that every business down here is pushing the creative boundaries." He notes that the neighbourhood is home to both creative industries and the professional services, including entertainment lawyers and managers, who serve them. That makes it a natural home to a facility like one his company plans, he says.

Writer: Edward Keenan
Source: Robert Thompson-So, Vice Chairman and COO, WIDEawake Entertianment Group

Canada's largest design conference seeks innovative presenters

Innovators and idea people with good strategies or techniques for building a better, greener city have a unique opportunity to reach influential industry players by presenting a seminar at IIDEX/NeoCon's Green Building Festival and Light Canada. The organization that runs the country's largest design and architecture conference has issued a call for presentations.

The Green Building Festival, now in its fifth year, is the largest exposition on sustainable building, and according to the IIDEX website, the emphasis is on "cutting-edge innovation, technical detail and measurable results."

The call for presentations reads, "If you have an interesting presentation or an idea that could be developed into an educational session, you are invited to submit an on-line proposal. Conference speakers gain visibility in the industry, as well as contribute to the advancement of the profession." Anyone with an innovative green building concept or business looking to gain widespread exposure can read the details and apply here. A review of last year's show, for those looking to get a sense of what it's all about and whether their presentation would be a good fit, is here.

Writer: Edward Keenan
Source: IIDEX/NeoCon

Marketing firm Espresso experiences caffeinated growth, seeks five more "infiltrators"

Espresso is a marketing firm that values a causal, with-it vibe -- among their most popular slide presentations is "What the F**k is Social Media," for example -- in their products. But CEO Jacquelyn Cyr says their rate of growth has been anything but casual. She says the cross-platform marketing agency has grown in staff by 40 per cent in the past year, and is seeking to add five more "infiltrators" (that's their word, it seems, for "employees") at their Liberty Village office.

That description may sound weird but it stems from Espresso's concept of "brand infiltration" -- a way to match client needs across platforms, from conventional print and broadcast media, to social networking campaigns, to outdoor advertising and in-person events. That concept was at the heart of the company's relaunch in 2008, when the existing firm Retail Communications moved from Etobicoke to Liberty Village and rebranded.

Since then, Espresso has attracted clients including Addidas, eBay and the United Way. Last spring, a Boston office was opened (they're hiring down there too).

Cyr says Espresso is "a really fun place to work," one in which "teamyness" is highly valued and every member of every department is expected to contribute to creative campaigns. She says being located in Toronto, and Liberty Village in particular, has been important to the company's success. "It's really key to recruiting people, to retaining talent, and to fostering an environment in which we get creative thought running through all the departments," she says of the neighbourhood's creative vibe.

Those interested should check the job listings here.

Writer: Edward Keenan
Source: Jacquelyn Cyr, Chief Executive Officer, Espresso
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