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Who is hiring? MaRS Discovery District, BrainStation, 500 Startups Canada

500 Startups Canada

The world’s largest seed-fund accelerator is looking for an Operations Manager based in Toronto, Ontario! The successful candidate should have strong communications skills, well-developed program management skills and experience in coordination. Furthermore, a relevant college degree is an asset. The Operations Manager would be responsible for coordinating the mentors’ daily schedules, managing weekly events and supporting sponsors. Interested candidates can apply through this link.

BrainStation

Toronto’s go-to place to improve your web and creative skills is hiring a General Manager to oversee their 10-week Web Development Immersive Bootcamp. The successful candidate will have an entrepreneurial spirit and a drive for creating product and service experiences. While managing a bootcamp for aspiring developers, some responsibilities would include, managing and coaching a team of 4-6 educators and 18-24 creators while organizing extracurricular activities and overseeing the development of the curriculum. Interested candidates can apply through this link.

Kinetic Café

The Kinetic Café is a design, innovation and technology firm with offices in New York, Montreal and Toronto working with retailers such as ALDO and Indigo to reimagine mobile experiences. The Kinetic Café is on the hunt for a VP of Retail Innovation in their Toronto office who will identify opportunities for growth, work with product managers and grow an account services team to oversee the firm’s portfolio. The successful candidate will have 10 years of experience in client services and extensive experience in a retail vertical. Interested candidates can apply through this link

MaRS Discovery District

One of the world’s largest innovation Hubs is looking for an Associate to join their Health Venture services team. The responsibilities of the role would include supporting the team through financial tracking and administrative work, supporting the team’s advisors through scheduling and participating in client meetings and participating in marketing and data analytics efforts for the Health Venture services team. The successful candidate will possess a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in a healthcare related field and experience working with multiple stakeholders, clients and colleagues in a fast paced environment. Interested applicants can apply through this link
 

SoapBox named Best Place to Work

Brennan McEachran believes that the vision for a company starts from the ground, up.

According to McEachran, the founder and CEO of the innovation management company, SoapBox, organizations need a way to productively organize employee ideas to have a better chance at solving problems that are seldom known to upper management.

“We see pretty overwhelmingly, across the board, that the ideas we get are overwhelmingly positive,” said McEachran.

McEachran started the company when he was just 19 years old and a student at Ryerson University. Once he recognized that students knew the conflicts faced by other students better than any university official could, he went to work developing a way to harness these ideas.

After meeting with the school’s then-President Sheldon Levy, he became the first undergraduate student to develop his business idea in the Digital Media Zone, which is now the country’s most successful university incubator.

“I felt like it was a duty for me to prove that I could graduate with a degree in one hand and a company in the other,” says McEachran, who graduated in 2012.

By the time of his graduation, SoapBox had already hired eight employees.

The Canadian-grown innovation-management company Soapbox was recently named the best workplace in Canada by Great Place to Work for its "high-trust, high-performance workplace culture."

The statement shared with YongeStreet goes on to describe SoapBox as a company that’s anchored in facilitating the constant communication between frontline employees and leadership.

"I am very proud of the company we've built. Since our first days in the Ryerson DMZ, we believed that culture and happy employees were the key to keeping our customers happy and growing our business,” said McEachran in a statement sent to YongeStreet.

Since 2012, the company has grown to include 29 full time employees and now occupies an office in downtown Toronto. The company has gone on to work with brands like Cocoa Cola Canada, BMO and Kijiji. However, that doesn’t mean McEachran is through making SoapBox even better.

“Now what we’re doing is iterating and adding features. We’re exploring what it would look like from the manager’s side.”

He goes on to explain that SoapBox has proven its mandate, the next step is to allow managers to more efficiently spot problems in the workplace. When employees recognize a workplace issue, said McEachran, isn’t the right time to fix it. Managers will soon be able to use the system to spot trends and upcoming conflicts as well.

Furthermore, McEachran wants to improve the quality of the ideas submitted.

“We’re really working on building strong best-practices into the product. We’re building in a couple of features that allow employees to submit ideas that are significantly more relevant.”

To consolidate all of this, the company is working on developing an app for employees and managers to easily communicate on the platform.

His goal, he says, is to harness the energy of a younger workforce and directing it towards pushing entire companies forward, by allowing all companies to compete in the modern-day marketplace.  

“We’re trying to build a product that allows all companies to act like the most successful company of the 21st century.”  

Source: http://www.marketwired.com/press-release/-2117501.htm
 

City planning for the next disruptive technology: self-driving cars

Stephen Buckley, the General Manager of Transportation Services at the City of Toronto, is no stranger to traffic. Knowing what kind of state the city’s streets are in, he sighs.

“We are the owners, operators and maintainers of the right of way,” he begins.

Coming from the City of Philadelphia, Buckley has transformed the streets of multiple regions over the course of his career in City planning. Since coming to Toronto, he’s seen his role evolve from making the streets safe for cyclists to making the streets operational for driverless vehicles.

On April 19th and 20th, the Conference Board of Canada hosted the “Autonomous Vehicles: Planning the Next Disruptive Technology” conference, where Buckley acted as one of the main speakers.

Along with Barrie Kirk, the executive Director of CAVCOE (the Canadian Automated Vehicle Centre of Excellence), Buckley went on to introduce several scenarios for the implementation of self-driving cars.

However, some distinct differences in the public sector vs. the private sector’s ideas for implementation were presented as the conference unfolded.

According to Antoine Belaieff, the director of regional planning at Metrolinx, it’s imperative that the public sector act on self-driving cars now to ensure that they don’t lost control of something so potentially disruptive.

“[Autonomous vehicles] are neither good nor bad. There’s a lot we can do now, so let’s not wait.
Let’s work together and make sure we’re all at the table.”

However, according to Dr. Julia Markovich, the Senior Research Associate at the Conference board of Canada adds that in addition to public policy, the private sector will also be looking to act on the emergence of self-driving cars.

“There will be a lot of opportunities out there for vehicle companies to get into this market,” she said.

In addition, Kirk stated that in order for driverless vehicles to reach their full potential, they need to be left to develop on their own, without public influence.

“The market is going to determine that,” he said. “Let’s keep the regulations out of this.” He goes on to say that with the full penetration of autonomous vehicles, cities can achieve an 80 per cent reduction in accidents.

However, in Canada, Ontario seems to be leading the initiative behind getting the public ready for self-driving cars. A pilot program was launched in January of this year by the Ministry of Transportation, allowing companies to apply to test autonomous vehicles on Ontario roads.

Furthermore, the City of Toronto has gone on to prepare a divisional working group to mitigate the implementation and the impact of self-driving cars and the possible changes in ownership that may come with it.

Despite the different opinions presented at the conference, every speaker agreed that a lack of preparedness and understanding of this technology is almost ensuring that the impacts are negative rather than positive.

Kirk concludes by saying, “I look back at the 20th century, at how vehicles changed the lives of individuals. In this century, autonomous vehicles will have an impact of equal magnitude on everything we do.”

Source: http://www.conferenceboard.ca/conf/16-0133/default.aspx
 

Toronto tech community gets its own storytelling night

To an average person, one programming language looks exactly the same as the next. However, David Wolever and Phillip Mendonça-Vieira know better.

Working as the founder and software engineer for Appcanary, Mendonça-Vieira spends his days using one programming language, Ruby to track vulnerabilities in open source code. As the chief technology officer with Akindi, Wolever designs automated assessment systems for teachers using another programming language, Python. Wolever is also the director of PyCon Canada.

As friends, they’d often get together, but they realized they’d never see each other at Ruby-only or Python-only events, and that seemed a little exclusive. One night over a beer, they decided that Toronto’s tech community needed to come together outside their respective ecosystems.

“In late 2013, my friend and I met for beer and thought we should throw an event that brings people together, where you can show up and not fit into one of these boxes,” said Mendonça-Vieira.

On that first night, Mendonça-Vieira says they told all their friends to show up at 8 p.m. sharp, but that no one knew why or who was going to be there.

Hence, the Toronto Tech Worker’s Storytelling Night was born. They’ve grown exponentially since then and now host a storytelling night every three months.

“We think tech people have a responsibility to think about how the systems they design impact others,” says Mendonça-Vieira.

The first storytelling night took place in 2014 at the end of February and since the beginning, Mendonça-Vieira and Wolever have laid out a few ground rules. The first? You’re not allowed to rep your startup.

However, attendees are also asked to keep in mind that the event is intended to be inclusive. There’s a strict ban on racist, transphobic, homophobic, racist, transphobic, ableist, sexist, or “otherwise exclusionary behavior.”

You’ll find it stated right on their website. “Don’t be a jerk.”
Mendonça-Vieira goes on to say that storytelling isn’t exactly part of Toronto’s tech culture, and that this needs to change.

“If you’re from a more typical tech background, this is probably the first storytelling night you’ve been invited to.”

The pair’s last event was hosted this past Thursday at Dundas Video. Mendonça-Vieira says they received over 80 RSVPs this tims, which is more than they’ve been averaging.
So far, Wolever and Mendonça-Vieira have managed to host seven events, each one with a different theme. Stories are pre-screened to ensure that they’re neither inappropriate or ads, but otherwise, participants have free reign to share whatever tale they wish.

Each speaker gets approximately ten minutes, though there’s no set time limit, and speakers have come from all over the tech space to attend. Mendonça-Vieira adds that his guests aren’t the only ones who’ve gained something from these events.

He says that sometimes he’ll find himself thinking, “I know that person, but I did not know they had that experience.”

At the end of the day, he and Wolever want to open up Toronto tech workers to each other to have a few drinks, a few laughs, share the experiences that make working in Toronto’s technology space so unique.

Source: http://xvzf.io/
 

Toronto startup Flixel partners with Facebook

When a Canadian startup joins forces with Facebook, you know they’re onto something. Toronto-based company Flixel has recently been selected as one of six beta testers to launch Facebook’s new platform, the Profile Expression Kit.

Profile Expression Kit was one of a number of new features revealed by the tech giant during their F8 Developer’s Conference Last week. The Profile Expression Kit is one of several new additions to the Facebook app that allows users to upload a video profile picture without leaving the app, rather than just a static image.

Flixel is a Toronto-based company, founded by Philippe LeBlanc in 2011 after he found himself mesmerized by the world’s first cinemagraph; a static image with one moving component. Since then, LeBlanc has built a company that’s worked with brands such as Apple and Nike to enhance their marketing strategy.

Since their launch, the company has gone on to become a recognized innovator in the marketing space. More so, the team at Flixel believes that cinemagraphs are on their way to becoming a recognized medium. Facebook’s support, says LeBlanc, is just another step in the right direction.
“Profile images are the second most viewed part of Facebook, next to the news feed. They really do see video as the best way to communicate,” said LeBlanc.

He goes on to say that cinemagraphs are the perfect cross between an image and a video, making them perfect for Facebook’s Profile Expression Kit.

However, this is not Flixel’s first brush with the social media maven. In November of 2015, Facebook announced that, for the first time, it would announce video profile pictures. Realizing that this feature could work with cinemagraphs, the team at Flixel didn’t hesitate.

“We did a blog post showing how you could use our tools and upload it to Facebook, and we thought, it would be great if the product team at Menlo Park knew about this,” said LeBlanc.
After months of creating ads that specifically targeted Facebook, Flixel got their attention.

“They reached out to us and said they were working with a select group of beta partners,” continued LeBlanc.

Though Facebook launched the Profile Expression Kit last week with six beta testers, they are accepting applications for new platforms to integrate with the program. LeBlanc says he’s glad to have gotten in first though.

Though Flixel has had to make a few alterations inside their app to make this possible, the biggest change they’ve made is allowing users to create a cinemagraph using their platform, without leaving the Profile Expression Kit.

In LeBlanc’s opinion, it’s just a matter of time before the world realizes how valuable cinemagraph’s can be.

“We see cinemagraphs as the ideal end use for Facebook and Instagram.”
To make the announcement even more satisfying, LeBlanc says that the early adopters of cinemagraphs as a new medium are over the moon.

“They’re super excited because as an early adopter, they believed in the medium. A lot of these creators are now getting hired by brands to do cinemagraphs for them.”

Flixel started its life trying to be a social network, and eventually turned to professionals looking to develop the medium to help the startup grow. It only seems fitting that the next step in Flixel’s journey is to pick up where they left off.

LeBlanc says he’s looking forward to what the future holds for cinemagraphs, and now it’s clear that Flixel will lead the way.

“It fits the use case and it fits our story.”

Source: Philippe LeBlanc
 

Who is Hiring? Just Eat, OCAD, Architech, Toronto Public Library

Just Eat

Toronto’s fastest growing food-delivery service is hiring a Business Intelligence Lead in Toronto. The successful candidate will have extensive analytics experience and will understand how data improves decision making. This role reports to the International Head of Business. Some responsibilities of the role involve providing key insights that influence the company’s different functions - operations, sales, marketing, finance and product development. Qualified candidates can apply through this link.

Toronto Public Library

Are you an entrepreneur looking to hone your skills by coaching Toronto’s small business owners? The Toronto public library is looking for a successful business owner to fill a nine-week residency to review submitted business ideas and critique them one-on-one with applicants. The Entrepreneur in Residence requires a commitment to mentoring Toronto’s small business community and a minimum of five years of successful business experience. Interested applicants can apply through this link.

City of Toronto

If you have a passion for building better cities, the City of Toronto wants to hear from you. The City is on the hunt for a Director of the Civic Building Portfolio. The successful candidate should have a post secondary education in management, and Project Management Institute Certificate and knowledge of the municipal framework would be an asset. Some responsibilities of the role include developing, designing and implementing programs and serving as the Facilities Management’s senior team member. The successful individual will be responsible for managing multiple teams with creativity and strong direction. Interested applicants can apply here

OCAD University

If you’re a creative soul with an eye for wall art, OCAD University might just be where you belong. No, silly. Not as a student. The university is looking for an Executive and Artistic Director of its Galleries System. The successful candidate should hold an advanced degree in an exhibitions related field. They will also have ten years of experience in management at a museum, public gallery or other art institution. Some responsibilities of the role include ensuring artistic direction, leadership and longterm sustainability of the galleries system. Interested applicants can apply here.

Architech

Entrepreneurial design and innovation firm Architech are looking to fill the role of Creative Director. This role calls for an individual with a formal education in design, experience and thought leadership and mentoring others and a recognized brand in the design community. Some responsibilities of the role include executing a design governance program and presiding over all design processes. Interested applicants can apply here

 

UberPITCH comes to Toronto

Depending on a day, Uber can be counted on to bring food, kittens, or roses to your doorstep. On April 7th, Uber is taking Canada’s entrepreneurs and some of the most famous investors on a ride with UberPITCH, a one-day experiment that grants hopeful entrepreneurs those highly coveted 15 minutes of pitching time

UberPITCH will be available to riders in seven cities across Canada including Toronto, Kitchener-Waterloo, Montreal (English and French), Calgary and Vancouver, on April 7th between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.

In order to participate, riders simply have to open their profile in the app and choose Promotions. Once selected, choose the Pitch option on April 7th between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. If connected, a car will arrive at their location with an investor. Each rider will have fifteen minutes with the investor to pitch their business idea or startup. Rides will be free and will end after fifteen minutes at the rider’s pickup location.

According to Michael Hyatt, Executive Chairman with Bluecat and a Dragon on the CBC miniseries, Next Gen Den, this kind of innovation is exactly what the Canadian tech sector needs.

“For our country to get better, we have to push entrepreneurship. We have to encourage it. I’m part of it because I care,” said Hyatt.

In addition to Hyatt, several other investors are participating in Toronto’s edition of UberPITCH, including Tim Jackson, EVP Corporate and Community Development at MaRSDD; Startup Canada founder Victoria Lennox; Joe Fresh founder and Dragon on CBC’s Dragon’s Den Joe Mimran; and SnapSaves co-founder and Dragon on CBC’s Dragon’s Den Michelle Romanow.

Hyatt explains that Canada should want more people to start business in part, to create job opportunities in unexplored sectors.

“We need more people to start businesses in Canada. We should be doing everything possible to push entrepreneurship - this is where real job and wage growth comes from,” said Hyatt.

He argues that if Canada doesn’t nurture its entrepreneurial spirit, companies like the ones that build the economy will be in short supply in the years to come.  

“It wasn't long ago that Uber was a small startup,” he said. “Think about how many jobs they've created. In fact, an entire new economy of sorts. I speak to many happy drivers that have a better life because of it.”

Canada takes second place among G7 countries for entrepreneurial activity, according to Centre for Innovation Studies in Calgary, which released its Global Entrepreneurship Monitor report on the state of entrepreneurship in Canada last year.

The report states that approximately 13 per cent of Canadians are entrepreneurial, but that Canada lags behind in financing new idea.

Hyatt’s not only looking forward to hearing some fresh ideas, but says he’s open to investing in some new ventures.  

“UberPITCH is a really fun way to get people thinking about starting something. I'm excited to listen to a bunch of pitches on the 7th- hopefully I can offer some good feedback and maybe even invest.”
 

Who is Hiring? Facebook Canada, Idea Couture, MaRSDD and SOCAN

Who’s Hiring in Toronto this week? Facebook Canada, Idea Couture, MaRSDD and SOCAN! Take a look the the roles below, and let us know if you see something you like! Good luck.

Facebook Canada

Facebook Canada is looking to hire a Creative Strategist in Toronto. The company is looking for someone with eight years of experience in brand marketing and advertising and a strong passion for people. Day-to-day responsibilities include inspiring clients with Facebook’s brand vision, driving branding strategy by uncovering business needs, and working with Product and Engineering to refine ideas for maximum execution on the platform. Interested applicants should apply through this link: 

SOCAN (Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada)

For the music junkie, SOCAN is looking to fill a Digital Business Development Manager role in their Toronto office. The company is looking for an individual ready to take a business and technology approach to maintaining the distribution and ownership rights of the music industry. Some day-to-day tasks include the definition and planning of products that will strengthen the digital music community.

MaRS Discovery District

One of Toronto’s most well-known innovation hubs, the MaRs Discovery District is currently on the hunt for a smart, humble, dynamic Managing Director of ICT (Information and Communications Technology) and Venture Services. This role involves managing the day-to-day operation of the ICT practice. They will lead and facilitate investor relationships and international partnerships and will manage the performance of the ICT practice while promoting the MaRs brand. Interested applicants can apply through this link.

Idea Couture

Idea Couture, the strategy innovation and experience and design firm is hiring an Innovation strategist for its Toronto office. The requirements of the role include 4 years of related experience in strategy consulting and a working knowledge of user-centred design. The responsibilities include leading innovation engagements across a range of industries and building innovation strategies to sell through concepts and solutions. 
 

MaRSDD Steps in to Help Regulate Sharing Economy

The sharing economy has become intertwined with Torontonians’ everyday life. With the growing popularity of services such as Uber and Airbnb, public policy makers have been forced to consider the role of technology in shaping our cities and struggled to come up with proactive policy.

The MaRS Discovery District shed much-needed light and brought deeper understanding into the raging sharing economy debate, and released its Redesigning Regulation for the Sharing Economy Public Report put together by Joeri van den Steenhoven, director of the MaRS Solutions Lab and the project team Idil Burale, Vanessa Toye and Claire Buré. The report summarizes findings and methodology and outlines the framework to welcome new business models, nurture the existing operators, and shape our city’s future in the way that would work best for all involved.

The report comes out at a time when tensions that arose between taxi drivers and Uber manifested themselves in bitter court battles and large street protests, effectively locking down Toronto’s downtown core, while government seems to be playing endless catch-up, struggling to respond to these new challenges.

“Technology is always bound to move faster than regulatory structures can change,” said Black, the general manager of Uber Canada. "This process allows governments to open their minds to innovation and allow consumers the benefits that come from innovation.” According to Black, playing catch-up with technology can’t be helped. “We’re seeing great commitment on behalf of governments to understand. We’re getting very close in Canada to our first set of regulations in regards to ride sharing.”

Airbnb also faced conflicts similar to that of Uber when the travel platform was introduced and even received a €30,000 fine for violating local tourism laws in Barcelona.

The Sharing Economy Public Design project, a partnership between MaRS Solutions Lab, the Province of Ontario and the City of Toronto, focused on approaching regulation and policy from the perspective of users. Hundreds of interviews were conducted to thoroughly map out the user experience and come up with possible solutions, tapping into the experience of taxi drivers, UberX drivers, Airbnb hosts, hotel managers and stakeholders impacted by the regulations.

Since disruptive technologies have begun to infiltrate existing economies, there has been active debate about how technology will reshape our cities. Breather, a smartphone service that allows users to reserve meeting spaces with as little as 15 minutes notice is one of several companies currently operating in Toronto tapping into the sharing economy trend. Julian Smith, co-founder and CEO of Breather has always been an astute observer of technological trends and saw the sharing economy pattern coming from a mile away.

“We had a very strong sense of what trends were going to happen. I had a sense that Breather would be something people would use, but no one believed us,” said Smith.

Breather is currently operating in New York, Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Ottawa, Montreal and Toronto.

According to Joeri van den Steenhoven, the suggestions represents a newfound partnership between technology and the tech space.

“The economy is in an exciting and important new phenomenon which is not only disrupting markets but also forcing governments to rethink regulation.”

As the Director of the MaRS Solutions Lab, he hopes the suggestions outlined in “Shifting Perspectives” will be heeded, but there are no guarantees. However, next week the City of Toronto will pilot legislation next week that better regulates ride-sharing.

Steenhoven concludes that any level of government involved in regulating the sharing economy “need to think about this regulation in terms of who is actually subject to these changes.”
 

D[congestant] Hackathon, a new initiative by Toronto's South Core Innovation Hub takes on traffic

Feeling congested? You might be inadvertently reacting to Toronto’s permanent state of gridlock. Concerned with the traffic issues and economic impact on the downtown core, the South Core Innovation Hub will be hosting their first ever hackathon to tackle the beast. The event, aptly named D[congestant] Hackathon will be held on April 1st to 3rd, 2016, at at the new Cisco Innovation Centre. Teams will take on the ambitious challenge to solve Toronto’s gridlock problem, in particular the issues that impact businesses in the downtown core, in just 48 hours. Traffic congestion is responsible for countless productive hours lost in every day, and so the hackathon aims to rally nearly 200 minds and attack the problem head-on. 
 
The South Core Innovation Hub is made up of organizations that occupy the area and are directly impacted by the congestion issues, including Uber and PwC. The group gets together every month to discuss areas of improvement for their hub at the Maple Leaf Square area. In the past, the group has conducted tours and have hosted knowledge sharing sessions - but this is their first ever hackathon. 

“PwC recognized that many of their employees were spending a lot of time in traffic getting to and from the area,” Oz Nazilli, lead organizer of the hackathon told YongeStreet. says as he reflects on how the focus of traffic congestion for the hackathon came to be. 

Technology companies like Twitter and Google are on board to support the event. However, this hackathon is not just for technologists; this kind of challenge requires a diverse crowd at the table.

With the help of the community, South Core Innovation Hub hopes to uncover realistic solutions to reduce time spent in traffic with material impact that would be feasible to implement. Prizes to the winning teams include cash rewards, a chance to work with Cisco to further develop the idea, a handful of community memberships to Centre for Social Innovation, and arguably the most exciting prize of all – an opportunity to pilot the winning idea with the help from PwC and the Mayor’s office. Judging panel will include Jim Orlando, OMERS Ventures managing director; Stephen Buckley, head of City of Toronto Transportation and Urban Planning, who has been very vocal on the issue of congestion and has been involved with similar hackathons like TrafficJam in the past; and Dr. Raktim Mitra of Ryerson University, an urban planner with expertise and interests in land use-transportation planning and healthy communities planning.

Who is Hiring? Toronto Board of Trade, Onboardly, Heart and Stroke Foundation and more

Quickplay is hiring a Data Architect 
QuickPlay Media Inc. is the premier provider of solutions to manage the business of mobile video. They are looking for a Data Architect to join and support their rapidly growing organization. Key responsibilities include mitigating risk in data modelling; defining vision and standards for data management and being the liaison between customers and implementation teams. 

Ontario Institute for Cancer Research seeking a Research Associate 
The Ontario Institute for Cancer Research (OICR) is seeking a Research Associate with expertise in sequencing technologies and methods for the new Translational Genomics Laboratory; a partnership between Princess Margaret Cancer Centre and OICR.  As part of a growing team, the incumbent will join a collaborative work environment focused on clinically related research initiatives using genomics technologies.

Toronto Board of Trade is looking for an Executive Director 
Toronto Region Board of Trade is the chamber of commerce for Canada’s largest urban region. TBOT connects 12,000 Members and more than 250,000 business professionals and influencers throughout the Toronto region. The Executive Director will be responsible for the successful relaunch and development of the World Trade Center, Toronto franchise. They will develop and execute business plans to raise the Center’s profile, activate the business community in international trade and become a sought after asset by Toronto municipal, regional and provincial economic development efforts.

Onboardly is hiring a Digital Media Specialist
Onboardly is a demand marketing agency that helps small and medium companies fast-track visibility, brand awareness and lead generation. They are seeking a qualified, fun, and enthusiastic Digital Media Specialist to join their team. Responsibilities include leading the development of social media strategies, influencer relations and client campaigns. While the head office is located in Moncton New Brunswick, Onboardly is open to more remote workers as long as the ability to work remotely has been clearly demonstrated.

Heart and Stroke Foundation is seeking a Philanthropy Advisor
The Heart and Stroke Foundation has invested more than $1.39 billion in heart and stroke research, which makes them the largest contributor in Canada after the federal government. They are seeking a Philanthropy Advisor to work in the the development department directly with the Chief Development Officer, and manage key Foundation accounts. This is an exciting opportunity to work with the VP or Director of Philanthropy in each province to manage major gifts activities across Canada.

Who is Hiring? Sago Sago, Brainstation, YMCA, FinanceIt, and MaRSDD.

Who is hiring in Toronto, right now? Each week we find and highlight some of the most awesome jobs out there. Check out the roundup for this week, featuring Sago Sago, Brainstation, YMCA, FinanceIt, and MaRSDD.

Sago Sago is seeking a Marketing Coordinator
Sago Sago creates educational applications for preschoolers. They are looking for a zealous Marketing Coordinator to support the Marketing department in its primary and administrative duties. Key responsibilities include smoothing out operations of the department to help reach its goals, as well as contribute to the long-term growth of the company.

Brainstation is hiring a General Manager
Brainstation is a progressive education institution that aims to power the next generation of creators. They are looking for a General Manager that will embody and foster all aspects of the BrainStation culture and core values. Responsibilities of this role include overseeing all aspects of campus performance, developing a multi-channel business, owning big picture strategy and ensuring that BrainStation operating principles are followed.

YMCA is looking to hire a Youth Job Specialist
YMCA of Greater Toronto’s Employment and Community Programs provide a variety of employment and counselling programs to youth and adults throughout the GTA. The Youth Job Specialist provides and prepares youth for employment through the facilitation of workshops, counselling, referral to resources and consultation with employers to secure employment opportunities, as well as provide continuous follow up to ensure successful outcomes.  

FinanceIt is seeking a Director, Lender Development
Financeit builds tools to help companies to offer their customers financing options. They are looking for a hand’s-on, results-driven leader to take on the role of our new Director of Lender Development. Responsibilities include being the key point-person for helping Financeit establish new lending relationships with different sources of capital, manage existing lending programs to improve profitability and come up with new strategies to enhance overall corporate profitability.

MaRS is looking for an Associate of CleanTech and Physical Sciences
MaRS Discovery District is an urban innovation centres, cultivating high-impact ventures and equipping innovators to drive economic and social prosperity in Canada. They are seeking an Associate, Cleantech and Physical Sciences who will will be the primary point of contact for a high volume of early stage entrepreneurs/startups looking for information on how to engage with MaRS. The associate will be responsible for screening, onboarding and monitoring the progress of startups accessing MaRS resources and programming.
 

OCAD sLAB and Waterloo Region hosts DesignJam to tackle homelessness

In a joint effort to tackle homelessness, Communitech’s Accelerating Social Cause Entrepreneurs (ASCEnt) and St. Paul’s GreenHouse partnered with and the Ontario College of Art and Design’s sLab (Strategic Innovation Lab) to bringing together 90 students and 30 community leaders for DesignJam.

This day-long event, held in February, shed light on the pressing local problem with designing solutions for food security and appropriate housing at the forefront. “We picked hunger and homelessness was because we wanted to focus on a local pressing problem and the Region of Waterloo (local government)had identified it as a strategic priority. There are over 30000 people in Waterloo Region that access emergency food programs” said Tania Del Matto, director of St. Paul’s GreenHouse. 


Solving problems by design 
 
Solving big problems requires a great attention to detail in the design of the design process itself. DesignJam brought together students from a wide variety of backgrounds, motivations, and post-secondary institutions including Ryerson University, Laurier University and Conestoga College. 

“The diversity was something that was important to us,” said Greg Van Alstyne, associate design professor at OCAD, director of sLab and co-founder of DesignJam.

An exercise centred around the sLab model of design from Patrick Robinson, student at OCAD University's Strategic Foresight and Innovation Masters program allowed students to see and understand the problem with different perspectives, biases, and frames to help them to consider multiple scenarios and potential solutions free from assumptions and preconceived notions. 
 
“Part of our role is to help people begin to access the mindset,” said Van Alstyne, who works on adaptable learning. “Strategic Innovation Lab (sLab) at OCAD University looks forward to bringing the DesignJam mindset, skill set and toolset to communities and situations where wicked problems and unprecedented social and cultural innovation opportunities co-exist.”   

Considering first-hand experiences with homelessness 
 
Those who would be directly impacted by solutions coming out of the DesignJam centred around homelessness were also involved in this day-long jam.
 
Colin Plant of Step Home Participant Advisory Group delivered one of the talks to participants on his first hand experience with “revolving door homelessness”. He shared the complexity of issues around housing, food and health and overcoming his own belief system of what was and wasn’t possible which provided the participants with some insights into the problems that needed solving along with inspiration to innovate and create without self imposed constraints.

“Students left with a greater sense of empathy and also built skills using design thinking tools. Municipal staff got exposure to thinking differently about the issue” Del Matto said. “We're in the process of evaluating the outcomes which will inform the next event. Some students are continuing to work on the ideas that were uncovered at the event." 

The award winning, TIFF digiPlaySpace returns just in time for March break

The award winning, TIFF digiPlaySpace is back! The exhibit at the TIFF Bell Lightbox brings together kids for an interactive adventure with interactive installations, multiplayer video games, virtual reality, and a DIY makerspace, with an impeccable March Break timing! Kids and kids-at-heart can enjoy this exhibit for seven weeks from March 5th to April 24th.

Collaborating with global artists, technologists and designers

Many of the installations at digiPlaySpace this year are made in Canada, like the fluffy interactive cloud-shaped light sculptures change colour and float over top the lobby of TIFF Bell Lightbox. That’s whimsical Marshmallow Clouds created by Vancouver’s Tangible Interaction, and there’s a lot more to see at this year’s exhibit.

“There are so many great interactive media arts projects from all over the world - but it’s important that we support the amazing work coming out of Canada” said Nicholas Pagee, Curator of the digiPlaySpace exhibit. The range and diversity of work showcased at digiPlaySpace has grown to represent more international talent as TIFF continues to be regarded as a powerful and significant content hub.

“In film industry, there are already strong communities that are part of the process and you know who to go to,” Pagee said. “With digiPlaySpace, we have used Twitter, other social networks and we built relationships with those [organizations] who are doing great work in interactive media arts.” Pagee said that partners like Ryerson University are playing a significant role in shaping the exhibit experience.

Kids learning through play, experimentation and satisfying curiosity   

TIFF Kids digiPlaySpace brings together game designers, interactive media artists and content creators, and filmmakers. “The landscape is changing when it comes to content,” Pagee explained, stressing that exhibits like digiPlaySpace are important for TIFF. “Media literacy (for kids) is important.”

And so, while kids brush up on their digital media literacy knowledge and skills through the mobile game apps they play, video content they consume and computer programming languages they learn - having a local organization like TIFF be a part of that journey makes Toronto proud.

Exhibits like the Augmented Reality Sandbox, where kids can dig, sculpt and sift through real sand to create a topographic environment augmented in real time by an elevation colour map, show that interactive media can extend beyond the screen.

“When we started off, we had more workshops and lesson-based learning experiences. But then we realized that kids just wanted to play,” Pagee said. “It’s important that we include many forms of interactive art.” Accessibility and diversity of installations and experiences have also been a key consideration. The Sensory Imaging installation engages children, including those with sensory processing challenges in an immersive experience that encourages sensory exploration by providing interactive feedback. Other notable installations worth checking out: Keylight, Elements, Flippaper, Line Wobbler, Happy Hockey and The BluVR. 

For kids (and adults) with an appetite for STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) behind the installation experiences showcased at the exhibit, TIFF provides a listing of local resources to further their curiosity. This list includes local educational resources and facilities like Kids Learning Code technology camp for kids, and makerspaces like Site 3 coLaboratory and STEAMLabs.

The digiPlaySpace exhibit runs until April 24th at the TIFF Bell Lightbox at 350 King Street West.
 

How Community Drives Innovation: Uber, Wattpad, JWT and 500px weigh in

Companies that put communities at the very core of their product and business, like 500px, Airbnb, Wattpad, Rover and Uber, came together for a panel discussion on technology and community’s role in driving innovation.

Power of Community: How Innovation is Driven from Community Sourcing event, hosted at 500px HQ in Toronto last week, was moderated by Daryna Kulya of Deloitte Innovation, who also runs Product Hunt Toronto, one of the biggest and most popular meetups in the city. The evening kicked off with an introduction of the panelists: Rebecca Brown, group chief creative and strategy officer, JWT; Bowie Cheung, general manager, UberEverything; Andy Yang, CEO of 500px; and Allen Lau, CEO and co-founder of Wattpad.

What exactly is community sourcing and how does it differ from other models?

“It’s about using technology to connect people and their communities,” said Bowie, who is managing UberEverything, the division at the online app taxi dispatch company, Uber that is focusing on expanding on the core product to serve other community needs. “Let’s take Hawker Bar, which isn’t located in an area with a lot of foot traffic. UberEats brings them 100 extra orders per day,” Bowie said. “It’s changing the way people think about business.”

Lau said the new technology means more flexibility: “You can now do things in discrete buckets of time. You can be more flexible and choose your own lifestyle,” said Lau. “Successful disruptors do not automate. They liberate.” In Wattpad’s case, the product liberated writers from jumping through endless hoops and help them figure out a way to work around heavily regulated systems, work from the bottom up, according to Lau. “It’s not easy to make the decision between what is at the best interest of the company versus what is at the best interest of the community. We’ve learned that our community comes first. They can move on to another platform within a matter of seconds."

Yang shared a story to emphasize the importance of “over-communicating” of when the 500px community became upset after a logo change. “We’ve learned that we cannot communicate to the community enough. Even though we feel we are saying enough. We aren’t. Be proactive and be transparent.” 500px has been user-obsessed in the best possible way, and that attitude has positioned the company for success.

Community sourcing practices apply across industries, and more disruption is underway.

“The heavily regulated industries, such as transportation, healthcare and education. These are good areas for investment. There are lots of opportunities here. And there is a lot of pressure for change,” said Lau. “The barriers for entry for the industries that we are in now were high once, too. Now, those barriers are gone.” Lau needed only to point out that the companies on the panel, including his own, who compete with large established companies like Getty Images, big publishing houses and taxi companies.“We are just scratching the surface.”


The opportunities to leverage technology to meet the changing needs of customers and their communities seem more endless than ever before.
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