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Church & Wellesley - Yorkville - Annex : Innovation + Job News

99 Church & Wellesley - Yorkville - Annex Articles | Page: | Show All

Who's Hiring in Toronto? MaRS, the YWCA, the municipal government and more

The most interesting of the job openings we've come across this week:

Toronto incubator MaRS is on the hunt for a communications associate for a six-month internship. The work would be both print and online, and applicants must be registered with the CareerEdge program.

Business for the Arts is a national organization that tries to build closer relationships between those two sectors. They are looking for a part-time graphic and web designer to handle design and layout work on their program and event materials. Also in this sector, East End Arts (a new organization in that part of town) is seeking a managing director.

If you're interested in sustainable city-building, the municipal government is hiring a coordinator for Smart Commute to help create and implement programs to highlight alternatives to traveling by car.

In other environmental positions, Greenpeace is hiring a finance director to join their senior management team.

The Ontario Nonprofit Network (as their name indicates) focuses on strengthening the non-profit sector here. They are looking for a policy specialist to spearhead talks with the provincial government about funding reform for the sector. It's a one year contract and the position is senior.

Finally, a few social service positions of note. The YWCA is hiring a community engagement worker to help provide support around mental health concerns. The Canadian Women's Foundation is on the lookout for a new marketing coordinator to oversee the logistics of their print and online campaigns. And the Canadian Cancer Society is looking to fill several posts, including a new coordinator of volunteer engagement.

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? Social Enterprise Toronto, TIFF, Small Change Fund and more

Some of the neatest jobs we've come across this week...

International conservation organization World Wildlife Fund is looking for a digital content strategist. Working as part of the marketing and communications team, the successful candidate will both develop strategy and write content for a variety of platforms.

Also in the environmental sector is the Small Change Fund, which helps communities working on sustainability issues. They are on the lookout for a new operations manager. And one last one in this area: the Canada Green Building Council needs a new education manager to oversee the creation, marketing, and delivery of the organization's educational programs.

Planned Parenthood Toronto is seeking a director of community health services to manage clinical functions, and participate in organization-wide strategic development. Applicants should have at least five years of clinical experience and have a demonstrated commitment to PPT's equity goals.

Social Enterprise Toronto is a network that aims to support the growth of the social enterprise sector in Toronto. They need a community researcher to collect and process data, and to help them plan a forthcoming conference. There's an age requirement on this one: you must be between 15 and 30 years old to apply.

If you are just starting out and love flim, the Toronto International Film Festival has a four-month communications internship opportunity for someone to work in their press office this summer. And if national history is more your thing, the Historica-Dominica Institute has a number of positions now open, ranging from web officers to subject editors for the Canadian Encyclopedia.

And here is one more community organization looking for a lot of summer help: The Stop, which is a food-oriented non-profit that does everything from run cooking classes to build community gardens. You can see the many seasonal positions they have available here.

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? 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. 

Frank Stronach talks to George Brown about importance of skilled labour

Frank Stronach paid a visit to George Brown College last month. Usually billionaires tend to visit places such as the University of Toronto or York, but Stronach chose George Brown to highlight the importance of the trades in our economy, an importance often overlooked in favour of more prestigious professions such as law and medicine.

"The college has a long and proud tradition of educating for skilled trades," says Nancy Sherman, the dean of the college’s Centre for Construction and Engineering Technologies. "We regularly have information sessions and we can fill a classroom of 50 to 100 with people interested in getting into a trade."

Sherman says for a program like heating and air conditioning, there are "a couple of hundred" people on the waiting list every January and September, with a current limit of 100 to 150.

This is just the tip of the trades and apprenticeships iceberg in Ontario though. She says there are about 120,000 apprenticeships in 160 trades across the province.

For Stronach’s talk, some of Sherman’s students made a solid aluminum block to present to him, in honour of his own first assignment as a tool and die apprentice just blocks from the college’s Casa Loma campus.

"He was very proud of his education as a tradesman," Sherman says of Stronach’s talk, for which he had an audience of about 250 mostly students, but also including other trades luminaries such as Tridel CEO Leo Delzotto. "He thought that everybody should work at some point with their hands."

Writer: Bert Archer
Source: Nancy Sherman

Who's Hiring in Toronto? The United Way, Ubisoft, Twitter, and more

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

Major charity umbrella organization United Way is looking for someone to tend to its relationships with member and funded agencies, and serve as its manager of community investment.

Video game developer Ubisoft is hiring for a number of positions, including an animation director, a lead gameplay programmer, and a lead 3D programmer. The international company unveiled the first game to emerge from their Toronto studio last summer.

In slightly more traditional entertainment media, Cineplex is hiring a motion designer to work on their pre-show content.

And among the very newest of media: Twitter is hiring an account manager to help with business development.

Solar company PURE Energies, which makes and installs rooftop photovoltaic panels, is on the hunt for a new project assistant. Alternately, if you like the idea of smarter construction but are a bit more of a creative type, ReNew Canada (an infrastructure magazine) needs an editor. Also in the category of better building: Habitat for Humanity, which is looking for a national manager for individual partnerships.

Finally, innovation incubate MaRS is hiring a facilitator for entrepreneurship education. It's a part-time position that involves providing guidance and support to emerging technology companies as they establish their businesses.

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. 

CSI launches crowdfunding platform for social entrepreneurs

For nine years, the Centre for Social Innovation has been exploring new ways of building communities of common interest--though shared workspaces, incubation, and developing supportive networks to help social entrepreneurs learn and flourish. The next step in CSI's community-building efforts: a new crowdfunding platform dedicated specifically to social entrepreneurs, called CSI Catalyst. (If you're not familiar with the term, "social entrepreneurship" just means using entrepreneurial approaches to develop organizations that bring about social change. Social enterprises in Toronto range from urban farming collectives to arts groups.)
Catalyst is not unlike other crowdfunding platforms you may be familiar with, such as Kickstarter. One difference, says CSI CEO Tonya Surman, is that this is a homegrown system: "It's actually a Canadian one, takes Canadian dollars, runs Canadian transactions." More broadly, organizations need to be CSI members either by joining their online network or by being tenants in one of their physical spaces, which, says Surman, is key. CSI's theory is that by starting with organizations who are already in their network, and thus are able to access other kinds of support and acceleration services, projects are more likely to do well.

According to their research, only 40 per cent of projects on crowdfunding platforms in general are actually getting funded; improving on that metric on Catalyst is one of CSI's main goals. "There's a real question of quality control" with the bigger crowdfunding platforms, says Surman.

Because CSI maintains an online network in addition to its shared workspaces (there are three locations in Toronto and one in New York), Catalyst will eventually be available to organizations across North America. Requiring membership isn't meant to be a major hurdle, in other words, so much as a tool for ensuring that participating projects are ones that are in a good position to do well.

Writer: Hamutal Dotan
Source: Tonya Surman, CEO, Centre for Social Innovation

FedDev Ontario investing $18 million in 24 GTA projects

Recently the federal government announced that it will be supporting two dozen innovation projects in and around Toronto, via the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario.

"This investment will boost business innovation, skills and product development in the Toronto area," said Minister of State for Science and Technology Gary Goodyear when announcing the investment, "creating new full-time jobs and greater economic diversity within the region."

FedDev's contribution to the projects comes via a variety of the agency's funds, and will total approximately $18 million, roughly $13 million of the total investment is in the form of repayable contributions. The recipient projects have leveraged this government money to generate up to $55 million more from private sector investors. According to FedDev estimates, the projects are expected to lead to the creation of more than 800 local jobs.

A sampling of investment recipients: 

Writer: Hamutal Dotan
Source: Office of Gary Goodyear, Minister of State for Science and Technology

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

Provincial government announces $300m venture capital fund

Ontario's new premier Kathleen Wynne gave residents a sense of her vision for the province via the Speech from the Throne, delivered last week at Queen's Park by Lieutenant Governor David Onley. As is typical for such speeches, it mostly focused on the broad strokes and big picture, but a few specific policies were included. Among them: an announcement that Ontario will be getting a new, $300 million venture capital fund.

The fund will aggregate money from several sources, starting with $50 million that will be coming from the province. The new Liberal minority government, Wynne wrote in her speech, is eager to "work with financial institutions and government agencies to ensure that small- and medium-sized enterprises have access to the capital they need to expand." The federal government will contribute an as-yet unspecified amount of money via its Venture Capital Action Plan (which has a total of $400 million available for dispersement nationally), and the remaining funds will come from private sector partners.

The new fund will be based on an earlier one, the Ontario Venture Capital Fund (OVCF), which dates back to the 2006 provincial budget. It is a "fund of funds" model--that is, a fund that is itself composed of several different venture capital funds. Full details are still being worked out, but the government anticipates that this venture capital fund will in turn attract more than $4 billion in investment.

Writer: Hamutal Dotan
Source: Ministry of Research and Innovation

Ontario Brain Institute secures five years of stable funding

"One in three people in their lifetime will develop a brain disorder," says Jordan Antflick, outreach lead for the Ontario Brain Institute. And right now, we don't do nearly a good enough job of helping many of them.

The Liberal government included a funding announcement for the OBI in the Speech from the Throne that was delivered last week, a sign of how important it is that we make progress on this front.

Created in 2010, the OBI is a non-profit, government funded project whose mission is to bring researchers, government, and the private sector together to help make Ontario a centre for commercialization and a leader in patient care when it comes to treating brain disorders. It began with a three-year funding commitment. After spending some time getting organized and off the ground, OBI pursued work in three areas: neurodevelopment, epilepsy, and cerebral palsy.

This new announcement, says Antflick, covers five years of funding, and will allow OBI to "move out of start-up mode." OBI will continue its work in those initial three research areas, and also be expanding to cover two new ones. Details of the precise funding amount or the brain disorders involved aren't public yet, but Antflick told us those two new areas will have to do with treating the elderly. The first tranche of funding was for $5 million a year.

Writer: Hamutal Dotan
Source: Jordan Antflick, Outreach Lead, Ontario Brain Institute

Toronto robotics company secures $778,800 in government support

The federal government is investing nearly $800,000 in Toronto-based Engineering Services Inc. to help it develop "a next-generation mobile robotics platform." The robotics and automation company develops technologies that can be applied in a variety of sectors, ranging from the medical to the military.

The robotics platform's main task is to develop ways to use automation to perform certain tasks in high risk environments, such as ones where the military or law enforcement are operating. The more robots can be used in such environments to perform key functions such as exploration and information-gathering, the safer those environments, and the people who work in them, may become. The repayable investment comes via the governments Strategic Aerospace and Defence Initiative (SADI), which supports research projects in defence, security, and aerospace.

"Canada is a world leader in robotics, and through targeted and repayable investments such as this one, we are helping cement that reputation," said industry minister Christian Paradis, upon announcing the investment. "Advanced economies have to become leaders in the high-value-added stages of production." The research and development will be done with help from University of Toronto faculty and students.

ESI was founded in 1982 by Dr. Andrew Goldenberg who joined the University of Toronto as a professor of mechanical and industrial engineering that same year. A researcher with a long history of work in robotics, Goldenberg spent the years just prior to that working on the development of the first Shuttle Remote Manipulator System (SRMS), which most of us know more colloquially as the Canadarm--the jointed, robotic, arm-like mechanism that was used for decades to move shuttle payloads during missions in space.

Writer: Hamutal Dotan
Source: Office of Christian Paradis

E-comm advisory service launches for startups

Entrepreneurs are, by definition, people with new ideas they want to bring forward in the marketplace. Knowing what you want to create and sell, however, doesn't necessarily mean you know how to go about selling it.

Enter a new partnership between MaRS Discovery District’s information technology, communications and entertainment practice (ICE) and e-commerce agency Demac Media. Last month, they launched a new advisory service to help startups handle e-commerce effectively.

The goal, says ICE's go-to-market lead Nathan Monk, is "to close the gap between what we're seeing developed and what is coming to market." That is, right now e-commerce's capacities often outstrip the uses to which new companies put it. "A lot of the time," he explains, no matter how great their products or ideas are, startups "haven't actually done the customer development. They need the methodology to reduce the risk of failure."

"Canadians will almost double their mobile spent…by the end of this year," Monk says, but many startups aren't well positioned to offer their customers an optimal e-commerce experience.

The new advisory services (many of which are exclusive to MaRS clients) include office hours for clients to discuss potential strategies with Demac Media experts, workshops for tackling topics such as e-commerce interfaces, and public discussions on broader subjects like email and seasonal marketing. A meet-up group is now online for those interested in the latter.

Writer: Hamutal Dotan
Source: Nathan Monk, Go-to-Market Lead, ICE practice, MaRS Discovery District

Province to issue innovation vouchers to help accelerate new products and ideas

The Ontario government created a non-partisan advisory body called the Jobs and Prosperity Council in early 2012 to help develop strategies for long-term productivity and growth. In December, that 14-member council issued its report [PDF], which included a series of recommendations for supporting and enhancing Ontario's productivity. Of particular interest was recommendation number six: that the government "accelerate the commercialization of new products, ideas and services in Ontario that can compete globally."

To that end, and following a specific action proposed by the council, Ontario recently announed that it will be testing out a Commercialization and Innovation Voucher system. The voucher will, according to a press statement issued by Minister of Economic Development and Innovation Brad Duguid, "provide eligible small and medium-sized enterprises with resources to work with research institutions to address challenges and improve their productivity, performance and competitiveness."

Though details aren't yet available, the pilot project is meant to facilitate collaboration between academics and smaller companies through the creation of a marketplace of sorts, a mechanism by which those smaller companies can "access [the] innovation, productivity and commercialization services" that a growing number of research institutions are developing.

The minister's office was unable to provide us with information about the program's specifics, but existing voucher programs in Nova Scotia and Alberta may provide some insight into what the Ontario government has in mind. In those provinces, vouchers range in value from $15,000 to $50,000 each, and businesses with fewer than 51 employees in Alberta, or 100 in Nova Scotia, are eligible to apply.

Writer: Hamutal Dotan
Source: Office of Brad Duguid, Minister of Economic Development and Innovation

Startup aims to help battery-drained Torontonians with free charging stations

It's a distinctly modern annoyance when cellphones run out of juice. Today we rely so heavily on our mobiles that a dead battery can scupper meetings, disrupt dinner plans, and overturn after-school carpool arrangements.

Toronto startup DanTeb Enterprises aims to help the battery-drained by installing mobile charging stations at select locations across Toronto in the coming months.

The idea came about, co-founder Laura Miller explains, in the most ordinary of ways. She was on the phone with her father, who was telling her a story about a friend of his who had come across a mobile charging station while travelling in Mexico -- and as he was telling her that story, her own phone ran out of power.

DanTeb officially launched with a pilot this past summer with stations at the CNE. Things ran smooth enough between visitors to the Ex and convention attendees, Miller says, that they've quickly moved on to their next phase: installing five or six stations in the PATH underground mall downtown, and a total of 20-25 stations across Toronto this quarter.

The stations use MicroPulse charging technology, which allows for fast charging. The point isn't to charge a phone back to full battery, explains Miller, but to give it enough power in a short time to allow users to make a few calls and survive on standby until they're back at home or work. Users can access the phone while it charges or check out the station's touchscreen, which will come with some apps and advertisements. Those ads will provide revenue for the startup.

DanTeb is currently supported by the Ryerson Digital Media Zone and the university's new urban energy business incubator, i-CUE. Miller says the two-person operation will hopefully ramp up to about a dozen staff within the next six months. In addition to a strong sales team, she'll be looking to bring on engineers and technical experts. She hopes that soon the charging stations, which right now are imported from Spain, will soon be built locally.

Writer: Hamutal Dotan
Source: Laura Miller, Co-founder, DanTeb Enterprises

Piloting a house that keeps itself warm

Canadians pride themselves on being hardy—and especially on being able to withstand weather extremes. We compare notes on the depth of our snowfalls, then go out and play hockey when it's -20 degrees.

The homes we live in aren't quite that immune to the cold though.

According to the National Research Council of Canada, up to 60 per cent of our residential energy use goes to heating our homes—a number that is often so high because much of the heat that's generated rapidly escapes. In an effort to retain more of that heat, and cut energy use, some Toronto researchers and architects are now piloting a nested thermal envelope home design: essentially creating a home within your home, to facilitate heat retention.

Ryerson professor Russell Richman is the co-principal investigator exploring the design. He's working with a colleague from the University of Toronto, Kim Pressnail, as well architecture firm ERA. The idea arose soon after Richman had a baby, he says, and his family had to go from a cooler house to one that was constantly heated to keep the baby comfortable. This got him wondering "Why can't I warm just one little zone?" So that's what Richman then proceeded to do, by installing a space heater. But it also got him thinking about how that effect could be recreated in a larger living space.

The nested design works by creating two zones within a home: a main, fully heated zone at the centre of your house where you do most of your living, and a perimeter buffer zone, which is kept at five degrees. The temperature difference between the zones reduces heat loss off the bat, and then a heat pump installed between the core and the perimeter pumps heat back into the central core of the house before it escapes entirely.

Richman and his colleagues are piloting their concept at a house owned by the University of Toronto, which will provide them with some information about the viability of the nested design as a retrofit for existing homes. That's the harder case. Future investigations will look at how the zone model can be incorporated into new construction from the outset.

Writer: Hamutal Dotan
Source: Russell Richman, Professor of Architectural Science, Ryerson University
99 Church & Wellesley - Yorkville - Annex Articles | Page: | Show All
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