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Who's hiring in Toronto? War Child Canada, FreshBooks, OneEleven and more...

Some of the more interesting employment opportunities we've spotted this week include:

Toronto accounting startup Freshbooks is hiring across several positions. They're looking to add a director of business intelligence, a systems administrator, a director of development, a software development team lead, a senior software developer, a creative director and a senior UX designer to their team. The company raised a $30-million Series A round last summer and moved into a fancy new office located at 1655 Dupont St.

OneEleven is hiring a new community manager. According to its posting, the Richmond Street startup accelerator is looking for someone who “cares deeply” about Canada's tech community, is a self-starter and has an entrepreneurial mindset. As for responsibilities, some of the more interesting duties include conducting tours of the its office and putting together events. The deadline to apply is April 4.

War Child Canada is looking for marketing manager. The organization's ideal candidate is someone with three to five years of marketing experience. Additionally, being well-versed in the best practices specific to different social media platforms is important. Responsibilities are split between creating creative content and branding, managing marketing and advertising campaigns, and leading the organization's digital marketing and social media efforts. Applications must be submitted by March 20.

Finally, for all the masochists out there, the Ripley's Aquarium is hiring a birthday and events coordinator. Help the aquarium book birthday parties, weekly weekend parties, assist in training staff, and conducting site tours, all for a modest $13 an hour. The deadline to apply for March 22.

Do you know of a job opportunity with an innovative company or organization? Let us know!

Square Inc. acquires Toronto-based Kili Technology

A Toronto company is joining one of Silicon Valley's hottest startups.

On March 11, mobile-payment startup Square Inc. announced that it had acquired Kili Technology for an undisclosed amount. The North York-based company specializes in creating point-of-sale and payment-processing hardware.

“They have an experienced technology team who, like our sellers, are relentless innovators and never satisfied,” said Jesse Dorogusker, Square's hardware lead, in a press release issued by the company. “Together we’ll continue to lead the way in delivering simple and affordable hardware that gives our sellers a smarter and safer way to do business.”

The Kili team will remain in Toronto; the space they were working from will start to serve as Square's second Canadian office. Square opened its first Canadian office in Kitchener-Waterloo last year.

Square was co-founded by Jim McKelvey and Jack Dorsey in 2009. The latter is best known as the creator of Twitter.

Source: Square

Who's hiring in Toronto? The Drake Hotel, Top Drawer Creative and Automattic...

Some of the more interesting employment opportunities we've spotted this week include:

The Drake Hotel is hiring a public relations manager on a 12-month contract to help the hotel while its current PR manager is away on maternity leave. The person that takes on this role will be responsible for continuing and building upon the Drake's already in place PR initiatives. According to the job positing on its website, three years of publicity experience is required to be considered for the position, and those with public relations experience in the hospitality, food and beverage or nightlight industries will be preferred. The deadline to apply is March 20.  

Top Drawer Creative, a local ad agency that focuses on working with companies that have a social good aspect to their business, is seeking to fill multiple positions. The firm is hiring a content and community manager, an account executive, and a communications manager. The deadline to apply for the first two positions is this Friday; the deadline for the third position is April 5.   

Mobile developers that would like to ply their trade for a slightly different organization are in luck. The Ontario Institute for Cancer Research is looking for a mobile web developer to help create front-end webpages for the organization's researchers. Experience working with the iOS and Android SDKs are required (sorry, Windows Phone evangelists). Additionally, experience working with JavaScript libraries like Mantle and JQuery Mobile is also a must. There's no definitive deadline on this one; the OICR will keep the positing up until it fills the position.  

Lastly, Automattic, the company behind WordPress.com, is hiring across multiple positions. All told, they're looking to fill 14 positions. If the prospect of never having to wear another a pair of pants to work is appealing to you, then check out the company's job board; although Automattic was started in San Francisco, its more than 300 current employees all work from home, and are located in 36 different countries.   

Do you know of a job opportunity with an innovative company or organization? Let us know!

Ryerson Digital Media Zone and MasterCard launch Women in Entrepreneurship program

On March 8th, International Women's Day, the Ryerson Digital Media Zone (DMZ), in partnership with MasterCard's YES: Youth in Entrepreneurial Success initiative, started accepting applications to its new Women in Entrepreneurship program. The program will see six female-led startups admitted into the DMZ where they will be able to work on their company. 

Each startup will also receive $5,000 in cash, as well as $5,000 to go toward their stay at the DMZ. According to Valerie Fox, the Digital Media Zone's executive director, the six startups that enter the DMZ through the program will receive all of the services the accelerator has to offer, including the ability to take part in the events and workshops that are held there, as well as access to its network of mentors and investors. 

As for the criteria the DMZ will use to select the startups, Fox says its the same one the accelerator already has in place for other companies. “We’re looking for people that are highly innovative, passionate and that are going to push the envelope," she says. "But we’re also looking for people that are collaborative and that are going to give back to the community as much as they receive from it.” 

Additionally, according to the press release the DMZ sent out to announce the program, the accelerator is particularly interested in startups that specialize in the areas of electronic payments, e-commerce, loyalty points, cyber security or financial security.

The initiative is, of course, aimed at helping address tech longstanding gender issue. "We live in a diverse world. You need women, as well as men," says Fox. "Does it have to be 50/50? I don’t believe so, but I do believe that getting more women involved is important; giving women the opportunity to be entrepreneurial is beneficial to everyone." 

Startups that are interested in the program—and meet its requirements—can apply on the Digital Media Zone's website. The deadline to apply is April 6. 

Source: Digital Media Zone
Photo: Mark Blinch

Led by ChipCare, three Toronto startups secure significant investment

It was a good week for Toronto's startup ecosystem as three of the city's startups announced that they had secured significant outside investment. 

On Wednesday, Pressly, a company that's responsible for a unique content curation and marketing platform, sent out a press release that said it had completed a $2.1 million Series A round. Similarly on the same day, Vanhawks, which wowed the Kickstarter community with its futuristic, smartphone connected Valour bike last year, announced that it had secured a $1.6 million seed round. 

The biggest catch, however, was accomplished by ChipCare, a University of Toronto-based healthcare startup. The company announced last week that it had closed a $5 million Series A round. The company's upcoming product, a portable device that monitors the concentration of t-cells in a HIV patient for a fraction of the cost of traditional diagnostic methods, was so impressive to investors that the company was able to raise more money than it had intended to do so.    

According to James Fraser, ChipCare's CEO, the cash his company has just secured will go towards completing work on their initial HIV scanner and to take the scanner through verification and clinical trails. He says the company hopes to start shipping in the second half of 2016. He also adds that they have plans to build a scanner than can track and monitor other diseases such as malaria.   

"We’re a small UofT startup and, while we’re gaining momentum, we wouldn’t gotten here without the support of Grand Challenges Canada and the Ontario government through the Ontario Centres of Excellence," says Fraser. "Both the federal and provincial government, the University of Toronto and MaRS Innovation are working really hard to help build an ecosystem of innovation here. I think they deserve kudos" 

Source: MaRS
Photo: ChipCare

MaRS launches new fintech cluster

Toronto has long been the financial capital of Canada, and with the help of MaRS and the city's fintech startups it may soon become the country's financial technology capital as well.

Last Tuesday, MaRS announced the launch of a new fintech cluster as well as a series of strategic partnerships with major financial institutions like PayPal, UGO and Moneris Solutions. The initiative, which is being led by Adam Nanjee, the former vice president of business development in emerging payments at MasterCard Canada, aims to create a place where the country's fintech startups, financial institutions and venture capitalists can meet, collaborate and innovate on new technologies.

“Over the past year or so we’ve seen a significant increase in the number of entrepreneurs from coast to coast, but particularly in Toronto, building technologies that solve financial sector problems,” says Nanjee. “The purpose of this cluster is to be a bridge for those entrepreneurs, as well as for financial institutions and for the Canadian and international venture capital community.”

PayPal, which is one of the main partners in the cluster, will lend its support to the effort by bringing its 2015 BattleHack hackathon to MaRS in July, and by hosting a segment of its Commerce Factory meet ups in Toronto.

Although MaRS only launched the initiative last week, Nanjee expects the country's major financial institutions to take notice quickly. “I think we're going to see more momentum from traditional financial institutions,” says Nanjee. “We're going to start to see a real thirst for innovation and entrepreneurship from the Canadian banks and credit card companies, as well as from even more traditional financial institutions like insurance companies.”

Startups can register for the program at www.marsdd.com/fintech.

Source: MaRS
Photo courtesy of MaRS Discovery District.

Toronto startup creates impossible-to-lose wallet

This past September, Kickstarter celebrated its one year anniversary in Canada. In the year leading up to that date, Canadians pledged $24,140,424 to the more than 3,650 projects that found their way onto the platform. Among its first year big winners were campaigns like The Tar Sands Reporting Project and the Corner Gas movie, but few Canadian companies were as prolific on the platform as Toronto-based MIJLO.

Following the crowdfunding success of its Better Backpack and Everyday Watch, MIJLO returned to Kickstarter this past week with its most recent effort, Where's Wallet.

Where's Wallet is a wallet that, according to MIJLO founder Daniel Eckler, is impossible to lose. Using a combination of a sensor within the wallet and a downloadable mobile app, Where's Wallet will alert its owner if they're ever separated from one another.

It's also a simple accessory piece that's stylish without making a bold fashion statement, says Eckler.

Indeed, if there's something that ties together MIJLO's seemingly disparate group of offerings, it's an emphasis on simplicity and on creating a product that will last a lifetime. According to Eckler, it's a philosophy he was inspired to burrow from renowned Japanese retailer Muji—which, coincidently, recently opened its first location in Toronto.

“They take an approach that is simple and refined. There also have a philosophy behind their business that believes people should live simply,” he says. “I decided I wanted to found a company that had similar values.”

He goes on to add, “What ties all our products together is that each one can easily be the one product a person buy in a specific category and something that they'll be able to use and keep for a long time.”

As of the writing of this post, the Where's Wallet campaign has 29 days left to go and it has already raised $25,355 of its $30,000 goal. It seems MIJLO is doing something right. 

Source: MIJLO

Who's hiring in Toronto? Upverter, Toronto Atmospheric Fund, National Ballet of Canada and more...

Some of the more interesting employment opportunities we've spotted this week include:

Local startup Upverter is seeking an events and community manager. According to its posting on the Ladies Learning Code job board, the company is looking for a person that's passionate about entrepreneurship, has experience running events and marketing campaigns and has a knack for making people feel like they're part of a community. If that describes you, drop the company a line at jobs(at)upverter(dot com), telling them why you're a perfect fit.

The Toronto Atmospheric Fund is hiring a WordPress master. Those that turn their attention to the organization's posting on the Centre for Social Innovation's job board will find a single paragraph that asks, “Can you help set up a back-end system to manage a website using wordpress [sic], and develop a manual and training sessions for laypeople, so that they can manage their own site using wordpress [sic]?” If the answer to those two questions is yes, then contact Mary Pickering at (416) 392-1217 to inquire about the position.

The National Ballet of Canada is also looking for a digital native to help them with their web needs; they're searching for a web and digital media coordinator. The catch with this position is that the company's ideal candidate will not only be experienced with HTML, CSS and JavaScript, but will also have experience with multimedia editing tools like Final Cut Pro and Photoshop, as well as content marketing tools like Wordify and Kentico. Check out their posting for more details. The deadline to apply is March 4.

Finally, for those that find the prospect of staring at an email client all day thrilling, the Canadian Red Cross is hiring an email marketing coordinator. The person that takes on this role will be responsible for leading all of the organization's email marketing efforts. Duties include working with various departments within the Red Cross to ensure that their outbound copy is clean, concise and easy to read, as well as constantly monitoring and improving upon the organization's content marketing efforts. One to two years of experience in a related position is a must. The deadline to apply is March 17.

Do you know of a job opportunity with an innovative company or organization? Let us know!


Structural Genomics Consortium gets major cancer-preventing donation

One of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world decided to mark World Cancer Day, February 4, with a significant monetary contribution towards finding new ways to combat the deadly disease.

On Wednesday, Merck Canada announced that is donating $7.5-million to the Structural Genomics Consortium (SGC).

The SGC, which is based in the MaRS Discovery District, is a not-for-profit public-private partnership led by the University of Toronto and Oxford University. Its main goal is to promote medical breakthroughs by creating a database of open sourced research that can be accessed by almost any organization or company.

Not to be outdone, the Government of Ontario also announced a significant investment on the same day. The provincial government said it will give the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research (OICR) a four-year, $6.4-million grant to research new ways in which to increase screening rates for colon cancer and to decrease the harm chemotherapy inflicts upon patients, among other things.

To date the provincial government has invested $756.9-million toward cancer research.

“Ontario is proud to support the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research, which is working with key partners on ground-breaking research that is leading to very real benefits for Ontarians fighting cancer,” said Reza Moridi, Ontario's minister of research and innovation, in the press release that followed the announcement. “This investment will help the OICR get their discoveries out of the lab faster, improving both prevention and treatment and making a difference in people’s lives.”

Not a bad day in the fight against cancer.

Source: MaRS and University of Toronto. 
Photo: Courtesy of CNW Group/Merck

Who's hiring in Toronto? Evergreen Canada, MaRS, Telus

Some of the more interesting employment opportunities we've spotted this week include:

Evergreen Canada is hiring a marketing and communications director. At least 10 years of marketing, communications or public relations experience is required to be considered for this role. Check out the organization's posting on their website for a truly comprehensive overview of all the duties and requirements that go along with this role. The deadline to apply is February 27.

For all the digital natives out there, Telus is seeking a product manager to oversee the company's adherence to online and digital best practices.This individual will be responsible for ensuring all of the company's customer-facing software is intuitive, elegant and easy to use. Three to five years of experience working with a digital firm is a must—though other qualifications, like having done a bootcamp through HackerYou, will be considered an asset, so there's that.

Normally we try to avoid posting about internships here, but this week brings with it a set that look worthwhile (read: they actually pay). MaRS is currently accepting applications for its summer internship program. University students can apply to work for one of the organization's many departments, including its Solutions Lab and its business acceleration program. The internships run from May 4 to August 21. Applications are due February 16. Check out MaRS's careers website for the full list of internships.

Those between the ages of 18 and 30 will also want to check out the Studio [Y] program at MaRS. This intensive, nine month fellowship puts 25 individuals through a comprehensive curriculum on so-called 21st century skills. Participants are taught things like critical and entrepreneurial thinking, and are then asked to apply those skills while working on projects with real-world partners. The program provides its fellows with a $20,000 stipend so that access is not an issue. Check out the Studio [Y] website to learn more about this groundbreaking program and to find out what's required to apply. Applications are being accepted until March 16.

Do you know of a job opportunity with an innovative company or organization? Let us know!

Toronto startup is launching an online marketplace for bartering

Imagine you have an old bike you want to get rid of and, instead of selling it for $50, you have the opportunity to trade it for some rare albums you want for your record collection,” says Sascha Darius Mojtahedi.

“Wouldn't it be great if someone really wanted that bike and you could get something for it in return?”

What Mojtahedi is purposing is that I take money out of the equation and barter away my beloved fixie for something else. As an idea, bartering is one of the oldest in the book. It's also the concept that Mojtahedi and his co-workers at Shufl, a Toronto-based startup, are building their company around.

“A lot of companies innovate on new ideas, but we wanted to innovate on a really old one,” he says.

Once Shufl becomes available later this year, users will find a local online marketplace where they can trade their unwanted items for things they want. In fact, according Mojahedi, Shufl is first and foremost built and designed to help users find a compelling reason to complete transactions without the use of money—though, of course, they'll still be able to use cash if they so desire.

In creating Shufl, Mojahedi says his team's goal was to help people discover new found liquidity in the items they already own.

“There’s a large underground community that is already bartering,” he says. “They’re very active, but because what they're doing is viewed as being less sexy, it's never been allocated the same respect from a platform perspective as more traditional tractions.”

It's his hope that Shufl is able to change that.

The service is set to become available to the public in May. In the meantime, those that are keen on checking out the platform can sign up to take part in the company's beta.

Source: Shufl 

Ryerson Digital Media Zone announces historic partnership with OneEleven, Communitech

Local entrepreneurs had reason to celebrate last week as the Ryerson Digital Media Zone, Toronto's OneEleven and Waterloo's Communitech announced a historic partnership.

Going forward, entrepreneurs taking part in one of the three startup accelerator programs will have have access to the facilities of the other two incubators.

According to Valerie Fox, the Digital Media Zone's executive director, the partnership came about because the three organizations quickly came to understand the importance of collaborating with one another.

“We all understand the importance of collaborating amongst ourselves,” she says. “Startups are going to where they'll get the best help. Each incubator has its own strengths, and there are some startups that could, in a sense, use help from all three of us.”

She adds, “In the best interest of our entrepreneurs, I think this type of collaboration enables us to really help them, as well as strengthen our community at the same time.”

Fox says that Tuesday's announcement simply formalizes a relationship that has existed between the three incubators for a while now. “I think what’s interesting is that we’ve been doing this for a while now, but now what we’re doing is saying that it's been formalized,” says Fox. “In a way we're saying to our entrepreneurs, 'Seriously, this is going on, so take advantage of it.”

Besides gaining access to additional facilities, the entrepreneurs and students that benefit from this partnership will also gain better access to mentorship, capital and, perhaps most importantly, potential customers.

And while this partnership is the first of its kind in Canada, Fox says she both expects and hopes other organizations announce similar partnerships in the future.

“Ontario depends on this type of collaboration; it's only strengthening us.”

Source: Ryerson Digital Media Zone

Toronto startup invents machine that promises to make 3D printing sustainable

The economics of printers is such that it's often cheaper to buy an entirely new printer than it is to replace the ink inside of the one a person already owns. Those same economics have migrated to world of 3D printers. The printers themselves are relatively affordable, but the cost of plastic filament can become prohibitively expensive in a short amount of time.

Enter Dennon Oosterman and his co-founders at ReDeTec.

The Toronto-based startup has created a device called the ProtoCycler. It's a machine that allows makers of all skill levels to recycle some household plastics and 3D printing rejects into new spools of filament.

According to the company's Indiegogo page, the ProtoCycler, which ReDeTec plans to sell for $799 at launch, will pay for itself within 10 to 20 uses. Indiegogo's community has quickly taken to the idea: as of the writing of this post, the crowdfunding campaign has raised $82,782 USD, surpassing its $70,000 USD goal with six days left.

Oosterman and company started to work on the ProtoCycler while they were studying at the University of British Columbia. The program they were enrolled in purchased several 3D printers that the group got to play with. Oosterman, a life long maker who has created his own guitar amps, became enamoured with the creative possibilities the printers enabled, but he says he also realized that there was was a significant cost to using the printers.

“At first, we thought they were fantastic because we could make anything. They also had none of the hazards of a machine shop, and you didn't have to sit there and watch it do its job,” he says. “A few months later, we realized we had filled garbage bins full of bad parts and rejects, and that we had spent a lot of money on new filament.”

He and his friends set about creating a solution that would make, a task, it must said, that's much easier said than done. Some three years later, they're almost ready to share their work with the world.

It's fitting that the founders of ReDeTec started working on the ProtoCycler while they were still in school; Oosterman believes classrooms will be among the main beneficiaries of the technology he's helped create.

“More and more schools are adapting 3D printing into their curriculum. That said, having kids print ten plus projects year after year quickly becomes unsustainable,” he says. “We let all those same schools save costs and reduce on waste. They also teach kids the inherent value of recycling.”

Source: ReDeTec

Who's hiring in Toronto? Ontario Trillium Foundation, Rubikloud, AGO and more...

The Ontario Trillium Foundation is hiring an individual to oversee the acquisition, development and implementation of business software for the organization. This is a role that will involve managing a small team. Three plus years of experience in a related field are required, as well as experience with MS SQL and a customer relationship management software like Salesforce. The closing date to send an application in is February 2

Those that have been considering giving the startup life a chance will want to check out the next series of postings.

Rubikloud, which secured a $7-million Series A investment earlier in the month, is about to expand its team significantly. All told, they're hiring across 12 positions. The positions they're hiring for are as follows: business development and strategydatabase engineerdirector of product management, director of project delivery, infrastructure manager, lead data scientist, office manager, QA engineer, senior data scientist, UX designer, software engineer and front end software engineer. The deadline to apply for all positions is February 27.

On the culture side, the Art Gallery of Ontario is hiring an assistant registrar. The individual that takes on this role will have several duties relating to the pieces of art the AGO temporarily loans out from other art intuitions. Responsibilities include, managing physical and digital records pertaining to said pieces and writing additional supporting documentation, coordinating the shipment of the pieces, as well as a host of other related duties. Applications must be submitted by February 4

Finally, on the contract site of things, social impact job board Bmeaningful is looking for a part-time web developer. The required qualifications for thw position are fairly standard: three plus years of experience working writing PHP, HTML5/CSS and Java Script, as well as experience working with WordPress. According to Bmeaningful's posting, the position has the opportunity to turn in to full-time work down the road. The deadline to apply is January 30.

Do you know of a job opportunity with an innovative company or organization? Let us know!

U of T study finds ecosystem disaster in non-native species

In 1890, a pharmacist named Eugene Schieffelin released some 60 European starlings into New York's Central Park. He did so because the group he was part of, the American Acclimatization Society, wanted to make it so that the the skies of North America were filled with the sights and sounds of all the birds mentioned in the works of William Shakespeare.

Schieffelin and company got their wish and then some.

More than 100 years later, the European starling is everywhere, including Toronto. Free of its ancestral predators, the species has managed to grow unchecked, much to the detriment of North America's native wildlife and even to human activities like farming.

However, the European starling is only the most famous example of an invasive species being introduced to North America. Either by design or mistake, countless other non-native plants and animals have found their way into North America.

One such species is the European fire ant (myrmica rubra, for those that enjoy their Latin taxonomies). Colonies of this aggressive ant are often found near water, and they've become a common sight in the Don Valley and on the Toronto Island. A chance encounter with one of these ants often ends with a nasty bite.

What could be worse, is that this ant—and other invasive species like it—could be working together with other invaders to increase the rate at which they both spread across a new ecological system.

Megan Frederickson, an associate professor at the University of Toronto's Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, and Kirsten Prior, a biology professor at the University of Florida, as well several postdoctoral fellows have spent the past year studying the European fire ant.

On a UofT-owned nature reserve an hour north of the city, the researchers used 42 plastic kiddie pools (pictured) to create siloed ecosystems. They filled each pool with soil and the seeds four different species of wildflowers—three of which were native to Ontario, and one, the greater celandine plant, which was not. They then released the European fire ant in about half of the pools and a native woodland ant in the other half, and let them go about their work over the winter.

When the team returned in the spring and summer, they found that the fire ants had dispersed all the species of wildflowers, but particularly the invasive greater celandine plant, to far greater effect than their North American cousins.

This finding seems to in part validate a theory called invasional meltdown, which suggests that the establishment of one invasive species can help facilitate the incursion of other non-native species.

“I’d say we have really good evidence for half of the story. Our experiment very clearly shows that this invasive species, the european fire ant, can help this invasive plant spread,” says Professor Frederickson. “What we don’t know if the reverse is also true.”

Frederickson and her team are working towards seeing if the greater celandine plant somehow helped the fire ants.
The term invasional meltdown was coined by evolutionary biologists Daniel Simberloff and Betsy Von Holle in a seminal 1999 paper.

“Since they wrote this paper in 1999 people have been interested in looking for examples, and there are a handful examples out there but not a whole lot. There’s some debate in the field on how common and important this phenomenon might be—and it's one of the reasons we were interested in doing this study,” says Professor Frederickson.

In the press release that announced the study's findings, Professor Frederickson's colleague Kirsten Prior succinctly stressed the importance of their research. “Invasive species are a leading threat to natural ecosystems, and can have impacts on society,” she said.

“Research on how ecosystems become invaded and the consequences of invasion is important. It sets us on the right path to develop solutions to reduce the spread and impact of these harmful species.”

Source: University of Toronto
Photos: J.G. Sanders, K.M..Prior.
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