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Innovation + Job News

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Who's hiring in Toronto? Salesforce, Right to Play and more...

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

Right to Play, the Toronto-based organization that uses the power of sport to help children around the world, is adding an Institutional Partnerships Officer to its team. According to the organization’s job posting, much of the position involves developing proposals—researching funding opportunities, analysing opportunities and providing the rest of the organization with proper documentation.

In terms of requirements, the organization is looking for someone with three to five years of relevant experience. Additionally, their ideal candidate is someone with a strong understanding of international development bodies and policies. Applications are due this Friday, May 8, so polish up those resumes.   

The Royal Ontario Museum is hiring a senior manager to oversee its festival initiatives. The person that takes on this role will be responsible for organizing and overseeing the execution of the ROM’s calendar of family-friendly events (think designing fun events that take place in the ROM’s dinosaur room). As this is a senior position, the ROM would like someone with at least 10 years of relevant experience, as well as five years of experience in a managerial role. The deadline to apply is May 15.   

Cloud computing giant Salesforce is adding to its Toronto team. The San Francisco-based company is hiring a product marketing manager, an enterprise campaigns and demand generation manager and a commercial campaigns and demand generation manager. Check out the company’s postings on the Ladies Learning Code job board (linked above) to get a better sense of each position. That said, almost without exception, Salesforce is looking for the best of the best: each position requires at least five plus years of experience, strong creative skills and experience working for a software as a service (SaaS) business. No deadline to apply is listed for any of the three positions.

Finally, SmartSAVER, an organization that helps low income Canadians set up and contribute towards their children’s RESP, is hiring a Digital Community Manager. As with any position like this one, the job involves developing the organization's online and social media strategy, and then implementing it successfully. The company is looking for someone with two to three of experience. Applications are due on the 15th.

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

MaRS announces summer 2015 entrepreneurship boot camp for teens

Now in its fourth year, the Future Leaders Entrepreneurship Camp is a week long summer camp for high school teens. 

Set to go down later this summer at the MaRS Discovery District, teens between the ages of 13 and 18 will have the opportunity to learn what it means to be a self-starter as they go about trying to build their own business. 

At the end of the week, one group will even win $1000 after presenting their business to a group of mock investors. 

"What’s unique about this program is that we provide our students with an interactive environment where they're able to go through the entrepreneurial process. We want them to realize that failure is opportunity to pivot and improve," says Marielle Voksepp, a manager at MaRS and one of the overseers of the program.

According to Voksepp, students are taught skills like critical thinking, goal-setting, team work and perseverance as they go through the program. 

As with any program of this sort, Voksepp says she doesn't expect every teen that goes through it will end up starting their own company. However, she do say that the skills she and her colleagues are trying to impart upon the students will be helpful in a wide variety of situations.      

"Even if they decide not to become entrepreneurs, we want to provide these students the skills and resources that foster an entrepreneurial mindset," she says. "If they become critical thinkers, problem solvers and good communicators at an early age, then they’ll have a better chance of achieving success at whatever they decided to do in the future." 

Parents that are interested in learning about the Future Leaders Entrepreneurship Camp can check out the program's website.

Who's hiring in Toronto? Humber College, TechSoup Canada and more...

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

Humber College is adding a professor to its Computer Programming and Game Programming programs. Besides teaching students how to code and create games, the individual that takes on this role will be expected to help with student recruitment as well as mentoring. The college’s ideal candidate is someone with five years of professional experience and a Master’s degree in a relevant subject of study. Understanding of programming frameworks like Java and Oracle are a must, says the school’s posting. The deadline to apply is May 8.

TechSoup Canada, a local non-profit based out of the Centre for Social Innovation, is looking for a communications coordinator to join its team. According to the organization’s posting on Bmeaningful, much of the role involves engaging with other non-profits, helping them understand the services TechSoup offers. The organization says it’s looking for someone that is tech-savvy, a great communicator and outgoing. The deadline to apply is April 30.

The MaRS Discovery District is looking to add a administrative assistant to its building operations team. The role involves helping the rest of MaRS’s building management and operations team with the efficient running of the organization’s College Street complex. As this is a relatively senior position, five to ten years of property management experience are required to be considered for the job. Applications are due on Friday, April 24th, so brush up those resumes quickly.

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

Toronto's Mini Maker Faire relaunches as Maker Festival, week long festival starts on July 24

Toronto is a city full of makers.

Toronto Mini Maker Faire, an annual celebration of the city’s maker culture that is hosted at the Toronto Reference Library, is relaunching as the Maker Festival. As per usual, this year’s festival will still conclude in a two-day extravaganza during the August long weekend at the city’s biggest library, but, to spice things up, there will also be additional events held in the week leading up to the festival grand finale.

According to Ceda Verbakel, the festival’s creative director, last year’s Maker Faire attracted 10,000 people, making it the biggest maker event in Canada.

"An event on the scale of Maker Festival puts Toronto on the map as a city full of innovative technology and creative ingenuity," said Linda Mackenzie, the director of research and reference libraries at the Toronto Public Library, in an email interview. "As the Library—along with our peers in the education, government, and creative sectors—continues to re-imagine our spaces, programs, and services for the 21st century, hosting an event like Maker Festival underscores the Library's role in fostering digital literacy and creativity by bringing makers and learners together as excited and active participants in innovation."

Her colleague Eric Boyd, the Maker Festival’s programming director, added, "You might not know it, but Toronto's tech community is bursting at the seams—there are makerspaces, coding schools and start up incubators popping up across the city, and most nights of the week you can attend a meetup to talk to thought leaders in web development, wearables, Android apps, or the Internet of Things, to name a few."

The festival hasn’t announced specific programming yet, but it has said that it is currently looking for submissions. Those that are interested in taking part can apply here.

In the interest of full disclosure, Elena Yunusov, the Maker Festival’s Operations Director, is a contributor to Yonge Street Media.

New coding academy ThoughtKite wants to give Toronto a startup education

Toronto has a new coding academy. The name of the school is ThoughtKite, and it hopes to differentiate itself by giving students a clear goal to work towards.

"We don't accept students unless they have a focused product idea they want to take to market," says Ian Gerald King, the school's founder. "We cater to those with entrepreneurial [inclinations] who have not made the leap yet." 

King is reluctant to classify ThoughtKite as a coding school; instead, he says the focus of the school is on providing what he calls a startup education.  

"I wouldn't consider ThoughtKite a coding academy per se: learning how to use technology is not the primary focus of our programs," says King. "Out initial course offerings are iOS product development, product design and lean product growth—a triple interest interest in technology, design and business, but crafted with a product launch as the end goal. ThoughtKite was foundered after seeing the startup education gaps existing between coding academies and accelerators."

King notes that one other differentiator between ThoughtKite and its coding academy competitors is that its courses are almost exclusively held during the weekend. King believes this is the best compromise between offering a learning experience that immerses students in what they're learning and respecting their time. 

ThoughtKite's first set of classes start on April 25. The cost of the iOS development course, the longest and most immersive the three the school is offering, is $5000. The other two, product design and lean product growth, are $2000. 

Who's hiring in Toronto? Videogami, Make-A-Wish Canada and Mercy for Animals

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

Videogami, a Toronto-based live streaming startup, is adding an associate producer to its team. This role involves being a liaison between the company's production team and its clients, ensuring that client needs are met. Videogami says its ideal candidate is someone with at least one year of production crew experience. Additionally, it says they would like someone that has experience creating successful social media campaigns on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and Instagram. Those interested in applying for this position should send an email to jobs (at) videogami (dot co).

Make-A-Wish Canada, the organization most famous for finding innovative ways to grant the wishes of very sick children, is hiring an online marketing and communications officer. The role involves managing the organization's national strategy, ensuring that its web and social media presence is maintained and expanded. Make-A-Wish's ideal candidate is someone with three plus years of experience in the public relations or online marketing field. The deadline to apply is April 24.  

Finally, for anyone wanting a drastic career change, Mercy For Animals is hiring multiple undercover animal cruelty investigators. It's important to know what one is getting into when they apply for a job like this, as this is not something that is for everyone: "MFA investigators must make quick, but tough, decisions as to the best courses of action for the animals confined, neglected, tormented, or killed before them, while abiding by all laws, ensuring their personal safety, keeping their cover, and compiling the evidence necessary to hold animal abusers accountable." 

Those still interested in the position after that warning should send their resume and cover letter in an email to Jane Stone at animalinvestigations (at) gmail (dot com). Previous investigative experience is not required. Instead, individuals that posses honesty and integrity, as well as the ability to perform demanding manual labour, will be hired. The latter requirement is presumably there because a lot of the job will involve pretending to be a farm labourer. 

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

Level Up showcases growing Toronto game development community

It's the Thursday before the Easter long weekend, and King and Bay, usually home to a variety of suits, is host to a different crowd. 

Level Up, a showcase of student-created videogames, is happening at the Design Exchange. Some 80 games are being showcased by students from 16 different universities and colleges. Almost every imaginable genre of game is on display. 

But perhaps for the first time in its history, it's not the number of games that's impressive, but their quality. With a bit more content and polish, the majority of projects on display here could be sold on a digital distribution platform like Steam.     

"We had to develop a different set of expectations this year because we noticed a huge improvement in quality," says Scott Lee, the art director at Ubisoft Toronto, a local game developer, and one of the event's judges. 

The event has grown, and so too have the number of schools attending it. Now in its fifth year, an exhibition that used to take up one floor of the Design Exchange now takes up several.

Game creation has become a serious business in Ontario, and nowhere is that more apparent than in its capital city. According to the Entertainment Software Association of Canada, an industry lobby group, there are 329 video game development companies in Canada, and in 2013 they cumulatively contributed $2.3-billion to the nation's GDP. 

Game development is also one of the few high tech industries keeping young people in province.    

The company Lee works for is just one of the companies at the event on the lookout for local talent. Ubisoft Toronto is set to grow to 800 strong by 2020. To accomplish that target, the company has focused its efforts on recruiting young people coming out of Ontario's game development programs. 

"We need to hire young people and we need to train them," says Lee. "It’s the only way we can match the numbers we've set for ourselves."

According to Lee, several of the students he's hired in the past have gone to become integral to his team.

Not bad for something that started out as a hobby most of the students here had to justify to their parents.  

Photo: Steve Engels

UofT engineering students attempt to solve Toronto's challenges

"It’s great that engineers are being seen as people who not only react to opportunities, but as ones who are proactive and seek them," says Jason Foster, a senior lecturer at the University of Toronto's Faculty of Engineering, with a hint of pride. 

He has good reason to be proud. Three hundred of his first year students are showing off the result of several weeks of hard work at UofT's Hart House. It's all part of the university's Engineering Design program, a project-based course that asks students to apply the skills they're learning to real-world problems. 

"We asked our students to explore what is for many of them a new city, to engage with a community that they themselves are interested and passionate in—or know nothing about—and then to identity an opportunity," says Foster. "We very deliberately asked them for opportunities, not problems, because we want them to be more open and forward looking."

Foster's students identified 65 opportunities. With his help, along with that of his colleagues, the students narrowed down the fields to 11 projects. They then split up into groups and worked on the project they felt most passionate about. One of the more interesting projects saw one of the groups collaborate with the West End Food Co-op to develop a new low-cost delivery system to bring fresh produce to those living in the Parkdale community. 

For the most part, the designs here are still early—after all, most of the students here have less than a year of engineering experience under their belt—but that hasn't stopped students in past years from attempting to realize their ideas. 

According to Foster, a previous year saw one group work on redesigning the City of Toronto's green bin. A representative from the city was present at that year's showcase, and noted the changes the students suggested.  

"We’re still working on closing that loop to get these solutions into the hands of communities," says Foster. "Now that our students have demonstrated that they're really engaged with the community, we’d like to make sure these communities have a channel to take what the students have started and pursue it in greater depth."  

Photo: Roberta Baker

Who's hiring in Toronto? Toronto International Film Festival, Toronto Star and more...

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

The Toronto Star is looking for a digital designer to join its design team. The role involves helping the paper produce the kind of interactive long-form features that websites like Vox, Fusion and Motherboard are known for. The daily's ideal candidate is someone that has strong programming and design skills, and has a passion and understanding for journalism. The Star's posting on the Ladies Learning Code job board doesn't mention a specific deadline.    

Moving on, the Toronto International Film Festival is hiring for its newly minted community engagement team. They're adding a team leader and multiple team representatives. Both positions are part-time roles that involve a lot of pounding the pavement and engaging with people in a friendly and enthusiastic manner. The deadline to apply for both positions is April 6. 

Also on the culture front, Ontario Culture Days, an organization that pus together several weekend-long cultural events across the province, is hiring a fundraising associate. It goes without saying that much of this role involves helping the organization add to and diversify its fundraising portfolio—though there's also a documentation and reporting aspect to the position, as well. Ontario Culture Days is looking for someone with five plus years in the not-for-profit sector. The deadline to apply for this position is April 10. 

Finally, Ryerson University is hiring an intermediate distributed systems specialist. The person that takes on this role will help develop, design, test and support web and media systems that will enhance the learning of the university's students. Ryerson is looking for someone that has at least three years of experience building and modifying similar systems. Check out the school's positing on the Ladies Learning Code job board to get a better sense of the specific system and programming language knowledge Ryerson is looking for in its candidates.    

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

BDC sets aside $700 million to fund women-owned businesses

Over the next three years, the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) will set aside $700 million to fund women-owned businesses as a part of a new initiative.   

The plan was announced by Dr K. Kellie Leitch, Canada's Minister of Labour and Status of Women, at last week's Women Entrepreneurs Forum in Ottawa. 

According to the BDC, the money will help provide loans to some 300 to 400 female-owned businesses. This is in addition to support the BDC already provides with its other programs.  

"The health and long-term success of women-owned businesses is critical to Canada's economic prosperity," said Jean-René Halde, the president and chief executive officer of the BDC. "BDC will ensure that additional financial and ongoing support for this growing market segment is made available."

In 2011, the Royal Bank of Canada estimated that woman-owned businesses contributed some $148 billion to the Canadian economy. According to its forecasts, a 10 per cent increase in the number of women owned business over the next ten years will increase that contribution to $198 billion.  

Source: Government of Canada

Ontario Trillium Foundation helps fund 30 new youth focused projects across Toronto

On March 25, the Ontario Trillium Foundation announced the second round of funding for its Youth Opportunities Fund. 

All told, some 30 Toronto-based community organizations found out that they will receive significant capital investments through the program.    

"The Youth Opportunities Fund invests in innovative initiatives that allow young people to build, and benefit from, secure social networks that include strong and supportive friends and families," said Gabrielle Gallant, a spokesperson for the Ontario Trillium Foundation. "The YOF aims to create and sustain opportunities for youth to be engaged in and lead initiatives that strengthen their communities."

One of the groups to receive funding through the YOF was the East Scarborough Storefront, an organization that is focused on building an ecosystem of youth programs in the Kingston Galloway and Orton Park community.  

The group is set to receive $670,000 over the next three years.  

According to the Ontario Trillium Foundation, East Scarborough Storefront will use the funds to hire youth coordinators whose mission will be to develop and deliver four new projects within the community. 

"We’re investing in the individual youth leaders as well as the amazing impact they can have on their communities and peers," said Gallant. "Our goal at OTF is to build healthy and vibrant communities across the province and that certainly includes Toronto.  Through investments in youth mentorship programs and leadership opportunities, we ensure that marginalized young people in the city have the opportunities to participate." 

Source: Ontario Trillium Foundation 

New pan-Canadian incubator launches with major local partners

On Monday, the federal government announced that it was making new a five year, $10.7 million investment into the creation of new pan-Canadian incubator led by Ryerson University. 

The downtown university will join the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT) and Simon Fraser University (SFU) to create so-called Zones of Innovation and Incubation (ZI2).     

"The principle focus of the network will be on leveraging research from all three universities to promote commercialization, creation of new companies and jobs," said Wendy Cukier, Ryerson University's vice president of research and innovation. "But we’re also extremely committed to driving innovation within existing companies and organizations."

According to Cukier, the incubators will be focused on digital technology and gaming.

"When we’re talking about things like gaming, we’re not just talking about games for entertainment: we’re talking about games for education, for enhancing healthcare and for training more broadly," she said. "The potential of the technologies that are being tested, commercialized and spun off to transform a number of sectors—healthcare, financial services, entertainment and manufacturing—is quite significant." 

Cukier believes that the network could have a transformative effect on the city. 

"Toronto has an ambitions to be one the leading centres of innovation in North America, and indeed there is a lot of data that suggests that it already is in terms of startups," said Cukier. "But I think this also strengthens Toronto’s ambition to be an intelligent, digitally-enabled city. This initiative will not only help sharpen the focus on our digital innovation corridor, but also result in the development of new approaches that could potentially be transformative." 

Source: Ryerson University

Who's hiring in Toronto? HarperCollins, Toronto Community Housing, Spoke Club and more...

Book publisher HarperCollins is hiring a publicist on a one year contract. The company is looking for an outgoing individual who has two to three years of experience in the public relations field. Important day-to-day duties include contacting media outlets to secure reviews and interviews, as well as assisting in the planning and execution of any publicity tours the publisher's author may need to embark upon. Interested applicants should apply by emailing dianne(dot)aquilina(at)hapercollins(dot com).  

Toronto Community Housing has a one-year maternity leave position open in its media and public relations department. Responsibilities associated with this director position involve managing all the day-to-day media interactions TCHC and its subsidiaries need to engage in. As this is a senior position, the organization is looking for someone with at least eight years of relevant experience. Applications should be submitted by April 1.  

The Spoke Club is seeking an administrative assistant to help within its membership department. This is an entry-level position that will see the individual that takes on the role assist the club's membership manager with data entry and day-to-day administrative and clerical duties. The club is looking for someone with one to three years of prior administrative experience. Additionally, they would like someone that possesses the usual qualities associated with good administrators—excellent time management skills, strong oral and written skills as well as good research skills. The deadline to apply is March 30.  

Finally, on the tech side of things, retail intelligence startup Askuity is looking to add multiple members to its team. They're hiring an inside sales account director, a technical consultant and a customer success manager. Check out the postings to get an exact feel for each position. The company's office is located near Spadina and Adelaide, and they recently secured a $1.8-million Seed round. The deadline to apply for all three positions is the 31st of this month. 

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

Provincial government creates new advisory committee for community hubs

The provincial government is attempting to put a new focus on Ontario's communities. 

On Friday, Premier Kathleen Wynne announced that she had formed a new Community Hub Framework Advisory Group, and that she had appointed its first advisor. Karen Pitre, a former executive with Metrolinx and the Toronto District School Board, was announced as the committee's chair. Additional advisors will be named to the group over the next couple of weeks, according to the government.   

The mandate of the group is to advise the Liberals on how to turn existing public assets into community hubs.  

The provincial government defines a community hub as a public space that helps deliver educational, health and social services. The government will consult with Ontarians and foster partnerships with community organizations as it tries to find the best way to deliver its services to children, youth and seniors.
 "The work of the advisory group will do so much to inform our government’s approach to establishing community hubs," said Premier Wynne. "We want Ontario to be the best place to work, live and raise a family, and community hubs are a part of that vision.”  

Source: Government of Ontario

Ontario to start issuing new high-tech birth certificates

Ontario's birth certificate is about to enter into the 21st century.

Like Canada's recently-reworked bank notes, the upcoming refresh of the province's birth certificate will take advantage of high-tech polymers and innovative new security features to create a document that is supposed to be both more durable and more difficult to counterfeit. Some of those new security features include print that is raised and colour-shifting images.

According to the provincial government, the new certificate should “last a lifetime” under normal circumstances, which is probably a good thing since the government issues some 200,000 birth certificates each year. Children born on and after April 15, 2015 will be the first to receive the new certificates. For those that are old enough to be able to read this article, there's no need to replace your current birth certificate; all existing birth certificates will continue to be valid.

“I am always looking for ways our government can help make everyday life easier for Ontarians, and these new polymer birth certificates do just that,” said Premier Kathleen Wynne in the press release that followed the annoucement. “Having a safe and durable birth certificate will provide more security and help protect people from fraud and identify theft.”

Source: Government of Ontario
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