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article imageElevate grows up — What's next for Canada’s tech week?

By Jack Derricourt     Apr 17, 2018 in Technology
The Elevate Tech festival is only one year old, but after watching this week’s launch event at Shopify’s Toronto HQ, it appears that Canada’s largest tech festival has grown by leaps and bounds.
Elevate will run in Toronto from September 24-27, with 10,000 attendees expected and 250 venues taking part. Notable speakers on this year’s main stage will include Whitney Wolfe Herd, founder of dating app Bumble, and environmentalist and Nobel Peace Prize winner Al Gore.
Canada's vibrant talent community
This year’s festival will put a big emphasis on talent, one of Canada’s greatest assets when it comes to tech innovation. Elevate is teaming up with Startup Open House, as well as last year’s partners NewCo, to help connect 4,000 students, job-seekers, and young professionals with some of the many great companies driving Canada’s innovation ecosystem.
Lekan Olawoye - Elevate Lead Executive  Talent
Lekan Olawoye - Elevate Lead Executive, Talent
While last year’s festival made the point of putting Toronto and its tech innovation ecosystem on the global stage, the conversation has broadened for Elevate 2018. Now billed as Canada’s Tech Week, CEO Razor Suleman said the 2018 festival will shed light on Canada’s growing tech landscape as a whole, and even reach out to Canadian expats around the globe, letting them know that things are moving in the right direction back home.
Collaboration, diversity and growing together
For Suleman, the biggest lesson from last year’s Elevate, and the biggest opportunity for 2018, is the strength of collaboration that made the festival possible.
“Partnering with the community and being open and collaborative is the best way to create something that we’re all passionate about, and ultimately scale the festival and realize the vision we have,” said Suleman.
Razor Suleman - Elevate CEO and founder
Razor Suleman - Elevate CEO and founder
Crucial to that collaboration is showing the diverse nature of Canada's innovation community. Just as at last year’s Elevate, the motto ‘Diversity is our strength’ is key to Canada’s Tech Week. Suleman said that this year’s festival will continue to seek out new ways to reach out to diverse parts of Canada’s innovation community and get them involved.
“Last year, whoever was interested and available, we had them at the festival. This year when we looked at the ten-thousand-person capacity that we have, we broke down the different demographics and wanted to make sure that we got representation.
“We’re super passionate, as is our partner TD, about involving students. We’ve got the Investor Group coming. We’d love to have more female investors, we’d love to have more women in tech, we’d love to have entrepreneurs that are visible minorities. All of the ecosystem is welcome.”
Between big name speakers, the emphasis on talent and the continued commitment to diversity, Elevate’s 2018 offering is sure to stir creative innovation and collaboration.
More about elevate, Canada, Toronto, Innovation, Talent
 
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