Erik Torenberg twitter.com/eriktorenberg
Daryna Kulya [DK] twitter.com/darynakulya
Mohammed Asaduallah twitter.com/heymosef
Paul Krajewski twitter.com/pkralle
Kamil Rextin [KR] twitter.com/kamilrextin
Mustefa Jo’shen twitter.com/mustefaj
1. Toronto Tech Scene FAQs
Q: What word best describes Toronto’s tech/startup scene?
[DK] Breakthrough. With so many great companies in the city, a lot of support networks for entrepreneurs and, hopefully, more funding for local companies, feels like Toronto is about to have its breakthrough moment.
[KR] Diversity & Openness. Both in terms of backgrounds, gender, ethnicity & cultures but also the type of companies from marketplaces to financial technology, commerce, marketing technology to many more. There’s no ‘right’ kind of founder or company, they come in all shapes & sizes. The TO community is open, welcoming and embracing to anyone who wants to get involved.
Q: How does someone break into Toronto’s tech/startup scene?
[DK] Depends what you’d mean by “breaking in”. If it’s just about finding a job at a startup, section 4 with a list of some startups that are hiring could be a good place to start. However, if you’d like to get involved in the community, meet future co-founders and make friends, I’d have a different answer.
I believe that creating value for others is the best way to “break into” any industry, including tech. Based on your skills and talents, find a way to help someone with what they are working on. Don’t ask for anything in return. Repeat. Keep doing it until people start reaching out to you for help (this means you’re creating value). Same people will be much more willing to help you after you’ve helped them.
Volunteer at an event, design / redesign someone’s logo, build something people in the community want / need, step up to host a meetup, write and publish a thorough product review, connect two people who should know each other, find an answer to the question someone has, do research nobody volunteered for.
Don’t forget to share your story. If you have a compelling story, strangers will go out of their way to help you. Thanks to Ruben Harris for sharing this important point in his post.
[KR] Don’t ask for permission. You own the community as much as anyone else. As long as you aren’t rude or an a**h**** you will be welcome and embraced. Get involved by going to meetups, asking people out for coffee, writing about your experiences and being active on Twitter & relevant Facebook Groups.
2. Where should I meet Toronto’s Tech Community?
UXResearch|TO — meetup.com/UXResearchTO/
(UXD / UX) User Experience Design Toronto — meetup.com/uxtoronto/
Product Hunt Toronto — producthunttoronto.com For all of you makers, hunters and early adopters.
ProductTO — meetup.com/productto/ (Product Manager? You should be coming here)
Tech Toronto — techtoronto.org/ (Meet and learn from Toronto’s tech founders)
BotTO — meetup.com/Bot-TO/ (Get your bot on)
#DesignTO — meetup.com/DesignTO (Toronto’s monthly Design Meetup)
DevTO — devto.ca/
Girl Geeks Toronto — http://girlgeekstoronto.com/
HackerNest — hntoronto.hackernest.com/
LEAN Coffee Toronto — meetup.com/leancoffeeto/
MaRS Entrepreneurship 101 — Canada’s largest live & online entrepreneurship course — marsdd.com/entrepreneurship-101/
Startup Grind — meetup.com/Startup-Grind-Toronto/
Subscribe to the feed from startupdigest.com/digests/toronto from your own Google calendar to automatically see it filled with a good portion of events in the city