Toronto Mayoral Candidate Wants to Pair Tech Startups with City Hall Offices

A Toronto mayoral candidate is banking on startups as part of his election platform.

Former entrepreneur David Soknacki penned an article in the Huffington Post emphasizing his desire to—if elected as mayor—boost Toronto’s startup ecosystem.

“As Mayor, I want to engage this city’s talented population of coders, engineers and social innovators to help us grow our startup community and improve public services,” he writes. “As a first step, I will introduce a program to partner technology startups with City Hall offices. Startups would work directly with public service staff to add value, solving a particular problem creatively with better design, better use of data or better technologies.”

The program, which Soknacki calls “innov8TO,” would select up to eight startups through an annual competition, and pair them with individual City of Toronto departments.

Quoth Soknacki via HuffPo:

I believe City Hall should see the startups in these incubators as potential partners. We can solve Toronto’s problems by harnessing Toronto’s ingenuity. Part of this process, of course, will mean opening up increased access to public information. Open Data is developing as a key resource for citizen engagement, just as it can be a tool for small startups to develop new software applications.

“I will make sure Toronto leads the way in data transparency,” he affirms. “I want to disclose more datasets at accessible standards than any other comparable city in the world.”