Elevate Toronto Seeks to Celebrate Tech Diversity & Attract Global Talent

Key players in Toronto’s startup and corporate innovator communities gathered 346 metres above Toronto to unveil Elevate Toronto, a new three-day technology and innovation festival coming to the city September 12 to 14 later this year.

Atop the CN Tower, former Achievers CEO Razor Suleman announced the launch of the event which seeks to attract a gender and racially diverse pool of talent to meet with technology companies and hear from industry leaders. Toronto is becoming an epicentre for emerging technology including blockchain, AI and fintech and Suleman believes it’s time to make the city a global destination for tech talent.

“Our tech ecosystem is thriving, but our humbleness remains with us,” said Suleman. “It does hold us back when telling our story on a global stage. We wanted to change that.”

There three-day festival will kick off with Elevate Diversity Day, a 3,000-person all day event at the Sony Centre featuring TED-style talks by global leaders and disruptive thinkers. Day two will be broken into different technology themes including Elevate AI, Elevate Health, and Elevate FinTech, where tech leaders will showcase Toronto’s innovation ecosystem.

Elevate founders pose with Toronto Mayor John Tory for a selfie at the Launch Announcement. (Photo by Techvibes)

Elevate will end with NewCo festival, where 30 tech companies will open their doors to showcase their work and offices, and wrap up with the Spotlight Awards, celebrating the success of Toronto’s tech and innovation community.

“Elevate is reflecting the value of inclusion. It’s about acting, not just talking about it.” – Jodi Kovitz.

The city-backed event launch brought out Toronto Mayor John Tory. “We don’t have an event that celebrates tech and our great accomplishments …. We’re the financial and innovation capital of Canada, we’re unique,” said Mayor Tory. “We have to bring people here to see it.”

AceTech Ontario CEO and #movethedial founder Jodi Kovitz emphasized the importance of providing a stage to highlight the city’s diverse talent.

“We’re going to have a stage that reflects diversity. There are incredible women out there that just need an opportunity to shine,” said Kovitz. “Elevate is reflecting the value of inclusion. It’s about acting, not just talking about it.”

Elevate Toronto is a partnership of six Toronto technology leaders:

  • Razor Suleman, Cofounder Elevate Toronto & Former CEO of Achievers
  • Alex Norman, Managing Director, TechToronto
  • Valerie Swatkow, EVP, Business Development of Cossette
  • Bilal Khan, Founding Managing Director, OneEleven
  • Salim Teja, President, Venture Services, MaRS
  • Jodi Kovitz, CEO at AceTech Ontario and #movethedial Founder

For more information, visit www.elevatetoronto.com