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Company of the Week: Bold

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Newsletter published on:
September 22, 2021
Company Spotlight

Each week we interview an innovative Canadian company that is hiring.

Company Logo - Bold

What is Bold and how are they innovating?

Bold Commerce is a software development company that provides industry-leading eCommerce solutions for the world's most innovative brands. They empower entrepreneurs by providing them with tools they can use to make their eCommerce stores truly awesome.

Named one of North America’s fastest-growing tech companies, Bold provides innovative ecommerce technology to 90,000+ brands in more than 170 countries around the world.

Why join Bold?

You will help shape the future of commerce at a company that believes brands should have the ability to create and customize powerful commerce experiences, across all channels.

"Whether you’re new in your career or senior-level with years of experience, the opportunities for personal and professional growth at Bold are endless."

Chantal Grindle, Chief Human Resources Officer

How are they giving back to the community?

Bold joined Pledge 1% as a promise to give back 1% of their time, 1% of their product, and 1% of their profit directly to the community that has helped them succeed. Along with donating money to charities in their community, they donate their own time for volunteering and using their product to help with donations and giving away many of their apps for free.

Join the team!

Bold is currently hiring across all parts of the business. Check out their careers page to learn more. You can also learn more about their culture here.

Jason and Alex spoke earlier this year about Bold Commerce and their rapid growth. Listen to their full discussion here from #QuickTakes.

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Story Time - Careers Edition

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Newsletter published on:
September 22, 2021
Community Spotlight
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This week - we are featuring an inspiring career story from Nino Melikidze. She is currently working as a freelance Software Project Manager and Scrum Master at Toptal. She is also the Founder of VisaWire. She shared her career journey with us in hopes to inspire others in the tech community.

How did you get here?
I was working full-time for a big company and realized that the type of employment I had wouldn't work with my dream of pursuing entrepreneurship. During the pandemic, I focused on my background in tech and started taking on freelance projects to gain more client-facing work experience. I also picked up a Scrum Master certification to further enhance my skills. This led to my current role at Toptal.

What is something you're proud of?

I arrived to Canada 3.5 years ago without any idea of where I was going. Over these last few years, I built a vast network of entrepreneurs and tech professionals, a flexible and engaging employment setup, and discovered my biggest entrepreneurship passion. Starting this fall, I'm joining the Communitech Fierce Founders program to work on the next step of my journey - building a Canadian immigration and settlement startup.

How do you want to inspire others who are facing challenges?

When making a major career change, there will be many people in your life that will question your decision to take that leap of faith. Be confident in yourself, and your ability to solve problems. Striving to reach the bigger picture you built out for yourself is the best way you can consistently push forward.

What is VisaWire?

For all the newcomers to Canada and the ones interested in exploring relocation options, I'm building VisaWire - an immigration, employment, and settlement guide for Canada. The app is completely free and meant to help immigrants successfully overcome challenges at various steps in their journey. I want to give back to the community and help people with similar stories come to this wonderful country.

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Insider Profile: Jacqueline Sue

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Newsletter published on:
September 20, 2021
Insider Profile
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Tell us about your experience and challenges you've overcome:

I transitioned from working in a professional services firm, servicing billionaire tech founders to a NPO that is focused on helping those who need the skills, training, and opportunities to launch a career in B2B tech sales and cybsecurity. Previously in my old role, I had a big value conflict in whether I was helping the people I wanted to in the tech space (i.e. the billionaire clients) or if I wanted to be in an organization that helped the regular joe who wants to break in and be an intrapreneur. I overcame this by having coffees and networking sessions with people who were years ahead of me who had a similar educational and professional background but were in an area I was interested in. Low and behold, one of those calls was from my now current employer!

What did you do before?

Planned Canada's largest Hackathon (Hack the North) and started a venture fund in Waterloo in 2017 (still active).

What are you doing now?
Currently working as a Financial Controller and People Ops at Palette Skills Inc. I'm also a Co-Founder at &Vision, where we work to eliminate geographical and generational borders for aspiring and graduating students, so they can access information about entering business school and succeeding beyond it.

What is your biggest accomplishment?

Fitting in 2,000+ people into our 3 day hackathon event which invites people from across 6 continents. I  helped with international flights and pushing for paid subsidies for travel to lower barriers to entry into tech.

Why did you want to become a TechTO Insider?

To learn more about the tech community in Toronto, the trends, and to find great people who want to transition into B2B tech sales and cybersecurity.

Connect with me on LinkedIn or in Insider Slack.

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Companies to Watch: Voiceform

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Newsletter published on:
September 20, 2021
Company Spotlight
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Every Monday, we profile a new company we think you should care about. Today we are profiling Voiceform - an early stage startup that has seen massive growth in the last few months.

Here's why you should care about their product:

What they do

Voiceform's tool helps collect and analyze emotive audio feedback in any language.
Their audio-powered tool is used to create surveys, forms, and assessments that help companies understand their target audience through voice. They help capture customer sentiment often missed in traditional text-based surveys.  

Who is behind it?

Philip Brook, Harrison Reilly, and Artem Alekhin

Connect with them on LinkedIn!

Why was it founded?

Voiceform was created out of a problem our founding team experienced in our previous sales, product, and tech roles.

Philip (their Co-Founder and CEO) used to send out hundreds of surveys, only to find that traditional text-based results lacked detail and wasted hours scheduling and hosting calls. Harrison struggled to engage customers in a remote setting, and found Zoom calls to lack authenticity, as customers felt pressured to respond on the spot. The remote setup also restricted customer accessibility across abilities, geographies, and languages.

That’s where they decided, there needs to be a better way to collect rich and emotive audience feedback at scale, without sacrificing data quality and user authenticity.

What is the long-term vision?

In an increasingly digital and remote-first world, we help organizations understand an audience from anywhere.

Their customers have stated that they collect 3x-4x more useful information from their customers using Voiceform versus traditional surveys and forms. With less effort, companies collect a deeper layer of emotional response often missed in traditional text-based offerings, without sacrificing data quality. With a better understanding of user sentiment and tone, companies can reduce customer churn, better understand user needs, and increase accessible feedback.

Their goal is to expand their platform to provide users with the tools they need to engage a global audience and capture rich emotive data in a secure way.

By the numbers

  • Since launching in May 2021, they’ve welcomed 251+ customers, growing quickly
  • In September, they secured 4 new contracts with Marketing Research companies. They’ve helped clients save over 100+ hours booking and hosting in-person/virtual user interviews, as their tool takes care of it all.  
  • Customers are even finding new ways to use the tool such as, creating audio-based language tests for students, and to add an additional security measure to contracts during the signing process.

Who are your customers and how do you help them?

Since launching, we’ve seen our tool used in super interesting ways -- but no matter the use case, it’s all about helping customers engage with their target audience and understand them through emotive data.

From capturing user feedback, to taking UX research to the next level, our customers consist of Product Managers, Product Designers, Marketers, UX Researchers, Community Groups, Government Agencies and more!

Learn more about Voiceform and their growth journey by visiting their website here. We look forward to seeing Voiceform and their team continue to grow and innovate in the future.

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Exploring the Future of Work in Tech

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Newsletter published on:
September 17, 2021
Thought Pieces
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In case you missed it...

Our recent event with RBC was a huge success, but for those who weren't able to attend, we have a full rundown of all the great take-aways and discussions from our speakers below.

We kicked things off with Takara Small, Technology Journalist, Entrepreneur and Speaker who shared her perspective on hiring diverse talent, how to build trust with your customers and why you shouldn't be afraid of self-promotion. Here are some of our key takeaways:

What is the trust deficit?

  • Entrepreneurs need to consider how they are communicating with their community and audience
  • Your language should be that of the consumer and address the consumer directly
  • That generates a long-lasting relationship with your audience and creates trust

What are some specific leadership examples and trends that all people should start using?

  • Staying in touch with your employees is key
  • It's up to leadership to work hard to ensure teams are okay
  • Creating community things to keep people connected
  • Be intentional about that effort

What should BIPOC communities in tech do to grow their networks?

  • Self-promotion is so important
  • Its easier to do it now and have a platform to advocate for yourself
  • Use social media as a tool to speak up and share your accomplishments
  • It’s really important for individuals to have their own personal website and a personal brand, so you can frame your work and your services outside of work

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Company of the Week: Clutch

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Newsletter published on:
September 15, 2021
Company Spotlight

Each week we interview an innovative Canadian company that is hiring.

Clutch Logo

What is Clutch, and how are they innovating?

Clutch has set out to change the way Canadians think about buying cars. When Stephen, their founder, had a frustrating experience trying to buy a car from a dealership, he soon realized the car industry was broken for Canadians. Since its founding in 2016, Clutch has been a key player in modernizing the used car market and changing the way people go about buying cars today. Clutch aims to offer their customers high quality vehicles and a stress-free online car buying experience, all in one.

Why work for Clutch?

If you have a passion for innovating how Canadians purchase cars, and want to help make one of the biggest purchases of someones life a little less stressful, Clutch is the place for you. Clutch is also one of the fastest growing workplaces in Canada, with 5 offices across the country, and 200% headcount growth in Canada in 2021.

Some great Perks and Benefits:

  • Competitive Salary
  • Flexible and Unlimited time off
  • Learning and Home Office Budget
  • Health and Dental Benefits from DAY ONE

Join the team!

Clutch is currently hiring across all parts of the business. Check out the careers page to learn more.

Meet Dan Park, CEO of Clutch, who spoke at a past TechTO Event here.

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Insider Profile: Mohan Wang

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Newsletter published on:
September 13, 2021
Insider Profile
MW

Tell us a little about you

I mainly worked in the Internet and AI industry in China from 2015 to 2019 and for three employers - TripAdvisor (responsible for its product and content localization in China), ByteDance (responsible for the globalization strategy of its four short video apps including TikTok), and 4Paradigm (a Chinese AI unicorn building its very first data annotation crowdsourcing platform.). In early 2019, I started my own localization and globalization company helping tech companies, consumer brands and local consultancies to expand their marketshares in China, and my podcast called Casticle. I also translated, edited and published 3 books and 4 magazines.

Highlight of your career so far

I have helped co-create two crowdsourcing platforms, started a localization and globalization strategy company as a solopreneur, and made a podcast that ranks among the top 1% of all the podcasts worldwide.

Connect with me on LinkedIn or in Insider Slack.

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Web Unleashed 2021

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Newsletter published on:
September 13, 2021
Great Opportunities
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The ultimate three-day conference for front-end development experts // October 20-22, 2021

If you work in front-end web development, you know how quickly the space changes. Attending Web Unleashed means you’ll be updating the skills needed to push you ahead in your career, elevating your personal and professional development.

Now in its tenth year, Web Unleashed is back for three days of exciting programming. Hear from the industry’s top professionals from Google, Microsoft, Shopify, Stripe, Squarespace, Gatsby, Postman, Rangle.io and others. This is also your chance to network with like-minded folks in the community, and take part in live Q&As with the experts and innovators leading and changing the future of front-end web development.

Online events are kind of our thing -- FITC has been a leader in hosting online conferences since 2002, and we’ve perfected the online experience for you. Expect top-end production values and content you can trust.

Worried about not being able to attend the event live due to a busy schedule? Not a problem! All the talks will be recorded for your viewing pleasure, so you’ll be able to watch the talks later when it’s convenient for you. Grab your ticket today!

TechTO subscribers: Save 25% off your tickets

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SAS Viya Learning Series for Financial Services

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Newsletter published on:
September 13, 2021
Great Opportunities
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Analytics has gone from a largely impenetrable discipline embraced by academics and statisticians to a market crammed with hundreds of products and services. Founded more than 40 years ago, SAS Institute remains the leader in analytics entrenched in customer and business intelligence, anti-fraud, and predictive analytics. Last year, nearly 178,000 job postings listed SAS as a desired skill, according to Emsi, an aggregator of labour market data.

SAS Viya is an AI, analytics and data management platform. It uses open-source models or SAS models and can be accessed through APIs, interact with GUIs or with popular programming interfaces like Jupyter notebooks.

SAS has several resources available for data scientists seeking to learn the latest SAS Viya has to offer, and for leaders looking to bolster their employees’ analytical awareness and skills. Starting Sept. 16, SAS will launch the Viya Learning Series for Financial Services.

This free 8-part learning series will cover several aspects of SAS Viya and explain the benefits of VIYA for various end-users. 

The schedule will have content tailored for data scientists, visual analysts and SAS programmers. Part 1 and 2 of the series will be accessible to everyone and will provide a summary of SAS Viya and a use case from a U.S. Financial Institute.

View the full schedule here, and then don’t forget to register!

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Company Spotlight: Lightster

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Newsletter published on:
September 10, 2021
Company Spotlight

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About Lightster

Lightster's mission is to put users on every Creator's team because we believe putting users in the driver's seat will maximize the chance of achieving product-market fit. Lightster was founded by Natthawut Phothiphianthong and Pativet Sathiensamrit.

We want to be the most human company ever because we are empowering human feedback in the product lifecycle.

Why it was founded

The team personally experienced the problem of not being able to involve users often in my work, and people in my network also experienced the same problem. So we saw the opportunity to solve this problem once and for all.

We also saw two key trends - the rise of entrepreneurship and new products being created, and also the rise of side hustles that cater to both sides of our platform.

Connect with the team

Head over to lighster.co to learn more!

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Clio continues its shopping spree

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Newsletter published on:
September 10, 2021
Quick Takes

What is the news

Vancouver-based Clio, acquired Lawyaw for a mid-eight figure amount. Lawyaw is Clio's second acquisition since closing a $110m round of financing earlier this year.

Lawyaw, a YC backed company, offers legal document automation SAAS product and was generating millions of dollars on the Clio platform.

What does Clio do

Clio helps lawyers at firms of all sizes by offering cloud-based software that helps manage various parts of the business including client intake, calendaring, document management, timekeeping, billing and more and has roughly 200,000 customers.

Why make the acquisition?

Clio is looking to expand the features and products it offers in its core service to improve customer satisfaction.  One of the reasons it raised its last round was to increase the pace of acquisitions.  Like the previous acquisition July, CalendarRule,

Clio look to its app store to find an acquisition that it's customers already used.

Why should you care

The tide has officially turned in acquisition space. Several years ago the worry was that Canadian companies would be sold to large foreign tech companies but over the last several years the large Canadian companies have become the acquirers. According to the Globe and Mail,  Canadian “strategic acquirers,” or operating companies, have purchased 234 software companies so far in 2021 compared to just 46 acquisitions in 2016.

Every week we could feature a well known Canadian company from a different city who has recently made an acquisition (e.g. Lightspeed from Montreal; PointClickCare in Toronto, or Clio in Vancouver).  While all of these acquisitions are ultimately to grow the companies their strategies are different.  Some are buying customers and distribution; some are buying complementary products and services and others are to enter new or adjacent markets.  If these strategies work to maintain or increase growth these strategic acquirers will increase valuations which will benefit the employees that work for them.

Clio's acquisitions show the benefit and risk of selling via a platform.  Platform provides great distribution and lower customer acquisition cost but the risk is that the platform decides to compete with you.  The platform knows which products/services have the most demand on the platform.  What is interesting is that Clio is using this information to purchase the companies instead of creating products to compete with them.  Shopify another platform company is using the knowledge to invest in potential winners on the platform than accelerate their growth. My takeaway, if you are going to leverage a platform for distribution, you should get to know the team who is responsible for the platform's growth.  They will have the knowledge to help you and may become an investor or acquirer.

Catch up on past episodes of Quick Takes by following us on Youtube, Spotify, or wherever you listen to podcasts.

Back in 2016, Founder & CEO, Jack Newton, joined our TechVancouver stage to talk about building a great beta program. Watch the whole video here.

YouTube Video Covers-Sep-09-2021-09-52-15-18-PM

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Company of the week: Dapper Labs

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Newsletter published on:
September 8, 2021
Company Spotlight

Each week we interview an innovative Canadian company that is hiring.

Company Logos for newsletter (correct size) (2)-1

About Dapper Labs

Dapper Labs is a consumer-focused flow blockchain product made for fun and games and supports digital collectables. It has developed games such as Cryptokitties, NBA Top Shot, and Cheeze Wizards.

Company Culture

At Dapper Labs, our people are our greatest strength. We’re proud to have a diverse team of creators and founders who flourish in an environment of personal autonomy, where professional growth is encouraged. We value our culture and diversity above all else, regardless of where you came from, what you studied, or who you used to work for. Titles and years of experience don't matter to us – impact, authenticity, and values alignment do. We're a remote-first organization, with most of the team working in Pacific Time.

Join the team

Dapper Labs is currently hiring across all parts of the business. Check out the careers page to learn more.

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