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Insider Profile: Akos Tolnai

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Newsletter published on:
July 19, 2021
Insider Profile

Tell us a little about you
I run a small European consulting company (Vienna and Hungary mostly) helping innovators with product-market fit and go-to-market strategies. I created a new market segmentation method in 2009, centered around behavioral economics and decision-making irrationalities. On top of that I built a matrix that helps product teams align with marketing and strategy and prioritize features that sell. Since 2013 I replaced the I with “we” and now we are 10+ ppl, remote first, and I love the team.

We work with HW and B2B startups and SMBs that want to go global - our behavior based approach works best when you start becoming geography agnostic - e.g you want to pick the market where you will perform best and not the market that has the biggest TAM. We are in the process of opening the Canadian branch in Toronto. Personally, I love helping founders in the very early phase of their journey (pro bono). Founder issues, early, agressive validation, validation without MVP are my favorite topics.

We are opening a Canadian office in the next couple of months and am looking forward to connecting with the Canadian tech ecosystem!

Want to connect with Akos? Head over to Insider Slack!

Notable Canadian News July 16

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Newsletter published on:
July 16, 2021

Other news you may have missed this week. Join us for next weeks Quick takes to dive in deeper:

Company Spotlight: TRIYO

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Newsletter published on:
July 16, 2021
Company Spotlight

What they do

TRIYO is a proprietary, platform-agnostic workplace collaboration tool aimed primarily at the financial services sector. TRIYO allows distributed teams to collaborate across regions and organizations in real-time with full transparency; focusing their efforts on high-value activities; minimizing the need for calls, meetings, emails, and updates.

The founding team and their stories

The company was founded by Rajiv Chatterjee and Puneet Malhotra. Rajiv began his career in San Francisco and has 19 years of software experience in the enterprise collaboration field. He has founded 3 companies, taking them from the ideation stage to commercialization. Puneet spent 17 years working in financial services, ranging from equity research, consulting to business development.

Why it was founded

The market for collaboration tool in the financial sector has continued to lag behind in comparison to other sectors. Triyo was founded to bridge the gap that lies in the Workforce collaboration market for financial services, especially Investment Banking and Capital Markets. Transactions and processes have become both increasingly complex, subject to stringent deadlines, distributed across geographies, and subject to increased levels of internal and external regulatory processes, and Triyo offers a platform to make the process easier through collaborating efficiently.

How they help their clients

We help clients by making their task management efficient and organized. They are able to delegate tasks and check progress on them on regular basis. Our product helps the companies in sharing documents across departments, and allow collaboration in a secure environment. Lastly, we also allow them to see project analytics that give a deep insight into their operations and present the data in user-friendly tables and charts that makes their work of analysis easier.

Head over to www.triyosoft.com for more information!

Partner Offer: KitchenMate

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Newsletter published on:
July 16, 2021
Partner Offers

KitchenMate is a food-service designed for the hybrid workplace. It was founded with the mission to make tasty, nutritious, and affordable fresh food that fits into people's increasingly fast-paced lives (watch our founder’s 2019 TechTO Talk: Start a Meaningful Company).

As the city reopens, employees are looking for good reasons to work in the office, and need to feel it's safe to do so. With hybrid work culture becoming the norm, the role of the office is shifting towards one focused on team collaboration, cultural cohesion and employee engagement.

Having access to fresh, nutritious and affordable meals in the comfort of your own office is an integral part of building this new employee experience. KitchenMate offers a variety of world-class freshly cooked hot meals, gourmet grab-and-go options and curated beverages that are available 24/7 for your staff. The seamless experience is enabled by real-time computer vision and proprietary hardware that makes it the most advanced workplace food solution. To learn more, get in touch with a product specialist.

They are releasing a very limited number of units later this year. For our TechTO family only, reserve Your Kiosk with Promo Code: TECHTO-07 at gen2.kitchenmate.com and receive 3 months of free service. *

*up to $900 value per company

Quick Take: The Reverse Brain DrainWhat is the news?

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Newsletter published on:
July 16, 2021
Quick Takes

What is the news?

CBRE, a large commercial real estate broker, released a report on tech talent by city in North America. The four fastest-growing cities, as measured by the number of employees percentage-wise over the last five years, were all Canadian. Toronto, Waterloo Region, Vancouver, and Edmonton each increased the size of their talent pool by more than 35%. This compares to 16.4% for the San Francisco Bay Area and 6.7% for New York.

The numbers

Other interesting numbers from the report

  • Tech talent (excluding managerial and administrative roles) accounts for 5.6% of the Canadian workforce or roughly ~900,000 people.
  • Only 33.3% of these people are employed by high-tech companies.
  • Tech talent grew at three times the national average over this period.
  • Toronto grew at 36.5% and added 66,900 people to the Toronto tech talent pool. This is almost equivalent to Ottawa's entire tech sector and 50% bigger than Calgary's tech sector.

Reasons behind the rapid growth

High-quality post-secondary STEM programs exist across the country. These programs produce the talent the tech sector needs in relatively high volume and outside of a few Universities most of this talent stays in Canada.

Canada’s and US immigration policies. Over the last five years, Canada has become more immigrant-friendly while the US has become less friendly. This directly helped Canada's largest cities as a talent that wanted to be in North America ended up in Canada.

Increased funding for Canadian tech start-ups and more start-ups scaling up. What do companies do with their funding? Hire domestically and import talent.

Cost of local talent. Due to salaries, the Canadian dollar, and SR&ED. Canadian talent is viewed as relatively affordable. As such, many scaling tech companies have opened offices across Canada.

Will the rapid growth continue?

My magic 8-ball says: "Reply hazy, try again". Growth in our ecosystem faces both headwinds and tailwinds.

What could hurt future growth?

  • The American stance on immigration is slowly turning around and doors are opening up again.
  • Move to distributed work. Previously tech talent emigrated for a better job and better lifestyle. Emigrating is not easy or fun. If salaries start equalizing globally a portion of people may decide not to emigrate.
  • Not enough talent available in Canada may mean companies don't open offices in Canada making Canada a less attractive place to immigrate to.

What could help growth?

  • Network effects. There are benefits to being located in a city with a lot of similar talent and where that talent is a significant portion of the working population. The Toronto/Waterloo region has a large volume of talent and it makes up a significant portion of the labour force meaning that the region may become a destination for talent seeking other talent.
  • Canadian companies continue to scale and raise record amounts of capital.

Why you should care

The growth of the tech sector in Canada impacts readers of this newsletter's ability to find interesting employment or find talent for their start-up.

More importantly, the growth of tech employment has positive and negative impacts on our cities. The positive is that it creates well paid relatively secure jobs. The negative is that these jobs make cities less affordable for other people that live in them. We need to think how the entire population of a city benefits from the tech sector growth.

Hopefully, increased demand for Canadian talent will result in increasing salaries for tech talent and companies choose to open offices in Canada due to the quality of talent and not the cost of the talent.

Catch up on the entire episode on Youtube and listen on Spotify or wherever you listen to podcasts.

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