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Techstars Startup Digest Toronto - Help Black youth become big tech

Issue #8 — View online — Suggest a link
Techstars Startup Digest Toronto

Locally curated talks, workshops, and other events for those interested in creating a startup, growing one, or who want to connect with startups in the Greater Toronto Area.

Good morning, Toronto startups and entrepreneurs! In last week’s newsletter, I linked to a commentary by MaRS CEO Yung Wu where he notes that the States’ rejection of foreign talent is a huge mistake. A few days later, Duolingo’s co-founder Luis von Ahn threatened to move jobs from Pittsburgh to Toronto over immigration policies. You can read Von Ahn’s tweet below.
Revisiting another commentary, you may recall I linked to an interview with John Rice, where he outlines how to invest in your talent pipeline to recruit racialised people. Black representation in tech is in the single digits, with many companies showing slow growth despite years of pledges and commitments.
If big tech won’t seek out Black hires, then we help those Black hires become big tech. Toronto’s Roots Community Services is holding a youth entrepreneurship mentoring program called Black Leaders of Tomorrow. They currently have youth registered and interested in creating applications and gaming, but do not have any mentors to match. If you’re a Black founder or manager and want to help out, please apply now.
Community Opportunities
Here are some upcoming deadlines for applying to accelerators, grants and funding, or other competitions. Don’t miss out! If you know of others, please submit any application deadlines and I’ll post them if they’re relevant.
As a national video series, Startup & Slay Digital aims to raise the profile and visibility of women business owners of colour or racialized women, persons with disabilities, Indigenous women, those who identify as members of the LGBTQ+ community, or those who come from an immigrant or refugee background. This year’s program is online. Startup & Slay is now taking applications for 2020. Selected 2020 honourees will share their stories through virtual meetups and engage with an even larger audience.
Calling all leaders and innovators! The York Entrepreneurship Development Institute (YEDI) is now accepting applications for its Fall 2020 Incubator Program. Receive extensive education, ongoing mentorship and the chance to showcase your venture to industry representatives. YEDI’s Incubator Program is the perfect way to transform your venture from an idea to a reality. 
Have a great week, and stay well!

Luis von Ahn
I'm proud that @duolingo, the most valuable startup in PA, is seen as an inspiration for Pittsburgh. Unfortunately, if the US policies against (extremely qualified) immigration continue, we'll be forced to move jobs (and inspiration) to Toronto @SenToomey @SenBobCasey @billpeduto
Techstars Startup Digest Techstars Startup Digest Toronto is curated by:
Ian Stevens Ian Stevens -
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