Mayor Tory to champion Toronto region as global centre of innovationby Rob Sysak, February 11, 2016
February 11, 2016 – Toronto Mayor John Tory today launched a new city website and strategy to champion the region as a centre of startups, innovation and growth, in partnership with City of Kitchener Mayor Berry Vrbanovic.
The two mayors will participate in a dual city mission to San Francisco and Silicon Valley in April, 2016, where they will communicate the region’s strengths, encourage investment and promote the Toronto-Waterloo regional corridor as an important home to talent and innovation.
“Toronto and the Waterloo Region are no further apart than San Francisco and Silicon Valley, and are home to a diverse, highly educated population and game changing ideas,” said Mayor Tory. “We need to build our reputation as a place where great talent is nurtured, industries can grow and where we engage the public in finding innovative solutions.”
“Thousands of finance and tech workers travel between Toronto and the Waterloo Region every day,” said Mayor Vrbanovic. “Developing the corridor that connects us will move people more efficiently, promoting greater collaboration and economic development and enabling us to compete on an international scale with the world’s largest innovation centres.”
The City launched a website at www.startupheretoronto.com to support the growing startup community in Toronto and the broader Toronto-Waterloo innovation corridor. The StartUp HERE Toronto website was built and will be managed in partnership with Toronto start-ups, incubators, accelerators, funders and educational institutions.
The Mayor launched the new site following a working group with private and public sector leaders and city staff on Thursday focused on four key items related to the city’s innovation agenda: talent attraction and retention; civic engagement, developing Toronto’s reputation as a digital testing ground, and creating an innovation friendly regulatory and procurement environment.
These initiatives are part of “From Concept to Commercialization: A Startup Eco-system Strategy for the City of Toronto”, which was endorsed by City Council in May 2015.
Mayor Tory will also be travelling to Kitchener-Waterloo on March 23 as part of his work with Mayor Vrbanovic to promote increased collaboration and improved connections between the regions.