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Rob Ford Is Out, 5 Things The Next Mayor Needs To Do For Toronto's Tech Sector

Toronto is the 3rd largest ICT (Information, Communications, Telecommunications) cluster in North America with a strong development infrastructure and well educated work force.  Many international corporations call Toronto home or have their Canadian subsidiaries based in the Toronto.  Bottom line, Toronto contributes a lot of revenue to Canada’s technology sector.  The news that many Toronto residents were waiting for occurred yesterday, Rob Ford was booted out of office as the Mayor of Toronto.  A new election is around the corner which means there will be new candidates in the running to become the next Mayor of Toronto.  Here are 5 things we’d like to see the new Mayor of Toronto do for Toronto’s technology sector:

  1. Spokesperson – you can’t help but look at the Mayors of US cities such as Newark or San Francisco and how their Mayors are very active in promoting the technology industry within their cities. They act as ambassadors turning to tools such as Twitter to share the sector’s accomplishments, speaking at conferences and partner on other initiatives to ensure the workforce stays in their city and helps to grow the local technology economy
  2. Customer – Governments are big users of technology, as we said at the top, Toronto is the 3rd largest ICT cluster (behind San Francisco & New York) with over 3,000 Toronto-based companies all producing good and services, where possible Toronto should use Toronto-based technology
  3. Evangelize – Hire a community manager – someone who can be out at events, meeting the community and companies, have a pulse on what’s going on and report back to the Mayor so they can provide support where it is ‘needed’ in a timely manner
  4. Learn – about the entire eco-systerm (from the startups to the large multi-national enterprise companies within Toronto), you can’t implement change while sitting in the bleechers
  5. Unite – I have had the opportunity to sit on the City of Toronto’s ICT Cluster Group (which has since been shut down), there were always groups of people who did not talk to one another, there was a clear divided line between the “suits and non-suits.”  This raises a great concern because at some level everyone can do business or will need the other, many large enterprise companies need startups to make their solutions better; many startups need enterprise companies to sell to

Bonus: Finance – Provide funding for Toronto-based startups – The Province of Quebec cares so much about their startups that they actually provide various funding programs. Work with Ottawa to bring similar type of financial programs to Toronto