Techhub Toronto: Multicultural City with North America’s Fastest Growing Tech Sector | News Article

News | 27-03-2023 | 12:39

Toronto is the fastest growing technology hub in North America. Both talent and capital are drawn to Canadian cities, a multicultural metropolis where 160 languages ​​are spoken. Herman Idema, Dutch Consul General in Toronto, talks about the opportunities for Dutch business here.

Herman Idema, Dutch Consul General in Toronto

What should I know about Toronto?

“The Greater Toronto Area is home to approximately 7 million people and is the fourth largest city in North America. More than 160 languages ​​are spoken here.Toronto is the economic center of Canada, one of the 10 largest economies in the world, which means it’s a truly cosmopolitan metropolis.

What makes Toronto attractive to Dutch companies?

“There is nowhere else in the world where the tech sector is growing so rapidly. Toronto is a vibrant tech hub for both established companies and start-ups. (Facebook), Microsoft’s Big 5 have offices here, as well as countless start-ups, which makes Toronto a magnet for talent and capital.There are currently over 80,000 people in Toronto’s tech sector. Universities in the region also focus on technology: AI legend Geoffrey Hinton, for example, is a longtime professor of computer science at the University of Toronto. We are also looking for connections, and these public-private partnerships have been successful.

Which Dutch tech companies are thriving here?

“Payment platform Adyen is a well-known fintech company with offices in Toronto.Tobertafel), innovations that help people with cognitive disabilities such as dementia. OneThird is a food tech startup that has developed a handheld scanner that predicts the shelf life of fresh produce, helping people in the food supply chain make better decisions. It is currently being tested in a pilot project with his chain of supermarkets in Canada. Geomarketing specialist Spotzi is also carving a niche here, helping businesses define, identify and target their customers.

Dutch Attendee Clash 2022

What can the Consulate General do for Dutch businesses?

“At least once a year, we organize trade missions for startups in collaboration with the Dutch Business Administration (RVO). We connect participants and stakeholders in business networks in the Greater Toronto area. The most important event that can help you get your foot in the door is the Collision Tech Conference, a three-day event held at the end of June each year that brings together nearly 2,000 startups and 1,000 investors. . Politico calls it the “Technology Olympics”. That’s why the Consulate General has a pavilion in collision. We organize networking events, pitch training sessions, and company visits. This year’s focus is on female tech entrepreneurs, but unfortunately this group is still underrepresented in the tech sector.

Are Canadian and Dutch business cultures similar?

“Our country shares the same norms and values, not just in business, but in the broader sense. Politically and historically, Canada is one of our most important allies. Million have Dutch roots and this deep bond is also found in the business sector.Canadian certainly speaks less plainly than the Dutch and builds personal relationships before making a deal. But once you build that relationship, it will last and lead to new connections and opportunities.”

Canada and the European Union have signed a trade agreement. Do Dutch businesses benefit?

‘absolutely! Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) eliminates 98% of import tariffs, allows faster access for goods and services to Canadian markets, and allows European companies at all levels of government to bid for Canadian public contracts Now CETA also includes arrangements on topics such as climate, environment and human rights. The treaty therefore certainly provides opportunities for Dutch businesses that are committed to doing business internationally in a socially responsible manner. The US-Mexico-Canada Agreement also gives companies operating in Canada access to the entire North American market, a market of about 500 million people.

What other areas of opportunity do you see?

“Canada faces challenges in the circular economy and the Life Sciences and Health (LSH) sector, which presents opportunities for Dutch entrepreneurs. Canada is increasingly moving towards a circular economy. Becoming ambitious, but with too little knowledge and expertise in-country to get the ball rolling, they are looking for best practices, especially in the areas of sustainable construction and waste management. With 100 members active in the construction industry, the Dutch-Canadian Circular Alliance (DCCA) helps companies in the Netherlands and Canada work together.The many opportunities for LSH are faced by the Dutch healthcare sector. It is related to the same issues: aging population, lack of staff, rising costs, etc.

Is doing business in Canada a risky adventure?

“Dutch entrepreneurs take no more risks in Canada than in the Netherlands. The Canadian economy is strong and stable. The system is governed by strict laws: Canada’s Constitution delegates many responsibilities to the provincial legislatures, giving them plenty of freedom to make their own choices. Canada has two official languages, English and French, and is spoken primarily in Quebec, but it doesn’t matter if you only speak English.

For more information

You can contact the Dutch Consulate General in Toronto by email. Techhub Toronto: Multicultural City with North America’s Fastest Growing Tech Sector | News Article

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