Headline, March 24 2022/ ''' '' TORONTO TECHNOLOGY TORTOISE '' '''


 TORTOISE '' '''

THE HARE AND THE TORTOISE RACE AND TORONTO has begun a quiet tech boom. Toronto has become a major North American center for the industry. Welcome all, to The World Students Society, for every subject in the world.

THANKS TO YEARS OF INVESTMENT FROM local universities, government agencies and business leaders and Canada's liberal immigration policies, Toronto is now the third-largest tech hub in North America.

It is home to more tech workers than Chicago, Los Angeles, Seattle and Washington, trailing only New York and Silicon Valley, according to CBRE, a real estate company.

Toronto's tech workforce is also growing at a faster clip than any hub in the United States. And unlike many cities, Toronto is likely to have the resources needed to sustain the trend. It is the fourth-most populous city in North America - with 2.8 million people in the city and 6.2 million in the metro area -behind only Mexico City, New York and Los Angeles, and its roots in technology run deep.

OVER THE LAST YEAR - TWITTER HIRED more than 100 engineers in Toronto, tripling its Canadian work force. Household Internet companies like DoorDash, eBay and Pinterest built similar technology hubs in the city, as did rising artificial companies like Cerebras, Groq and Recursion Pharmaceuticals.

This part of Canada includes two universities known for generating top researchers and engineers : the University of Toronto and the University of Waterloo.

In and around Toronto, local institutions are intent on feeding the tech ecosystem. Ontorio recently passed a law that explicitly bans companies from enforcing noncompete clauses in employment contracts, encouraging employees to found their own start-ups.

Backed by a $100 million donation from local business leaders, the University of Toronto is building a complex that will house A.I. and biotech companies.

WHEN DISCUSSING THE TORONTO TECH SCENE - locals inevitably point to Geoffrey Hinton, the University of Toronto professor whose research set in motion the recent boom in artificial intelligence.

In 2012, Dr. Hinton and two of his students published a breakthrough paper involving ''neural networks,'' a technology with a wide range of applications, including self-driving cars, digital assistants and chatbots.

Soon, the world's biggest companies were spending millions - sometimes tens of millions - to hire researchers who specialized in the technology.

Google spent $44 million for Dr. Hinton, born in Britain, and his two students, both born in the former Soviet Union. For a time, Dr. Hinton worked at Google's Silicon Valley headquarters. But he kept his Toronto professorship, and in 2016 he opened a Google research lab in Toronto.

The next year, he joined in founding the Vector Institute for Artificial Intelligence, which raised $130 million from government and industry meant to keep top researchers in Toronto, attract talent from other parts of the world and persuade other companies to open labs in the city.

The area was already a growing tech hub. As the financial center of Canada, Toronto was home to big banks. Microsoft had operated offices in the suburbs for years. So had computer chip companies like Intel and AMD. Google was running an engineering office near the University of Waterloo.

A month after Dr. Hinton announced his Google lab, Uber opened a self-driving car lab anchored by another University of Toronto professor : Raquel Urtasun, who had been courted by a who's who of American autonomous vehicle companies. She insisted on staying in Toronto.

''The one thing that was clear for me is that I did not want to go anywhere. The talent is here,'' said Dr. Urtasun, who was born in Spain and immigrated to Canada in 2014.

In 2019, two Canadian researchers who had worked in Google's Toronto lab, Aidan Gomez and Nick Frosst, created their own artificial intelligence company alongside another entrepreneur, IvanZhang. Called Cohere, it specializes in technology that helps machines understand the natural way people write and talk - the most promising breed of A.I. - and Google is now a partner.

A year later, as Uber's core ride-hailing business declined during the pandemic, the company jettisoned its self-driving car efforts. Dr. Urtasun founded a start-up called Waabi.

Driven by the pandemic, immigration policy and other forces, many other giants have followed Google and Uber into Toronto or rapidly expanded their existing operations in and around the city.

Local venture capitalists like Jordan Jaccobs, whose firm Radical Ventures invested in both Cohere and Waabi, believe this will feed the growth of a much larger start-up ecosystem.

Others are still unsure. The big American companies came to Toronto in part because the cost of the talent was lower. According to the recruitment website Hired, the average annual tech salary in Toronto was 117,000 Canadian dollars in 2020 versus $165,000 in Silicon Valley.

''A situation like this is always good for someone and bad for someone else,'' said Liran Belenzon, the Israeli-born chief executive of BenchSci, a biomedical artificial intelligence company he helped found in Toronto in 2016.

INVESTMENT in new Toronto companies is still tiny compared with Silicon Valley. In 2021 and 2022, investors pumped $132 billion into Silicon Valley tech start-ups according to the research firm Tracxn.

In Toronto, that figure was $5.4 billion. But ultimately, it is tech talent that drives a tech hub, said Mr. Volpi, a Bay Area venture capitalist who also invested in Cohere.

''The money will follow the talent,'' he said.

The Honour and Serving of the Latest Global Operational Research on Global Technology Hubs, continues. The World Students Society thanks author Cade Metz.

With respectful dedication to all Technology Hubs in the world, Scientists, Start-ups, and then Students, Professors and Teachers of the world. See Ya all prepare and register for Great Global Elections on The World Students Society - the exclusive ownership of every student in the world : wssciw.blogpspot.com and Twitter - E-!WOW! - The Ecosystem 2011 :

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