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Meet York Region

The Top Quotes from York Region’s Tech Masterclass at Collision 2021

The Region’s masterclass session took centre stage on the first day and ended up being one of the most viewed sessions promoting a city, region, or country during the entire conference. All our guests were incredible, but there were some truly memorable quotes, which we’ve pulled out for you below!

Going virtual for a second year due to the pandemic, Collision Conference 2021 – North America’s fastest growing technology conference – was a hit for our masterclass “Meet York Region: Toronto’s High-Tech Neighbour!”. The Region’s masterclass session took centre stage on the first day and ended up being one of the most viewed sessions promoting a city, region, or country during the entire conference. All our guests were incredible, but there were some truly memorable quotes, which we’ve pulled out for you below!

York Region’s masterclass was hosted by Canadian tech expert and Radio/TV personality Marc Saltzman, featuring interviews with leaders from General Motors (GM) Canada, KPMG Canada, Toronto Global, ventureLAB, and others. Our guests talked about everything you need to know about York Region as a major tech hub, the support available in our innovation ecosystem, and how foreign talent can make the jump and move to the place where talent and opportunity intersect. Don’t take our word for it, when our host summed it up perfectly!

I’m also proud to call York Region home, in fact we’re going to hear from subject matter experts about why Toronto Area’s York Region is the best place in Canada to grow your start up and build your career in technology. It is the place where talent and opportunity intersect!

Marc Saltzman

– Marc Saltzman
Tech Expert & Radio/TV Personality

Now Let’s dive into the rest of the memorable quotes!

Destination Tech

This segment focused on York Region’s impressive talent pool, quality of life, and the tech ecosystem found across the Greater Toronto Area.

Toronto region’s ability to grow, attract, and retain talent is unlike anything else in North America. We grow talent through our fantastic education system, strong post-secondary education schools. We’re building that talent pipeline of the future and companies can grow off that. We attract talent from some of the most favourable immigration policies the world gets to see.

Matt Switzer

Matt Switzer
Director of Investment Attraction
Toronto Global

It (York Region) also has the highest concentration of tech talent in the Toronto-Waterloo technology corridor and really why is this? York Region’s municipalities and communities are routinely ranked and highlighted as top locations in Canada to live and raise a family. Our municipalities provide a variety of urban and suburban lifestyle options… while being embedded in one of Canada’s largest tech communities.

Gordon Scheel

Gordon Scheel
Senior Business Advisor
York Region

We’re surrounded by this strong ecosystem of great universities, startups, and really innovative partners. Because of that we have such great access to these brilliant minds who believe in GM’s mission… You don’t have to go to Silicon Valley anymore to do this kind of engineering. Work is happening right here in Canada and that’s what’s really exciting.

Denesen Thuraisingham

Denesen Thuraisingam
Manager – Electrification Thermal Management
GM Canada

In Good Company

Alongside Marc Saltzman, local tech entrepreneurs and startup support organizations discussed the complementary tech ecosystem in York Region, including the hardware catalyst initiative from ventureLAB, York University’s YSpace, and a new incubator coming to Northern York Region.  

The hardware catalyst initiative is Canada’s only lab and incubator for founders developing breakthrough hardware and semiconductor solutions that are embedded into products that define our future. From autonomous and electric vehicles to the latest mobile phones to 5G communications and beyond.

Melissa Chee

Melissa Chee
President & CEO

We saw the opportunity [in York Region] and saw the [YSpace – York University] facility and it was beautiful. Meeting David [Kwok – also pictured below] there for the first time really opened doors and enlightened me in regard to what support there is within the Region. From business development, to sales, to developing your first product, and it just sounded great. To be honest, they were able to come through with all of that.

Jim Feng

Dr. Jim Feng

David Kwok

David Kwok
Associate Director of Entrepreneurship
York University

There are so many advantages to York Region and Newmarket. Listen, not only do you get all the benefit of Toronto in that you can just jump on a bus, jump in a car, and get access to anything you want. In addition, to that we have the highest concentration of ICT companies in the in the Toronto area. We have over 4,300 ICT companies; if you need some other start-up juice, some other companies to get off the ground then this is the place!

Sean Stephens

Sean Stephens

Made in Canada

Finally, Marc spoke with Long Mangalji LLP, KPMG Canada, and RBC Innovation Group around legal and technical questions on establishing a business and working in Canada.

There’s two ways for companies to access the global talent stream. Category A requires that a company is referred by one of the streams designated referral partners like York Region. Or category B, where the position that the employer is looking to hire for needs to be a listed tech occupation such as software engineers or computer programmer for example. Through the global talent stream, a company should be able to bring in an employee in as little as two to four weeks.

Ziah Sumar

Ziah Sumar
Long Mangalji LLP

SR&ED tax credits are a lifeblood of a lot of tech companies that operate in Canada. The program is a big program, lots of companies are eligible. The Canadian government pays out three billion dollars which is big by Canadian standards under this program to companies that are developing technology.

David Regan

David Regan
Partner-in-Charge Tax Incentives Practice

Another area that we see are more and more foreign companies looking to set up some kind of employee savings and banking plans to help with attracting and retaining talent, which are always top of mind for Canadian technology companies.

Amy Ng

Amy Ng
Vice President Technology & Innovation Banking

Thank you to our host Marc Saltzman and all the industry leaders who participated for taking the time to share their experience and talk about York Region as the place where talent and opportunity intersect! If you want to watch the entire Masterclass, it’s right here for you! https://youtu.be/jwh_wHa2k2k