Message from the CEO: Toronto’s Evolving Tech Community in 2024 and beyond

By: Shivani Persad, June 14 2024

In 2017, several members of Toronto’s tech community came together with a shared vision to shine a global spotlight on Canadian innovators. I still remember sitting in a planning meeting, completely captivated by a mission that almost felt too ambitious to be Canadian.

Bringing that vision to life has been my driving force for over eight years, and I’m incredibly proud of what we’ve accomplished.

With the news of Collision moving west to Vancouver, Elevate Festival remains a steadfast presence, offering year-round opportunities for connection and innovation. This development reinforces our commitment to championing the Canadian & Toronto tech community today and for many years to come.

Since 2017, here’s a look at our festival’s impact:

➡️ 100,000 attendees across our annual Festival and marquee events
➡️ Over 1,500 speakers, of which 53% were women-identified or non-binary
➡️ Facilitated 1,200 1-1 meetings between founders and investors
➡️ Hosted over 1,000 media, garnering 1.7b media impressions

Our homegrown event has evolved into a world-class festival, attracting global icons like Eric Schmidt, Kara Swisher, and Michelle Obama and featuring Canadian titans, including Tobi Lutke, Geoffrey Hinton, and Joanna Griffiths. All while investing in building a sustainable presence in the Canadian and Toronto tech and innovation industry.

We do this for founders who need more opportunities for connection and a platform to share their innovative work. Most importantly, we do this because we believe that Canada’s unparalleled talent deserves all the support necessary to thrive.

As we look ahead, our focus is to expand international attendance and boost investment in the local economy. Our commitment extends beyond the festival itself; we offer founders connectivity and increased exposure throughout the year. By continuously investing in our innovation programs and marquee events like CIX and Elevate Talks, we strive to have a lasting impact on the tech community and beyond.

I’m incredibly proud of all that we’ve accomplished so far, but none of it would have been possible without the vibrant ecosystem that surrounds us. What we build, we build together, and I’d love to talk more. My inbox is always open, and you can email me at or send me a DM.

I look forward to seeing you at Collision next week and at Elevate Festival this Fall.