While you were looking the other way, Toronto humbly produced some of the globe's top artificial intelligence and deep learning experts, companies, and innovations. Now is the time for the city to stand up tall and loudly proclaim what local folks already know: Toronto is at the center of AI innovation and its real-world applications. The city is home to world-class academic institutions like the University of Toronto and nearby to the University of Waterloo, both of which constantly churn out bright computer and data scientists, engineers, and developers building next-generation AI technologies. These institutions are world leaders in scientific research, creating an ecosystem ripe with opportunities for novel applications for AI, particularly in the fields of health and life sciences. My own company actively recruits staff from both schools.
While you were looking the other way, Toronto humbly produced some of the globe's top artificial intelligence and deep learning experts, companies, and innovations. Now is the time for the city to stand up tall and loudly proclaim what local folks already know: Toronto is at the center of AI innovation and its real-world applications.
Canada was the business world's best-kept secret. Progress and innovation in Canada -- especially in artificial intelligence, clean technology and health care -- has been monumental for decades. Yet, we stayed humble through those years of innovation. That is, until the country embraced its position as a destination for commercial investment and a world leader in artificial intelligence. Now, Canada is empowering new companies to compete on the global stage, hosting massive technology industry events featuring the world's best innovators and attracting international talent to work on world-changing innovations.
Canada's latest move to turbo-charge its technology sector seems almost un-Canadian. Justin Trudeau's government recently moved – unapologetically – to grab a bigger slice of global tech markets with a plan to create five innovation "superclusters" across the country. An almost $1 billion investment is being made to turn up the heat in Canada's existing hotbeds of innovation with cities like Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver, which are already popular destinations for tech talent, in the driver's seat. Indeed, governments everywhere channel money into research and technology. What makes Canada's approach unique, though, is that instead of picking winning technologies or backing particular companies, it's trying to kickstart new collaborations.
Intensive full-day sessions with the Fellows and Associates take place every eight weeks with the purpose of assessing progress and setting new short-term objectives. Meetings are attended by the Fellows and Associates, a carefully selected group of exited entrepreneurs, angel investors, and partners from leading venture capital firms who often invest in ventures that demonstrate a track record of achieving their objectives. World-renowned experts from leading academic institutions provide technical feedback to founders and advise the Fellows and Associates on objectives related to technology validation. MBA students work with founders to develop financial models, evaluate potential markets, and fine-tune strategies for scaling. The program is designed for early-stage, science-based technology companies, though we consider all applicants based on their potential to scale and the viability of their product.