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Wut. Can someone pls explain.. There should be consequences for Ontario grads leaving Canada: CEOs
www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/there-should-be-consequences-for-ontario-grads-leaving-cana...
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Khazret Sapenov, Jaxson Khan and 5 others like this

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Matt BurnsThis is just ridiculous imo

3 days ago   ·  4
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Paul Jeffrey CroweThere should be consequences for tech CEO's that can't convince talent to stay and work for them. Oh wait, there is :)

3 days ago   ·  26
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April DunfordMany members of that council are active in this group. Interested to hear their take on it.

3 days ago   ·  5

6 Replies

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Boris MannW. T. F.

3 days ago   ·  5
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Ian KingThe real question here is how to frame our national investment in education. If we're taking a purist moral stance of education existing as a fundamental human right, then we can not place any restriction on what receivers of subsidized education do with said education. However, that is a deeply naive and fundamentally flawed stance that does not take into account the real politik of global factors at play of a nation existing within a system of nations. Subsidized education is a national investment in our talent development funnel and we need an ROI on our tax dollars. If all the talent we invest so dearly in to develop does not contribute back to our companies and if those grads are not paying taxes to help support our national economy, it's even detrimental to the US who is profiting so dearly from this - that parasitism of our talent will eventually collapse Canada and the US won't have its cheap talent incubator anymore. I've had several conversations with Tannishtha on this in the past. The only comparable initiative that comes to mind are military-subsidized tuitions that are tied to mandatory years of service. Granted, we are not completely subsidizing tuition and so we can't expect military-levels of lock-in yet the degree of lock-in should be commensurate with the degree of subsidies received. The alternative discussion here which I've seen Tannishtha propose in some other threads is that rather than restricting movement, the goal should be to create systemic factors that make Canadian talent want to stay and work in Canada. Nonetheless, this really is a a chicken-and-egg phenomenon - which one do we focus on first? Altogether though, I guess we should end on this note: why are we accepting national subsidies on our education if we're not willing to give back to our country? We take investor dollars and are eager to give them ROI and yet why don't we think this way about our country and its investment in our collective development?

3 days ago

5 Replies

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Matthew YangPunitive measure never work, and all they will do is cause frustration and anger among the targeted groups (university students), and it won't do anything to solve the original brain drain problem. If you want talent, be willing to spend money and effort on attracting them, rather than blaming the talent for leaving.

3 days ago   ·  1

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Pulat YunusovSeparating taxpayers from citizens in general is very Rob Ford.

3 days ago   ·  1
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Wilkins ChungTalent is globally mobile. You're going to fail if you don't recognize this and compete accordingly. Ppl in this article are full of fail.

3 days ago   ·  3
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Mark OrganYeah that proposal is disgraceful. But what do you think of our newsjacking of this article? I think we came out looking pretty good.

2 days ago   ·  19

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Anthony ReinhartIn recent conversations with Canadian expats working in tech in the Bay Area, most told me they would move back if they saw more opportunities here to work on big, meaningful projects. For whatever reason, they're not seeing them. Another suggested Canada's tech companies cannot claim to want to attract top global talent on one hand, while paying discount wages on the other. If we want to compete with Valley employers for the absolute best talent, we have to be willing to at least match Valley compensation, he argued; otherwise, we're signalling to the world that we're not serious about competing. This is anecdotal feedback based on a small number of interviews, so I can't claim these people's views are representative of all 25K Canadians in the Valley. But to solve this problem, we should probably start by talking to the very people this kind of payback proposal would target.

2 days ago   ·  7
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John RuffoloThanks Ian King. This penalty idea is not a policy plank of the Council of Canadian Innovators but the reporter seems to have written it that way. The current highest priority of the CCI is the talent agenda and together with the CEO members are developing ideas to increase the talent pool in Canada through innovative immigration and emigration ideas. Lots of great ideas are coming in and being formulated. One idea I heard bandied about is the double taxpayer hit when we taxpayers educate folks and then they immediately leave Canada. We paid for the education yet lose their economic input. So, in Ontario for example, when the Liberal Gov't announced a broad idea to pay for university education, is there a concept to pay for a students education by the taxpayers in exchange for them staying in Canada for say 3 years. This concept would be more of an incentive than a penalty. But as far as I am aware, the idea has not been fully fleshed out. I spoke to the ED of CCI who confirmed that the only point that was raised was the conundrum of taxpayer dollars leaking out ie. Akin to a churn issue for startups.

2 days ago   ·  5

7 Replies

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Ethan HenryNice work Mark Organ. The basic truth is that you have to compete with companies paying a lot of money. Talent follows the money. Working at Eloqua was great, but making 3x my Canadian income in the US is hard to argue with. And if you want senior talent, free lunches and gym memberships are nice but ultimately irrelevant. People beyond their 20's need higher comp, autonomy and flexibility - honestly not things most Canadian companies are famous for.

2 days ago   ·  3
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Julian D'AngeloYour average grad isn't flocking to the states because they simply can't compete there, my guess is that it's the top 5-10% that are leaving, maybe less. (Though concrete data would be nice.) If you don't have an ecosystem to tend to the brightest minds, you're only holding them back. It's like a junior hockey coach saying, we invested so much into you, and now you want to go play in the NHL?

2 days ago   ·  6

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Mike ShaverMy perspective on this is either informed or tainted by spending 6 years on the board of Canada's largest post-secondary institution, just as a disclosure. I didn't attend a Canadian post-secondary institution myself, but I am reliably informed that they're great. I've hired probably dozens of Canadian grads into positions in Canada and the US. I think that this sort of initiative would meet with substantial resistance from educators. The ones I know *celebrate* their students finding a position they are willing to move a long way for, and one where their employer values them enough to do visa and relocation work. That sort of actualization is a wonderful educational outcome, and it will be extremely challenging to get educators onside with pushing people into "lesser" (as perceived by the graduate) jobs via financial penalties. (It's also not clear that it would work. Companies put claw-backs on tuition when they pay someone to get an MBA, and it rapidly just became part of the calculus of a hiring package. If Google or Microsoft or Facebook have to put an extra $50K Canadian into a hiring package to pay the emigration tax -- I can't believe that we're talking about such a thing as serious adults -- then that's pretty likely to just happen, with some clawback. Existing signing bonuses and relo budgets can easily be 3 times that anyway, and one-off costs for hiring are regarded as below the noise floor in many places.) What these CEOs actually want, I think, is to increase the value that Canadian industry gets out of the Canadian educational system. That's a reasonable thing to want, even if this is a pretty distasteful approach to it. There are lots of things they could be lobbying for that aren't punitive towards people starting their careers by working for a company that is excited to have them. One example: better investment in education-industry research collaborations, especially in the area where colleges have been pretty neglected, and often able to provide more readily productizable work. (Education is actually a provincial investment, so taken at face value this would penalize a U of T grad going to work in Montreal.)

2 days ago   ·  11

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Benjamin BergenI'm the ED at CCI -- In today’s Globe and Mail our goal was to create a conversation around issues of retention for domestic tech companies. I want to clarify that ideas discussed in the article are not official policies CCI is currently advocating. CCI is instead encouraging provincial governments to design policies that will ensure made in Canada companies can grow and thrive and talent is one of the critical issues. There are many different views on how best to tackle it and we welcome all ideas. CCI is simply seeking a dialogue with government to tackle this important issue for tech sector.

2 days ago   ·  5

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Tannishtha Ray PramanickSlightly concerned here that whenever the topic of the great Canadian tech brain drain has come up as an issue to deal with, people automatically assume that anyone looking to rectify the situation is hinting at closing borders/restricting emigration. I get this article is sort of hinting at that, but even in past discussions when that hasn't been hinted at, people have taken a critical stance by calling out a point that no one is making, namely; restricting movement. Relax guys, no one is saying Canada has only one way of dealing with the issue, and that's by becoming like North Korea. I don't know why this keeps happening.

2 days ago   ·  1

1 Reply

Tannishtha Ray Pramanick

Jaxson KhanPerhaps instead of penalizing students who leave to pursue great opportunities we should focus on retaining the 46% of international students who want to stay in Canada with only 5% being able to. wenr.wes.org/2014/05/attracting-and-retaining-international-students-in-canada/ Retaining international students and increasing immigration is key for Canada to combat the impending demographic crunch.

2 days ago   ·  14

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Jaxson Khan

Rob HyndmanTrain people, give them opportunity and freedom.

2 days ago   ·  3

1 Reply

Rob Hyndman

Gustavo Melo", where salaries are much higher because of the weak Canadian dollar" - let's clarify one thing, the weak Canadian dollar has little to do with this discussion, if anything at all. Many tech companies in Toronto do business primarily in the US, get paid in American dollars, have many of their employees' salaries partially subsidized by the government through programs like SR&ED and IRAP, and still underpay their talent vs. American companies.

1 day ago   ·  6

1 Reply

Gustavo Melo

Leo LuoJaxson Khan, you got a good point. Talents will only follow the good opportunities, just like smart money! Your can't really force a mutual fund manager to invest in below average companies, what make those high-tech CEOs think Canadian graduates should spend their life with less competitive companies? The only way to attract talents is to be strong and competitive... nothing else.

1 day ago   ·  3
Leo Luo

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Sometimes it is important to remind ourselves of all of the amazing things going on here in Canada. In just the last few weeks:

- Influitive passed the elusive $10M ARR threshold.
- League announces a monster 'A' round.
- Hubba passed over 20,000 companies on the network.
- Shopify announces a major partnership with Apple Pay
- Andela raises a ton of money from Mark Zuckerberg
- Resson, a company out of Fredricton lands big growth funding from a huge strategic
- 500px was selected by the White House's New Tech Inclusion Pledge
- Nudge lands a hefty seed round.
- TechCrunch posts a really positive article about the community here.
- Harvard/IHS found Toronto to be the #6 city in the world for Female entrepreneurs but we all know there is still a lot of work to do here.
- Wattpad partners with Turner, a major U.S. studio/broadcaster.

This is just the tip of the iceberg.These are just the things on the top of my mind. I am missing a bunch, particularly from the west coast.

What is your company proud of? Would love to pile on all of your great news too (without too much shameless self-promotion of course).
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Nikitasha Kapoor, Joe Lee and 169 others like this

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Ben Baldwin+ Vitalik Buterin and Ethereum hail from Toronto. Right, Dmitry Buterin?

4 days ago   ·  7
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Jodi EchakowitzOverbond (client) announced a $7.5M seed round last week. I'm thinking this is one of the biggest seed funding rounds in Canada in recent memory...

4 days ago   ·  14
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Ben ZifkinFigure 1 launched messaging which is a game-changer in their industry.

4 days ago   ·  14
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Ben Baldwin+ I think Wealthsimple is growing faster than its American competition. Right, Mike Katchen?

4 days ago   ·  12
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Mudit Singh RawatWe don't talk about this enough, but the startup community here is tightly knit and is always open to making great introductions - I can think of all the intro's the team at Hubba has made for us at Urbery which is now resulting into multiple CPG partnerships! Plus great support from various incubators (shout out to DMZ at Ryerson University) and access to vibrant/cost effective shared spaces (like Project Spaces).

4 days ago   ·  16
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Daniel Debow

4 days ago   ·  11
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Corby Fine...and your book!

4 days ago   ·  3
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Rokham FaardVery well said and great to see some attitude for gratitude :)

4 days ago   ·  2
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Sarah KatyalAwesome! Love this Ben, and congrats on your new book. The female part still needs a lot of work ahem... ;)

4 days ago   ·  4
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Ivan TsarynnyA big announcement from OMERS that OneEleven will be opening phase 2 with 1/4 Million SQF office space in downtown

4 days ago   ·  15
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Ameet NathwaniEndy has joined hands with Furniture Bank Toronto to design and manufacture a low-cost/quality mattress to service their over 10,000 clients annually. As a basic necessity in any home, we share their vision to bring dignity and comfort to those in need in our beautiful city.

3 days ago   ·  10

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Ben ZifkinPretty sure, Unilever invited Sampler out to Cannes with them this week. Crazy. Lots of great stories here.

3 days ago   ·  10
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Keith IppelNejeed Kassam (Keela) & Sarah Goodman (iHeart) are 2 of the 11 Canadians selected to the #GES2016 at Stanford this week.

3 days ago   ·  6

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Michael GokturkPayfirma also offers Apple Pay now :)

3 days ago   ·  3
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John RuffoloBen this is the kind of thread everyone should be piling on!!!

3 days ago   ·  11

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Jevon MacDonaldResson Areospace - $14m Series A

3 days ago   ·  3

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Thomas StevensChefs Plate just expanded to BC, AB, and MB

3 days ago   ·  5
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Anthony ReinhartHere's another, just in: Waterloo's Ignis Innovations, whose technology makes OLED displays work optimally, just licensed its patents to LG Display. Huge potential here as the OLED market explodes. news.communitech.ca/news/sitting-pretty-ignis-innovation-taps-into-surging-global-market-for-oled...

3 days ago   ·  2

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Sarah GoodmanSo happy to be here in SF surrounded by entrepreneurs from all over the world!

3 days ago   ·  1
Sarah Goodman

Bryan LipovetskyKik

3 days ago   ·  2
Bryan Lipovetsky

Grant Findlay-ShirrasParkbench was selected to 500 Startups - Batch 17 in Silicon Valley. 2 years young. Boot strapped. Profitable. 90k+ MRR and growing across the US. Then my friend Devon Wright and Turnstyle Solutions were also selected to join the 500 family. Go Canada Go

3 days ago   ·  3

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Grant Findlay-Shirras

Craig MorantzWe've been flying a bit under the radar not having even announced our recent Series A. Funding announcements are awesome, but I am really proud of what the team has built, marketed and sold, nearly $2M in ARR. Probably the metric I'm most proud of is 100% retention. We've not lost a single higher ed client since we pivoted to higher education.

3 days ago   ·  9
Craig Morantz

Michael Serbinis100% Ben Zifkin

3 days ago   ·  8
Michael Serbinis

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