Tech Day on Parliament Hill to promote Canadian success stories

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The Globe and Mail | Contributor Jeff Musson | Oct 21, 2014

Parliment OttawaCanadian tech entrepreneurs may play a leading role in the global marketplace, but they do a poor job of celebrating their successes.

The country’s tech community must do a better job of highlighting its accomplishments for our political leaders, which is why North of 41, a grass roots tech entrepreneur based group, is organizing Tech Day on Parliament Hill. The event takes place on Oct. 21 during Small Business Week. The purpose of Tech Day on the Hill is to bring together Canadian tech entrepreneurs with our country’s elected officials and their staffers.

Our tech sector is punching above its weight class and is creating the kind of jobs that can lead Canadian innovation into the future, but our stories are rarely told. Our entrepreneurs are well educated and successful leaders who are developing products and services that are used around the globe. Companies like Kiwi are leading the way in the wearable tech space with their cutting edge products. Vanhawks is another company that’s making waves for raising over $820,000 on Kickstarter to design and build the world’s first.

As a country, we should celebrate these accomplishments. Our goal is to start the discussion as to what next steps should be in order to further the tech agenda in our country.

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This event has participation from companies and organizations such as IBM, Softlayer, Bloomberg, Dickinson-Wright, Intuit and Tech Connex in addition to some of Canada’s up-and-coming tech companies such as Shopify, Maxxian and Cityspot just to name a few. There will be demos during the breakfast reception at the Library and Archives building in the morning.

A panel discussion has also been organized that will centre on issues facing Canada’s tech entrepreneurs. The Economic Club of Canada is hosting a lunch at the Chateau Laurier that will focus the discussion on what we as a country can do in order to facilitate growth in Canada’s tech sector. Finally there is an after-work reception at the Moscow Tea Room at 527 Sussex Dr. At the reception, staffers and MPs will be able to demo some of the innovative tech being developed by up and coming companies.

Ottawa should be commended for its willingness to engage our country’s entrepreneurs; however, there’ still much work to be done. All stakeholders must have a hand in helping the development, commercialization and promoting of Canada’s technology sector.

North of 41 is one of these stakeholders and it is our group’s belief that before visionary goals can be achieved in Canada’s tech sector, there must be a grassroots event such as Tech Day on the Hill that will start the discussion between the various groups. This is the only way a successful strategy can be developed and implemented to lead Canadian innovation into the future. As a sector, we must continue to promote our Canadian tech companies, celebrate our success and not be shy about telling the world what we are doing; our time has finally arrived.

Jeff Musson is the president of Dynamitenetwork.com and founder North of 41 @northof41

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