Canadian Tech at Scale 2018

Jessica Rowen

July 12, 2018

On June 1st, 2018 we continued with (one part of) our journey to grow the Canadian tech ecosystem by hosting the the third annual Canadian Tech at Scale conference in partnership with Jean-Michel Lemieux, SVP Engineering at Shopify. We built upon the success of the 2017 conference, bringing together even more of Canada’s top tech leaders (150 folks in total) and ensured we increased the representation of women (30% of attendees, 65% of speakers were women).


Canadian Tech at Scale Speakers

The impressive line-up of speakers included:

  • Delaney Manders, VP of Engineering – Core, Shopify
  • Foteini Agrafioti, Head of Borealis AI + Chief Science Officer at RBC
  • Francesco Iorio, Director of Computational Science Research, Autodesk
  • Jordan Christensen, VP Engineering, Ecobee
  • Sarah Kaplan, Professor of Strategic Management, Director of the Institute for Gender and the Economy (GATE), Rotman School of Management
  • Solmaz Shahalizadeh, Director Data & Science Engineering, Shopify

Topics ranged from highly technical conversations around the role of AI in solution generation to more leadership focused challenges like reinventing how tech leaders are made. We filmed all the talks, so if you didn’t have a chance to make it, you can check them out here.


Growing the Canadian Tech Ecosystem

It has always been our intention to support the growth of the Canadian tech ecosystem since the founding of gdR in 2007. And Canadian Tech at Scale is one avenue that allows us to do that. Not only are we creating space for Canada’s top tech leaders to collaborate and learn from each other, but we’re also showcasing the amazing companies that have chosen Canada as their forever home. As we mentioned in a recent Globe and Mail opinion piece, “when it comes to tech talent in Canada, there’s a phenomenon on the rise that’s impossible to ignore: brain gain… While much talk has been devoted to tech talent moving south of the border, little spotlight has been shone on those who choose to stay and the reasons why they should. It’s time to be louder about the world-leading career opportunities in Canada.” Canadian Tech at Scale is our megaphone for all these career opportunities.

Similar to last year, we wanted to give back to the community to support the next generation of tech talent. This year we donated all of the money earned from tickets sales (less the cost to to host the conference) to Tech Spark, which is Canada’s first tech and design school committed to empowering girls and children of colour through innovative education.


Canadian Tech at Scale 2019

If you’re interested in attending the 2019 conference (planning already underway!), you can subscribe to our mailing list at so that we can keep you in the loop on all the details.


Just for Fun

If you’ve ever seen our Canadian Tech at Scale tees around and you’ve thought, “I NEED ONE OF THOSE!” Your wish has been granted. You can now purchase your very own through our online store. A huge thank you to our dev team (Jean-Michel Lemieux aka JML) for making this happen!


Canadian Tech at Scale Team

Not only did the conference grow and evolve, but so did our organizing team. This year we had the pleasure of including Inmar Givoni, Autonomy Engineering Manager at Uber ATG who was one of our 2017 speakers.

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