The Toronto tech community is missing out on a big opportunity to share. Here’s what we’re doing about it.

Bruce Dorland

June 17, 2015

Toronto’s startup community includes a number of companies with great potential, an increasing amount of venture funding to support growth and a solid talent base. The ecosystem is really just beginning to mature.

While there are a number of Meetups and a growing number of high-calibre events that highlight some of our top leaders in the community, there are few small settings that facilitate discussion with product development peers. I’m sure we could all learn from one another. Why not have development teams from awesome startup A talking to product managers from awesome startup B? Or test engineers from big tech company A talking to a test lead from tiny startup B? There are so many ideas that could be shared, but there’s no forum for this learning.

We think we’re missing an opportunity to improve the overall knowledge of people in Toronto tech and to maximize our ability to collaborate to build amazing companies. We think the tech community would benefit from more conversation and collaboration across these silos. It’s essential to the continued success of the local tech ecosystem that we create a venue for people to talk to one another.

As connectors, our team at gdR is always striving to facilitate a learning environment that develops tech leaders and helps the Toronto ecosystem thrive. We’re not an agency that’s transaction-focused and just about placing people at a new job. We consider ourselves as relationship-builders and believe that we play a key role in connecting people and helping the ecosystem grow.

Last year we launched the gdR Grow series with some large events (like one on different ways to be a leader in tech  and another on scale, performance and reliability of platforms) and have covered a number of tech topics on the gdR blog, both with the purpose of sharing information and building community. Now as part of our gdR Grow events, and to create the smaller face-to-face forums we think are lacking, we’re launching a new series of idea-sharing lunches.

  • We’re creating a space for people who might not usually meet to to come together for one hour over lunch (free & on us at a convenient downtown location).

  • Attendance is by invite-only and individuals are selected to maximize the learning value for everyone.

  • A small group format (5-6 guests) so that everyone has a chance to participate.

  • It’s key that we create a ‘safe’ environment to ask questions. We realize it’s not always easy to discuss the most challenging aspects of your job with your coworkers or gain access to the most knowledgeable people at your company.

  • Our goal is that you walk away with a few great ideas you can use immediately in your job and meet some top notch people.

  • We’re striving to create a valuable, insightful opportunity for Toronto tech folks to take some time out of their day and connect with one another.

Interested in attending one of our lunches or have a great idea for a topic? Reach out to our Community Manager at

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