Toronto: Why Are We Here?

Editor’s note: This is a cross post from Zak Homuth (LinkedIn, @zakhomuthGithub). Follow him on Twitter @zakhomuth. This post was originally published on February 1, 2012. And like many startups, Upverter is hiring.

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Its winter right now, and that means for those of us in the north east its cold. We try to pretend its a good thing; that it keeps us focused. But the reality is we dont live and work here because of the snow, we live and work here because smart people love, more than anything else in the world [pg], to work with other smart people. And, make as many snow jokes as you want, but…

Pay attention to Toronto

Canada is the best country in the world to do business in [forbes], Toronto is the most multi-cultural city in the world [wikipedia] (suck-it NYC ;)), we get tax incentives for R&D [gov], and its the only city within an hour of one of the worlds foremost engineering schools [uwaterloo,coop program].

So, I say again, you should be paying attention. And if you’ve got your shit together you should be trying to figure out how to get a footprint here. Because believe it or not, we dont all want/have to be in the valley [fred].

All that being said, I still get this question a lot

There is a (very reasonable) expectation that YC companies make every effort to relocate to silicon valley as part of the program. And the fact that we have most of our operations in Toronto raises some eyebrows. My answer is really simple: The talent is here and it wants to be here. Sometimes I even go as far as talking about how much further our investment takes us when we spend it here instead of in the US, but at its root its a talent thing.

Toronto isn’t the only place in the world

Its true. I still spend a tremendous amount of time in the valley. And we have customers all over the world. Simply put there is no perfect place for everything. But if youre building a product business, or looking for talent, you could do much, much worse! Toronto is great for talent, and its a great place to live. Oh… and Im sure its not supposed to matter but like my good friend dave [blog] would say, “look at the scenery”.

But, its also a terrible place to raise money. Like I said, nowhere is perfect.

About Me

Upverter is my 3rd startup. I dropped out of highschool, and then university, both times to run startups. I’ve worked in Ottawa, Waterloo, Stuttgart, Bangalore, and Mountain View. I have never lived in Toronto before, so its a first for me, but we’re here because its where our team wanted to be. We are currently 7/7 kick-ass, and 6/7 Uwaterloo engineers who would just rather be here at home in Canada, than down in the valley. Oh, and if you’re smart, we’re hiring.

Editor’s note: This is a cross post from Zak Homuth (LinkedIn, @zakhomuthGithub). Follow him on Twitter @zakhomuth. This post was originally published on February 1, 2012. And like many startups, Upverter is hiring.