'This town is special': How Toronto – and U of T – emerged as an innovation hotspot

There was a time when building a successful Toronto startup meant eventually decamping to Silicon Valley – if for no other reason than to boost credibility in the eyes of deep-pocketed American investors. 

Not anymore.

“When you talk to people in the U.S., they’re increasingly familiar with Toronto,” says [department of computer science alumnus] Liam Kaufman, co-founder and CEO of WinterLight Labs, a University of Toronto health-care startup using artificial intelligence, or AI, and speech analysis to detect cognitive decline. 

Kaufman, who co-founded WinterLight with fellow computer science researchers Maria Yancheva, Katie Fraser and Assistant Professor Frank Rudzicz, says the startup benefited immensely from its ongoing association with Toronto’s growing innovation community.

“I think there’s now a clear understanding that Toronto has benefits, whether it’s talent, immigration policies or all the different hospitals.” 

Add in nearby Waterloo, another innovation hotspot, and the region comprises the second-biggest tech cluster in North America and one of North America’s biggest life sciences clusters outside of Boston.

“The intersection of those two things could prove to be pretty critical,” Kaufman says.

Read the full story at U of T News