When it comes to innovation, some cities shine a little brighter than others—and the Toronto/ GTA has quickly become one of them.

The city, where the chill in the air is inversely proportional to how hot its tech scene is, is setting a new standard for what a North American tech hub can be.

Up until now, San Francisco has long been considered the gold standard in tech innovation. While Silicon Valley is still synonymous with tech giants and startups, tech companies in Toronto are carving out their own niche.

By fostering an environment where different perspectives and backgrounds come together, the city is driving innovation in unique and unexpected ways.

Canada’s community-oriented mindset contributes to making the city an incredible place to live and work—it sparks creativity as people from various cultures converge to solve problems together.

Nowhere is this more evident than at Collision, a microcosm of Toronto’s tech ecosystem and a space where the world meets to redefine what’s possible.

From 17 to 20 June, I’ll be representing MOHARA at Collision with my colleague Luke Naude, highlighting the role our Toronto office plays in the local tech community.

Known as “the Olympics of tech,” Collision brings together over 2,000 startups, 300 partners, 1,000 investors, and 40,000 attendees from 130 countries. With content that spans the gamut from data science to environmental sustainability, it truly encapsulates the spirit of Toronto.

As I gear up for Collision, I’m reminded of how privileged I am to be part of my hometown’s tech scene, the impact MOHARA is making here, and the infinite possibilities that lie ahead.

For me, this isn’t only about business—it’s about coming home, contributing to a city’s narrative, and being part of a community that’s at the forefront of technology.
Toronto’s Path to Becoming a Tech Powerhouse

When I look back on what’s propelled Toronto forward over the past few years, three pillars stand out: education, diversity & immigration, and support.


The local universities, notably the University of Toronto, the University of Waterloo, York University and Queen’s University are incubators of massive potential.

The University of Waterloo has produced 511 entrepreneurs who have collectively raised a monumental US$17 billion.

This makes it the highest-ranking university in Canada, and the 21st globally.

In addition, initiatives like the Velocity Fund II (a venture capital fund born from the university’s startup incubator) are a testament to its faith in its talent and its dedication to nurturing the next wave of innovators.

The University of Toronto boasts a similar commitment to innovation in the tech space, particularly in Artificial Intelligence.

The university’s contribution, especially through visionaries like Geoffrey Hinton, has been nothing short of remarkable. His pioneering work hasn’t just put the Toronto tech industry on the map; it’s turned it into a global AI hub.

The success stories stemming from these institutions—be it through groundbreaking research, the launch of startups, or the nurturing of a new generation of entrepreneurs—are creating an ecosystem that’s attracting worldwide attention.


As Toronto grows as a tech powerhouse, it’s clear that the city’s commitment to diversity plays a pivotal role. This is exemplified by Canada’s inclusive DEI and immigration policies.

Studies have shown that diverse teams perform and problem-solve better than homogenous teams, offering a richer range of perspectives that drive innovation. This is another reason why Inclusive environments like Toronto attract top talent.

As forward-thinking businesses and global talent make Toronto their home, the city continues to build diversity of thought, people, and experiences.


Government agencies, financial institutions, and venture capital firms have actively supported the tech ecosystem through initiatives, grants, and programs designed to foster startups and encourage innovation.

While there are more than I can name in this blog, here are a few standout examples that illustrate the depth of support available for tech companies in Toronto:

🚀 Ryerson Angel Network: Canada’s pioneering university-based angel group, supporting early-stage ventures with vital funding and resources.

🚀 Noetic Fund: Focuses on the wellness and pharmaceutical sectors, backing companies poised to make significant impacts on health and therapy.

🚀 Canaccord Genuity Group: Canada’s largest independent investment dealer, offering financial services and support to businesses across sectors.

🚀 IdeaBoost: An accelerator that supports tech-driven media and entertainment startups.

🚀 MaRS Discovery District: Provides resources, mentorship, and network opportunities for startups and growth-stage companies.

🚀 MOHARA: Empowers non-technical founders through a sweat equity model, providing expertise and investment to turn ideas into market-defining products and services.

🚀 eCommerce North: A specialized accelerator for e-commerce ventures, offering unique resources and support in collaboration with Elevate and Moneris.

🚀 SmartStart: Assists Ontario startups in scaling from product development to market entry, offering grants to catalyze growth.

🚀 NSERC Research and Development Grants: Supports industry-academic collaborations in research, enhancing innovation and technological advancement.

🚀 AgriInnovation Program: Encourages the commercialization of new agritech solutions, providing financial support to transform the agricultural sector.

Toronto’s tech scene has benefited greatly from this virtuous cycle: universities produce talent, startups and major tech firms employ and nurture this talent, and government and VCs provide the infrastructure to sustain growth.

In this city’s tech landscape, I see a reflection of the journey we’re all on—toward innovation, empowerment, and collective success.

My Journey Back to Toronto with MOHARA

Last year marked a major milestone in my life and career. I made the decision to return to Toronto, the city where I grew up, after spending over a decade abroad in the tech scenes of the United Kingdom and Singapore.

More than a homecoming, this was a leap into a new yet familiar landscape that was underpinned by the exciting challenge of establishing MOHARA in the city’s tech scene.

My role at MOHARA—a company committed to turning innovative ideas into impactful products—was to build a team, nurture a culture of creativity and innovation, and contribute to the tech community.

The questions often come: Why Toronto? Why now? My answer is always rooted in the belief that there’s no perfect time for change. But if there were a perfect time, it would be now.

Toronto isn’t just Canada’s largest city—it’s a mosaic of cultures, ideas, and innovation. The Toronto tech scene is a reflection of the city’s global character:

The 2023 Global Ecosystem Report from Startup Genome ranked Toronto 17th in global tech ecosystems.
Toronto added 63,800 tech jobs between 2017 and 2022.
Toronto and Waterloo-based companies raised $3.3 billion in 2023.
With Toronto generating more tech jobs than graduates, the city leads North America in “brain gain.”

Toronto’s tech sector isn’t just quantitatively impressive; it’s qualitatively rich. From Clearco to Wealthsimple, the city boasts the HQs of innovative tech companies that are reshaping their respective industries.

In addition, Mimecast recently opened its first Canadian office in Ontario. It joins international tech companies like Microsoft and Google, who have also recognized the city’s potential and set up offices in Toronto to tap into the local talent pool.

But what truly excites me about being part of this landscape is the ecosystem’s supportive nature. From accelerators to venture capital firms to a range of government funding initiatives, Toronto provides a breeding ground for startups and tech companies to thrive. This is where I see MOHARA’s role as pivotal.

We’re here not just to be part of the ecosystem, but to actively contribute to its growth, to nurture ideas that make a difference, and to build partnerships that can shape the future.

From Ideas to Impact: MOHARA’s Vision

Taking the helm to set up MOHARA’s new hub in Toronto has been a journey of learning and adaptation.

Building relationships, getting reacquainted with the local market, and integrating into the tech community have all been key aspects of this journey. With so many willing to share their networks and their time, Toronto’s tech industry has truly made us feel at home.

Our journey in Toronto has laid the groundwork for us to collaborate with founders on innovative product thinking and development strategies:

Our strategy for non-technical founders

At MOHARA, we’re focused on empowering non-technical founders to navigate the tech landscape.

Our approach to product thinking for non-technical founders is all about understanding that at the heart of every successful product is a clear grasp of its purpose and impact.

We delve into product thinking by unraveling the ‘why,’ ‘how,’ and ‘what’ of the product idea. It’s not just about creating something that customers want—it’s about developing products that resonate, solve problems, and drive engagement.

We guide our partners through this process, helping them appreciate how different elements of product development interconnect and influence each other to ensure that every piece contributes to a cohesive whole.

Investing in potential through sweat equity

Underpinning our holistic approach to product development is our sweat equity model, a funding model where stakeholders are compensated for their contributions with an ownership stake in the company.

This means we’re not just advisors or service providers—we’re partners who are actively involved in nurturing new ventures.

Choosing sweat equity is a testament to our belief in the potential of the startups we work with. It’s a partnership model that enables us to:

✅ Accelerate the journey from concept to market.

✅ Facilitate access to MOHARA’s network and resources.

✅ Empower founders with industry insights and expertise.

✅ Encourage creative problem-solving.

✅ Invest in promising tech startups.

✅ Share in the risks and rewards.

Looking forward, the prospects for MOHARA in Toronto’s tech scene are limitless. Our goal is to be active contributors and catalysts for innovation.

As we continue to form partnerships and deepen our roots in this city, our mission remains clear: to connect, build, innovate, and make an impact.

The Future Is Here

Toronto’s tech boom is a promising glimpse into the city’s future. Tech jobs are growing at an unprecedented rate, and the ecosystem is evolving into a self-sustaining entity with startups and established companies feeding into each other’s success.

I’m so excited about the opportunities this presents. We’re not just witnessing history—we’re part of it.

Events like Collision amplify Toronto’s position on the global tech stage and facilitate exchanges that could shape the future of technology. If you’ll be attending Collision, I’d love to connect with you, so feel free to reach out to me on LinkedIn.

If you won’t be at Collision but are interested in the opportunities in Toronto’s tech scene or curious about how MOHARA can help accelerate your growth, get in touch with us.