athlete tech summit toronto

NBA players are coming to Toronto to invest in local tech startups

The hype surrounding Toronto's prosperous tech industry has been building for years now.

Not long ago we were named the Technology Hub of Canada, the fastest-growing market for tech jobs in North America and we're one of the top three cities in North America for tech talent.

Now, for the first time, the 2019 Athlete Technology Summit will give professional athletes a chance to learn about and invest in Canadian startups.

The first of its kind in Canada, the event will take place on August 1 and 2 and is purposely timed to overlap with OVO Fest and Caribana weekend, which often bring all-star athletes to the 6ix regardless. 

The summit will benefit startups, venture capitalists, influencers, and professional athletes by introducing players to up-and-coming companies.

The itinerary will include a kick-off party at Montecito, followed by speeches, panels and pitches at Artscape Daniels Launchpad

It'll give local startups — as well as more established companies — a chance to speak to the roughly "150 hand-selected high-profile individuals" chosen to attend. 

The guest list is being kept secret for security reasons, NBA player-manager Randy Osei told the Toronto Star. But we do know roughly 20 professional athletes, many of whom are NBA players, have RSVPed so far.

Basketball players Davon Reed, Al Harrington and Kayla Alexander are all confirmed to be attending.

Osei had the idea for the event when he learned that Golden State Warriors star player Steph Curry invested in Toronto-based hotel booking service SnapTravel

Although Curry lives in California, he discovered the company, all the way in Toronto. This inspired Osei to find a way to connect professional athletes ⁠— with money to spend ⁠— to local businesses. 

Toronto currently has over 5,000 start ups and over 245,000 technology jobs. The city is known to be a world innovation leader in artificial intelligence, and is second in the neuroscience and neuroscience technology space.

Major tech companies like Uber, Microsoft, Amazon and Google currently have or are building offices in Toronto, and this conference is likely to only enhance Toronto's already-booming tech sector. 

Lead photo by

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