THE UNDERDOG STORY OF A CANADIAN SMALL TOWN WITH BIG TECH ASPIRATIONS AND SUCCESSES
Tech Town is a podcast series about a small Canadian town with big tech aspirations and huge goals for the future. Innisfil, Ontario is home to Canada’s first rideshare public transit system by partnering with Uber. It’s also Canada’s first town to allow residents to pay their taxes using cryptocurrency. Innisfil has just launched a tech startup accelerator, DMZ Innisfil, aimed at growing the local economy with passionate entrepreneurs. Innisfil will soon be home to The Orbit, a modern high-density city plan of the future. Being so close to Toronto, can Innisfil pull off their vision of a bustling tech hub, with all the amenities of a city, and keep the lifestyle of a small town?
Takara Small is a Toronto-based tech entrepreneur, developer and writer. Her work has been featured in news outlets around the world, which include the BBC, CBC, Toronto Star, Refinery29, Flare magazine, Fortune magazine and more. She is the technology columnist for Metro Morning and previously the host of the Globe and Mail’s technology podcast “I’ll Go First”, which in 2018 was named one of the best technology podcasts in Canada by Apple.
Meanwhile, as a sought after and renowned public speaker she’s often invited to share her thoughts about entrepreneurship and innovation with international audiences at festivals, like Deloitte’s DisruptionByDesign summit, Collision conference, Elevate, CIX and Social Media Week.
Introducing: Innisfil, The small town with big ideas
A little over 60-kilometres north of Toronto is a small Canadian town that wants to transform itself into the city of the future.
Innisfil’s leaders are employing progressive policies such as paying taxes with BitCoin, a futuristic town planning project, a custom accelerator for talent and more. Throughout this series Tech journalist Takara Small will hear from the strategists behind the plans, the entrepreneurs who will benefit, and local residents who live there.
Tech Town is the story of using the technology revolution to re-imagine small town life.
The future of tech may not live in Toronto or San Francisco, but instead a small, quaint (yet growing) Canadian town called Innisfil.
Despite its size the area has garnered headlines from around the world for its tech dreams, attracting leaders from across the country and working with Fortune 500 companies to turn the sleepy town into a leader in innovation.
Town Mayor Lynn Dollin and CAO Jason Reynar explain some of their thinking – what the town has been, and what it wants to be. Local librarian Susan Downs discusses the origin of their innovative thinking, and journalist Leyland Cecco offers his observations on their ambitious plans.
What makes a house a home? For Innisfil residents and farmers, the future means the Orbit, a plan that will transform the quaint town into a mixed-use community that will accommodate up to 40 million square feet of newly constructed space and a partnership with publicly subsidized Uber to give residents access to whatever they need .
Creating a one-of-a-kind hackathon isn’t easy. Therefore it’s no surprise that the DMZ, the world’s number one university-based accelerator, is working with the town to attract talent from around the world, give small businesses more opportunities and help local entrepreneurs the chance to succeed.
FreshSpoke, Reliant, Rover are just a few of the startups re-inventing food delivery, farming, transportation and healthcare from cottage country. Serial entrepreneurs are now relocating to small towns to take advantage of low startup costs, affordable living, and international partnerships.
The future post-covid will look very different, but places like Innisfil are primed to not just survive, but thrive. This episode will hear from Minister Mary Ng and other leaders about how rural innovation could save the industry.