LGBTQA+ tech conference returns to Toronto for its third year


Canada’s first LGBTQA+ tech conference, Venture Out, is returning to Toronto for its third year.

The two-day tech conference features a variety of talks and workshops surrounding technology, entrepreneurship, and coming out. Topics include raising capital, coming out professionally, and diverse representation in businesses.

“Venture Out has become so much more than just a two-day tech conference.”

“Venture Out has become so much more than just a two-day tech conference,” Lisa Durnford and Simon Mills, conference co-chairs of Venture Out jointly stated in a press release. “Our goal has always been to provide the LGBTQA+ community with a safe space for recruitment and networking with tech companies, and nothing makes us happier than seeing that come to fruition.”

The conference features keynote speakers Kiana ‘rookz’ Eastmound, founder and director of Sandbox Studios and director of Manifesto, addressing her experience as an entrepreneur in Toronto. Andreas Souvaliotis, founder and CEO of Carrot Rewards, will also be talking about his entrepreneurial experience as a gay immigrant.

“Venture Out is about all of the things that make our country special: inclusion, innovation, young energy, and optimism,” said Souvaliotis. “I am uniquely proud to be supporting this year’s event and can’t wait to be inspired by the next generation of Canadian LGBTQA+ entrepreneurs.

RELATED: Venture Out Launching First Conference in Canada Dedicated to LGBTQA+ Inclusion in Startups

In total, there will be 16 breakout sessions and workshops, with the first day of the conference featuring a pitch event with LGBTQA+ founders looking to raise capital and scale their business. The judging panel consists of five investors: Snita Balsara, investment manager at StandUp Ventures, Soha Yasrebi, analyst at OMERS Ventures, Jill Watson, associate at Golden Ventures, Stephanie McGuinty, operations manager at Real Ventures, and Jennifer Renda, angel investor with York Angels.

Venture Out is part of Start Proud, an umbrella organization formerly known as Out on Bay Street. The organization is dedicated to assisting the professional development of the LGBTQA+ community, and educating other businesses on diversity and inclusiveness within the workplace.

The event takes place on March 14 and 15 at MaRS Discovery District. More information about the event can be found here.


Sera Wong

Heyo, Sera here. I love infographics, organizing data, and making lists. I’m an avid lover of cats. Please send cat pics my way at @Sera_wong on Twitter.

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