Scale Without Borders (SWB), an initiative dedicated to entrepreneurs who are newcomers to Canada, is hosting the second edition of its annual summit to bring the immigrant tech community together in a two-day event in Toronto.
Taking place from November 15 to 16, the event aims to help attendees condense years of relationship building with the tech sector’s most “powerful circles” in two days.
At the age of 17, Nouhaila Chelkhaoui moved from Morocco to Canada as an international student to attend the University of Toronto. Working at tech startups at the university and the DMZ, she credited the support of the local community in helping her adjust to life in a new country. Now, she leads SWB and wants to offer the same assistance to those new to Canada.
“It was because of the people who helped me that I was able to make something out of this journey, and I wanted to give back, specifically in the tech and entrepreneurship space,” said Chelkhaoui.
As of this year, the Canadian government reported that nearly 500,000 immigrants in Canada are trained in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields. They represent 24 percent of the national workforce, but account for 39 percent of computer programmers, 41 percent of engineers, and more than 50 percent of all chemists.
At this year’s event, SWB said that people will be privately invited to curated and interactive sessions based on the individual attendee’s background and objectives they indicated. Additionally, they will also have access to an app to navigate the event experience.
Last year’s summit, according to SWB, accumulated around 1,000 registrants. The 2021 edition had 25 sessions and 28 speakers, including Claudette McGowan, global executive officer at TD; Janet Bannister, managing partner at Real Ventures; Humera Malik, CEO of Canvass AI; Danielle Graham, managing partner and co-founder of The Firewood; as well as Parth Khanna, CEO of Acto.
SWB also collaborated with a number of key hiring partners for its 2021 summit such as CIBC, the DMZ, Elevate Talent, and Vanhack.
SWB, which was created in 2019, provides an event series that shares the stories of immigrant entrepreneurs and provides networking opportunities.
When it launched, SWB also hosted a 10-day virtual masterclass to help entrepreneurs understand the legal complexities of launching a Canadian business, the funding landscape, and immigration programs for those who are not in Canada.
SWB also offers fully subsidized talent programs in partnership with Elevant talent. These programs include focus areas on digital marketing, intro to data science, and Salesforce CRM fundamentals.
This year’s SWB summit will be partly held both virtually and in-person. Chelkhaoui told BetaKit that this year’s in-person component will be much larger than last year, adding that the hybrid format was retained for accessibility reasons and to reach audiences across Canada and beyond.