#TOTechBash wants to turn Toronto tech scene into a global brand


For the second year in a row, #TOTechBash proved that the Toronto tech community loves a great party paired up with a charitable cause.

Over 400 people packed The Courthouse this Tuesday night at a sold-out event to raise a drink for a good cause, catch up with friends and make new connections, win coveted raffle prizes, make a GIF of themselves, and take an adult-sized LED-lit seesaw for a spin.

“The Toronto tech community bursts with energy, as everyone comes together to support each other and collaborate. This celebration highlights that camaraderie – everyone under one roof, no matter what community group you are a part of. I am humbled by all the support we’ve received from the community in helping us bring the event together and make it a celebration to remember,” co-organizer Caroline McGregor told BetaKit.

The sold-out #TOTechBash blew past its Indiegogo campaign mark, hitting a total of $16,185 and more than doubling the goal amount. All proceeds from #TOTechBash will go to Not Impossible Labs projects, which crowd-sources to crowd-solve healthcare challenges, providing low-cost DIY open-source alternatives and tech devices to people in need all over the world.


Pearl Chen Wins Top Tech Contributor Award

Introduced this year, Toronto’s Top Tech Contributor Award was created to publicly recognize people who give back to the community and contribute to the growth of tech scene in Toronto. #TOTechBash’s organizers asked the community for nominations, and a select panel of jurors whittled the list down to the top ten. “From there, we opened it up to the entire tech community and city to decide who they felt made the most impact,” says McGregor. In a close race, Pearl Chen, an unstoppable technologist and educator swept up her well-deserved Toronto’s Top Tech Contributor Award.

The Rise of “TOTech”

What’s next for the organizers of #ToTechBash? Event co-organizer Matthew Potter told BetaKit there’s a strong case to be made for coining “TOTech” as a brand, echoing “Made in New York” or “Valley Startup”. Future plans involve the organizers working to expand TOTech’s footprint, with the intent to make “there’s another example of Toronto Tech” become a common phrase. Potter indicated the team is already working on plans to bring tools and resources to community leaders, incubators, startups, maker spaces, and local educational institutions to encourage more growth and collaboration.

Community events and initiatives such as #TOTechBash owe much of the success to the support and contribution from all of the community groups and leaders, the sponsors, the strong community networks, and a simple fact that Toronto loves its parties. December is quickly shaping into the unofficial party month for Toronto techies, with HoHoTO, another great way to outsource your holiday celebrations and raise funds for charity, taking place on December 11th at The Mod Club. Girls in Tech Toronto is also holding its Power Hour Holiday Social on December 9th at One Eleven.

Photos courtesy Brian de Rivera Simon (@Tarsipix).


Elena Yunusov

Elena Yunusov works at the intersection of digital communications and experience design. She is known in Toronto’s startup community as a HoHoTO & Toronto Maker Faire co-organizer. She likes coffee, robots, and wearable tech.

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