La France Tech Toronto brings together French entrepreneurs based in Canada but also all innovative Canadian companies that want to do business with or do business with France. The mission of the community is to welcome new French start-ups to English-speaking Canada, but also to present the French technology ecosystem and its benefits to the Canadian innovation framework: start-ups, incubators and investment funds. French Tech Toronto is a community member of an international network organized by the French Tech Mission, which includes more than 140 associations representing French entrepreneurs around the world.
Every year, the French Tech Mission lists 120 hyper-growth start-ups, within its FT120 program, based on a criterion of fundraising (>20M€) and/or turnover growth. The program is broadcast by communities including Ontario. Among these companies, the most represented sectors are health, medicine and biotechnology, as well as finance and insurance (fintech, insurtech), human resources, reselling, marketing and media. “However, we are seeing more and more ‘start-ups’ in the agriculture and cleantech sectors (energy, agriculture, waste treatment or mobility).”, said Maxime Alexandre, vice-president of French Tech Toronto The French Tech Mission thus launched the AG20 and Clean20 programs to identify twenty fast-growing French start-ups in these fields. In Ontario, the GNP of the tech sector represents 65 billion CAD (50 billion euros) per year in 24,000 companies with only 320,000 workers (70% of whom have higher education).
A “Parity Agreement”
Admittedly at the forefront of innovation and endowed with great agility, French tech companies are not immune to the labor shortages that affect Canada like the rest of the world. Every year in Ontario, the 63,500 new tech graduates aren’t enough to fill all the positions being created within North America’s second-largest tech cluster. “Skilled foreign labor, especially French-speaking bilingual labor, is a valuable resource, said Estelle Chen, vice-president of French Tech Toronto. In particular, we promote the Ontario ecosystem to francophones and francophiles to attract more talent locally. In addition, we also promote exchanges with Canadian talents who wish to continue their journey in France through the French Tech Visa. » The community is trying to attract more women into these new professions. To achieve this objective, the French Tech Mission launched the “Parity Pact” which aims to reach a minimum threshold of 20% women sitting on company boards (board of directors, editor’s note) by 2025, then 40% by 2028, and to train managers on diversity.
Judge at the exhibition
All French-speaking or Francophile profiles are welcome, and therefore not just “French from France”. For a candidate, the first step is to apply for and obtain a work permit (work permit or PVT or permanent residence) to speed up the process and facilitate integration with Canadian companies. “The big mistake to avoid is the status argument: ‘I had this status in my country of birth, so I can’t accept a lower status in Canada'”Mr. Alexander explained. Canadians are very pragmatic. They will judge your added value on documents and not on your diploma or your job title in your country of origin. So don’t be afraid to start again at the bottom of the ladder, you’ll find you catch on very quickly. » He also advises against waiting to find a job without getting involved in the local community. Volunteering is an important part of educating Canadians. “When you reach out, join a cultural, sporting or religious organization, He suggested again. It’s all good to write a Canadian first line on your CV and get local references that will help you develop your network.
for good reason
For immigration procedures, delays are being reduced further and should return to normal within a few weeks. “We have been impressed by the responsiveness and ability of immigration services to respond to crises in Ukraine, Afghanistan or Syria, Mrs. Chen recognizes Ko. In a few months, more than 100,000 refugees were welcomed into Canada. It’s true that more traditional and less urgent files may be delayed and “tech geniuses” sometimes have to wait longer than in the past, but that’s for a good reason and a solution is on the way. . »
Telecommuting is also an option and more than 70% of Canadian companies consider the hybrid model a sustainable solution. In fact, they are in the minority to consider a 100% telework model in the long term, especially for tax reasons or for team coordination. “Canada has a lot to offer in terms of caring culture, hospitality, economic potential to experience it from afar. We encourage you to immerse yourself and come and discover Canada and especially Ontario »Mr. Alexander concluded.