“The money will follow the talent”: Emerging Tech, Gaming and Toronto

Category: AI Americas Blockchain

The title statement, articulated by Bay Area venture capitalist Mr. Volpi, illustrates how the core indicator for the success of a burgeoning ecosystem is in human rather than financial capital

With SiGMA specializing in the recently regulated and extremely lucrative iGaming market whereas AIBC united pioneering technologists and CEOs from across the emerging tech sector, our American debut at Toronto synergizes deeply with the growth of the SiGMA Group, the local economic ecosystem of Toronto as well as the massive growth of the global industries that these two verticals represent.

Why Toronto?: Tech

In the global technological arms race, Toronto has established itself as a leading Darkhorse. Avoiding the pomp and frill of other self-proclaimed “tech hubs”, the city has been quietly consolidating a significant presence when it comes to the global tech industry with legislative reforms only further empowering this growth.

Late February of this year saw digital giant Microsoft open a new office space in downtown Toronto with other titans such as Apple, Amazon, Google and Meta quickly following and establishing their own presence in the metropolitan area.

Following significant investment from both the public and the private sectors as well as the competitive advantages provided by a flexible immigration policy, Toronto has grown into the third-largest tech hub in one of the most capital rich areas of the world, North America. In terms of demographics, the city now hosts more tech workers than most metropolitan cities in the United States, only being beaten out by New York and Silicon Valley itself.

Building Toronto
Toronto has quickly become a global pillar in technological sophistication.

Another factor in favor of Toronto is that it has the infrastructure in place to sustain this trend, letting long-term and institutional investors entrench themselves for the long game. In comparison to short-term measures like tax breaks, the city offers an extremely strong talent pool supplied by some of the leading minds supplied and trained by the University of Toronto. The tech ecosystem of Toronto has already made a name for itself when it comes to technologies that will form the pillar of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

A single example of this is Dr. Hinton and two of his students from the University of Toronto whose breakthrough discovery of the role neural networks could play in next-gen AI led to a cascade of innovation within the Artificial Intelligence sphere. Google itself paid $44 million for Dr. Hinton and his two students, giving them leading positions in its frontier research efforts. A year later, he allied with local tech-entrepreneurs to found the Vector Institute for Artificial Intelligence, an institute with the intent to keep talent in Toronto.

Why Toronto?: iGaming

Home to some of the oldest gambling communities in North America as well as some of the youngest and most tech-savvy iGaming pioneers, Toronto has the potential to be one of the global pillars of the next-gen iGaming industry. The passing of Bill C-218, which will legalize the act of single-game sports wagering in the provinces of Canada as a whole serves as a watershed moment for Ontario’s drive for a regulated iGaming market.

In an interview with SiGMA’s own content team, Debono Group Partner Terry Debono elaborated on the importance of these recent legislative moves when it comes to the very near future of Ontario’s role in a global industry.

Today in Canada, we might actually be seeing the twilight of the grey market and the rise of a new regulatory regime with Ontario being a bellwether for things to come. As the regime prioritizes world-class standards when it comes to responsible gaming, transparency and many other criteria, the foundation for a genuinely vibrant and innovative sector of the economy is being laid.

A veteran of the industry and a brilliant advocate for cross-pollination, Terry argues that not only will the growth of this industry benefit the local and international economy. Its inherent lean towards advanced technology will turn it into an incubator, accelerator and proliferator for emerging tech across the board.

A single example of this would be the massive strides happening in machine learning due to its ability to enhance technology-based platforms (such as iGaming.) Hence, not only is the industry benefiting from more esoteric tech such as AI and machine learning, it’s actually spearheading their proliferation in the broader market while incentivizing their sophistication and advancement through market pressures.

Toronto iGathering
A Toronto iGathering, where some of the leading figures in the industry meet to discuss.

AIBC, SiGMA and Toronto: a match made in Heaven

With the sheer potential of the deep tech and iGaming industries of Toronto being illustrated, we can now move onto the role that both AIBC and SiGMA have in not only hosting these ecosystems but driving their success forward.

Uniting the decision makers, policy executives, technologists, entrepreneurs, investors and innovators from both of these respective sectors, the expos will serve as nexi supercharging the growth of both while bridging the potential for the two to synergize and support each other.

iGathering Toronto

Through educational panels from leading figures in the industries, networking events galore as well as several opportunities to gain investment or exposure. The Summits have a well-earned reputation to encourage and incubate innovation wherever they debut.

Following the success of our last event in Dubai, we invite you to join us in Toronto to be part of the success.