Moving to Toronto. What's the best way for me to network with startups / bigger companies there for product opportunities?


(Pranjali Anil Deshpande) #1

Nuances:

  1. I am using LinkedIn and my personal network to network with companies in Toronto. I spend time between San Jose and Bangalore. Time zones are just one constraint I am working with.

2.I do not need work authorization for working in Canada. I have a PR , and plan to move there within the next 6 months or so, but want to line up some leads before I make the move.

  1. I do not have a Canadian number for recruiters to call me. I am A/B testing two versions of my resume : one with a Skype ID on it and one with just email on it. How sensitive do you think startups and recruiters are to a local phone number?

Any thoughts / comments would be helpful.


(Nick White) #2

Hi @yogihippieprodmgr,

I am an American who worked in Toronto for a couple of years. Toronto is a great city. You’re going to love it.

The best place to network is TechTO - https://techtoronto.org/. It’s a huge meetup with a really enthusiastic audience. It’s a great way to learn about the companies in the space and hear about what

Because Toronto is such a big tech hub, all of the major companies have an office there (think: Amazon, Uber, Facebook, Google, etc.). The major startups (and graduated startups) there include Shopify, 500px, Hubba, Influitive, Freshbooks, Wave Accounting, Wattpad, and Wealthsimple.

Recruiters wouldn’t find it weird if you had an American number, but it would be weird if you had an Indian number. I’d recommend including all of your contact information and leaving it up to the recruiter.

Good luck,
Nick


(Pranjali Anil Deshpande) #3

thanks Nick. That really helps! I am looking forward to my move to Toronto.


(Steve Willson) #4

TechTO is great, but it’s so big that I’m not sure of it’s networking value.

There are Meetups almost every night of the week where you can focus on the particular areas you are interested in exploring. So check those out and reach out to the organizers.

Access the MaRS job board to see who is looking for folks, as well as AngelList. And get on their mailing lists.

As for contact info, I agree that a US number is fine, and try to be as contactable as possible.

Think of this from the “customer” point of view. How would you want someone to position themselves if you were looking for an awesome Product Manager.

Finally, if you are looking for Product Management positions, The Toronto Product Management Association has more established company connection, but ProductTank, ProductTO and such have a more start-up vibe.

Hope that helps.

Steve


(Pranjali Anil Deshpande) #5

i think its going to be really hard to network with companies from India. I might just have to move there, and start. Thanks Nick and Steve, this helps me plan.


(Carter Grieve) #6

I would also recommend going to meetups related to your areas of interest/expertise. Startup North and Betakit are two other Canadian specific tech resources you may find useful.


(Pranjali Anil Deshpande) #7

Thanks ! I think moving there would be the best way to start my job hunt.


(Chris Hamoen) #8

I would look up a couple good product managers at established startups (ie Freshbooks, Wealthsimple), and reach out on LinkedIn. Say that you are coming to Canada in a few months with a lot of valley experience, and would love to chat about the toronto tech scene.

FYI I find that the definition of Product Manager in Toronto is still evolving given that there are so many new tech CEO’s… Many of these new CEO’s view the role closer to more project management - ie efficiency of pushing Jira tickets. Maybe this is your view too - but either way, I’d really make sure that the company’s idea of what the PM does matches yours.

I don’t know this person personally but through friends I hear great things. I bet she’d have an email conversation: https://twitter.com/hidrees. Find the gems :).

Good list too: https://startupheretoronto.com/sectors/technology/30-women-in-canadian-tech-worth-following/


(Pranjali Anil Deshpande) #9

Thank you Chris. Very valuable tips to find the gems !!