Tech

Elevate conference speakers warn of more layoffs for Canada’s tech sector


The Elevate The tech convention returned to Toronto this week with a buzzing spectacle – shutting down several blocks of the Esplanade neighborhood for a block party with performances by artists like rappers Haviah Mighty and schedule more than 350 speakers, including tennis star Venus Williams, to perform at three venues by the time it closes on Thursday night.

But the re-emergence of the annual festival after a two-year pandemic hiatus is coming at a not-so-big time for the industry. A variety of startups and prominent tech giants such as Netflix, Shopify and Wealthsimple have slashed their workforce as the sector grapples with fading investor excitement and a potential recession.

That means how to navigate economic headwinds – and how long they will last – are hot topics on the Advanced stages.


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Hootsuite and Shopify lay off thousands of employees


Hootsuite and Shopify lay off thousands of employees – August 9, 2022

“I don’t think we’re close to the bottom,” said “Dragons ‘Den” star Michele Romanow in a key session Wednesday titled “lead through uncertainty.”

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“Technology has seen the first kind of collision on this road, and it could get a lot worse.”

Her e-commerce investment firm Clearco hasn’t been immune to industry troubles. Last month, the company laid off 60 employees when it shut down its international business, a month after cutting 25% of its workforce.

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Michele Romanow’s Clearco cuts another 60 employees in latest tech layoffs

The company predicted much international growth that no longer makes sense in the current economy, and it ended up cutting back on “experimental” projects, which Romanow called “devastating.”

She mapped out a new business plan for employees and reminded them that she couldn’t promise it would go perfectly according to that plan.

“Becoming an entrepreneur is extremely difficult work. It’s largely masochistic, even when the sun is sunny and when it starts to rain, and we go into tougher economic conditions, which is a very difficult thing,” she said.

Abdullah Snobar, executive director of the DMZ technology center in Toronto, agrees that more cuts from many companies await.

“This is just the beginning,” he said as Elevate kicked off on Tuesday. “Not to make this over the top scare story, but I think for sure they’re going to have to see more layoffs.”

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How to recover from layoffs in tech Canada: ‘Control your story’

Labor data aggregator Layoffs.fyi says 630 startups worldwide have laid off 80,902 employees this year alone. About 1,193 startups have laid off 176,874 workers since the pandemic began.

Workers who watched these cuts unfold and were affected by them are now accustomed to the fact that “the world won’t be the same,” as companies hire “absurd” numbers of employees in their jobs. a short period of time, Snobar said.

But these workers are still needed.

A 2019 report from the Information and Communications Technology Council, a nonprofit providing employment policy advice, predicts demand for digital talent in Canada will reach 193,000 by 2022. and more than 305,000 by 2023.

A 2020 accounting supplement to COVID-19 forecasts that demand will drop by nearly 24% and says under new baselines, the digital economy is expected to meet demand for 147,000 employees in 2022, with the total number of jobs reaching nearly two million.

Banks, insurance companies and even retailers are embarking on hiring as they delve deeper into artificial intelligence, apps and other software to boost their operations. and deal with labor shortages.


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NB businesses still face staff shortages as school resumes


NB businesses still face staff shortages as school resumes – September 4, 2022

“I don’t think you’re going to see a story in Gotham, like the clouds come in and we have to be very careful and everybody hide for a bit,” Snobar said. “We’ll get through this.”

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Lisa Zarzeczny, CEO and co-founder of Elevate, agrees. That’s part of why she intends to book speakers who are willing to talk about the harsh realities facing technology and share tips on how to move forward.

“We didn’t want to cast a shadow over it,” she said. “We think there’s an opportunity to learn and so in all of our phases we’re asking some tough questions.”

Early in the Romanow session, Elevate scheduled with Wealthsimple founder Mike Katchen and CEO Anshul Ruparell to explore how to grow the business amid tough times, and Rangle.io CEO Nick Van Weerdenburg is leading a talk The story is called “Hedgehogging and outfoxing: The Psychology of Capitalizing on Uncertainty. “

© 2022 Canadian Press





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