The conference will provide job opportunities and mentorship to LGBTQA+ youth with the intent of increasing diversity and inclusivity in Canada's tech industry
TORONTO, March 1, 2017 /CNW/ - Today Start Proud, a Canadian non-profit that facilitates the professional development of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Ally (LGBTQA+) students, announced the launch of Venture Out, Canada's first conference geared toward inclusion in tech and entrepreneurship for LGBTQA+ youth. On March 27, 2017, for one full day, Venture Out will connect students with entrepreneurs and professionals in Toronto's dynamic technology sector at MaRS Discovery District, providing the next generation of LGBTQA+ leaders with business education, mentorship and job opportunities.
"It's amazing to see this project come to fruition because it's an initiative that will help build a community and introduce today's LGBTQA+ youth to employers who want them to be themselves," said Jeanette Stock, co-founder and chair of Venture Out. "We've had an incredible amount of support from the Toronto community, both tech and LGBTQA+, and we're committed to bringing the two together with Venture Out."
The one-day conference will bring together Toronto's engaged LGBTQA+ youth in the spirit of entrepreneurship, and will host over 30 startups and 300+ attendees. Workshops and panels will take place throughout the day, with speakers including Mark Jaine, CEO of Intelex, Chad Molleken, entrepreneur and investor, Johnathan Nightingale, Chief Product Officer at Hubba, Larissa Holmes, VP Customer Development at Wirl, Eva Wong, COO of Borrowell, and others. Companies will also have the opportunity to recruit top talent at the conference's exhibitor fair.
"Diversity in every industry is paramount, and I'm happy to see the tech community taking strides to find a solution to appeal to underrepresented groups," said Ben Zifkin, CEO and founder of Hubba. "I'm thrilled to be a part of an initiative such as Venture Out and to help shatter the notion that anyone needs to fit a particular mold to be successful in the tech community."
The team at Venture Out also introduced Venture Out Talks, a speaking event that took place on January 19, 2017. The sold out panel, "Building a Career in Tech," provided students with a framework of a startup's evolution and how to navigate the hiring process within the tech and startup sector.
"Diligen has emphasized the value of a supportive and inclusive culture since the very beginning of our company. Building a diverse team promotes fresh ideas and creativity, which, when designing a unique tech solution, are of utmost importance to long term growth and success," said Laura van Wyngaarden, COO of Diligen. "We are delighted to support Venture Out's mission and to continue this conversation with tomorrow's tech leaders."
Venture Out is sponsored by some of Toronto's most recognizable companies including Hubba, Capital One, Fundserv, City of Toronto, Diligen, AceTech, Facebook, Kik, StartUp HERE Toronto, The Working Group (TWG), Ryerson DMZ, Brightspark, and Picatic. The conference is also put together with the help of community partners including MaRS, Venture for Canada, GetReal, HackerNest, Lighthouse Labs, Queer Tech MTL, Montreal NewTech and Civic Tech Toronto.
To purchase tickets and to learn more about Venture Out, please visit: www.ventureout.ca
To learn more about Start Proud, please visit: www.startproud.org
Our thanks to CNW Group for sponsoring this announcement.
About Venture Out
Venture Out is a one-day summit that connects Canada's dynamic startup sector with the country's most innovative, engaged and entrepreneurial Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Ally (LGBTQA+) students. Venture Out is an initiative of Start Proud, the not for profit that facilitates the professional development of students as they transition from school to career in order to build a national network within the LGBTQA+ community.
About Start Proud
Start Proud is a Canadian registered non-profit that provides resources and opportunities for LGTBQA+ students, young professionals, and pro-LGBTQA+ organizations across Canada. Formerly known as Out on Bay Street, the non-profit provides members of the LGBTQA+ community with the necessary tools, resources and knowledge needed to transition through school to career. Start Proud works toward empowering institutions to embrace inclusiveness within the workplace and diversity within the workforce.
SOURCE Start Proud
For further information: For more information and interview requests, please contact: Jamie Gillingham, Eighty-Eight Agency, [email protected]