Canada is making an open and determined play to attract tech stars and investors to move north amid the squeeze of immigrants by President Donald Trump, and they are starting to respond.
Salim Teja, director of venture services for Mars, Toronto's sprawling innovation hub, tells Axios that hundreds of tech workers and students have applied for positions in Canadian tech firms and to study at the University of Toronto. Among the notable attractions are new artificial intelligence labs led by some of the world's leaders in the field:
- Geoffrey Hinton, the neural networks pioneer, will run the Vector Institute on Artificial Intelligence, which was launched in March in Toronto (photo above).
- DeepMind, the AI powerhouse owned by Alphabet, the Google parent, said Wednesday that it had hired machine learning pioneer Rich Sutton and two other University of Alberta computer scientists to lead a research facility in Edmonton, its first outside the UK.
Why it matters: Canada is among at least two big western countries — the other is France — to attempt to capitalize on Trump's crackdown on immigration, foreign visitors, and some of the policies many of them care about, such as climate change, to swell their own tech cachet. Early statistics suggest that at least Canada is snagging some of them to jobs and university spots.