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Canadian Students and New Grads: 21 of the Best Places to Start Your Career in Tech in 2018

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The best first job you could get in tech isn’t at Google or Facebook. Instead of early ventures or big tech companies, your best first job in tech is with a mid-stage breakout startup. Last year, Hunter Walk, co-founder of the venture fund Homebrew, partnered with our friends at AngelList to explain why. Here’s what he had to say:

 

Mid-stage startups are your best first job in tech

 

  1. Your work will matter – Past the point of product market fit, but before large company ossification. At a brand new startup you spend all your time trying to get the world to care about your product and fighting a lack of infrastructure. At a more mature technology company you’re protecting and extending your business model. Between the two is a hypergrowth stage where your initial product has great traction but there’s still urgency and risk in execution.

  2. Growth creates opportunity – Midstage startups are still very much under-resourced and expanding. They’re spinning up new teams, creating new org structures. There aren’t yet four layers of management between you and the founders. As you prove yourself you’ll be tapped to lead new teams, launch new offices and everything else which goes into scaling a successful business.

  3. The early team is still there, and they’ll be your tribe for years – The founders and early team are still in place because there hasn’t been a liquidity event and the work is still exciting for them. These folks — plus your new peers — will most likely spend the next 20 years as your friends, managers, employees, VCs, cofounders, etc. Building a tight and high quality network early in your career is much more valuable than any fancy title or nearterm compensation. From folks a few years more experienced you’ll get mentorship and learn good habits.

  4. Your options are very likely worth something – Options are lottery tickets and most aren’t worth much when you net out the lower cash compensation compared to what a Google would pay you for the same role. However, midstage startups have gotten past some initial value creation milestones and likely have a much greater chance of growing 10x into a nearterm liquidity event within the next 4–7 years than a newly funded company would. If you’re lucky enough to get a couple hundred thousand dollars in your bank account within a few years of graduation, you may be able to approach the rest of your career differently.

  5. The bias of reputation effect – Besides just being associated with a high performing company, I’ve noticed this weird thing we do in tech. We tend to think much more highly of the folks who were “pre IPO” or “pre acquisition” than those who might have joined the team right after. I don’t think it makes total sense but hey, make it work in your favor.

 

An awesome thing they did was poll some top investors for startup recommendations for new grads, but the companies were all American. From Slack to Shopify, we’re building world class companies at home in Canada, companies that are going on to do big things – and here, we’ve found some of those next up.  

We got some of the best connected members of the Canadian startup community to give us their top recommendations from across the country for new and recent grads. Thanks to Satish Kanwar (@skanwar), LP Maurice (@lpmo), Noah Bloom (@nbloom), & Matt Mastracci (@mmastrac). This list isn’t comprehensive, but it’s a great place to start. For more startup opportunities, see angel.co/jobs and betakit.fund.

 

21 of the best startups to join for students and new grads in 2018

  1. Ritual



    Ritual
    is a social ordering app that taps networks of co-workers and colleagues for fast and easy pick up and pay at a wide variety of local restaurants and coffee shops. With over 1,000 establishments as partners, the company is now expanding into the US. Ritual raised a $53M Series B in September 2017 led by IVP, with investors including Greylock and Golden Venture Partners. The company is hiring for multiple positions across design, engineering, sales, marketing, and more.

    Here’s one of the founders, Ray Reddy, presenting on startups going local at TechTO.

    > View Open Positions

  2. Top Hat



    Top Hat helps professors interface with large classrooms, by using devices that students already own to make the classroom more engaging. The company is helping thousands of instructors create their perfect course — one that engages students and builds comprehension in and out of the classroom. They raised a $29.5M Series C in February 2017 from investors including Union Square Ventures, and iNovia Capital. Top Hat is hiring in Toronto for multiple positions in sales, operations, engineering, and more.

    Here’s Malgosia, the Chief Product Officer at Top Hat, presenting Top Hat at TechTO.

    > View Open Position

  3. Opencare



    Opencare is on a mission to untangle healthcare, working to make the patient experience as transparent, convenient, and comfortable as possible, with a current focus on connecting patients to exceptional dental care. The fastest growing healthcare discovery platform in North America, the company counts among its investors Real Ventures, Formation 8, and Collaborative Fund. They’re hiring in design, engineering, marketing, and sales, in Toronto.

    Here’s one of the founders, Nikolai, speaking at TechTO on building shared culture and hiring talent.

    > View Open Positions

     

  4. SnapTravel



    SnapTravel lets users book hotels at the best deals over SMS and FB Messenger, using a combination of machine learning and natural language processing. The company was founded by repeat successful tech entrepreneurs, and their team includes the former CEO of Hotels.com and the CTO of Expedia. SnapTravel raised an $8M series A round in August 2017, and has open positions in engineering and marketing in Toronto.

    You can watch SnapTravel’s product demo here, from last year’s August TechTO event.

    > View Open Positions

     

  5. Bonfire



    Bonfire is building the future of B2B spending with a sourcing enablement platform that helps procurement teams make faster, more strategic decisions. With trillions of dollars of decisions being made based on local networks, incomplete data, and archaic tools, the company is helping innovate on a critical business area. The Y Combinator startup raised an $11M series A in June, and is hiring in Kitchener across engineering, sales, product, and more.

    > View Open Positions

     

  6. Loopio



    Loopio helps companies manage their entire response process in one platform, letting them handle Requests for Proposals (RFPs) and Security Questionnaires without the usual increase in blood pressure. With their software, customers can import complex requirements, dish out work to subject matter experts, automate the boring stuff, and “close the loop” by centralizing new content. The company is bootstrapped, and is building a culture for people who are hungry to learn and ready to challenge themselves. They have open positions in sales, engineering, and operations.

    Here’s one of the founders, Jafar, presenting at TechTO, on starting up with a B-school background and seeing past expectations when it comes to educational background.

    > View Open Positions

  7. Kindred


    Kindred is building a future where intelligent machines work together with people to create abundance shared by all. With the central thesis that intelligence requires a body, since its founding in 2014, Kindred has been exploring and engineering systems that enable robots to understand and participate in our world. The company recently raised a $28M Series B round, with investors including Tencent, First Round Capital, and Eclipse Ventures. They’re hiring for engineering and operations in Toronto and San Francisco.

    Here’s one of the founders, Geordie, presenting at TechVancouver on super-intelligent aliens, why we need to think bigger, and how Kindred will change the world.

    > View Open Positions

  8. Breather



    Breather is creating peaceful, practical and beautifully designed meeting rooms and private workspaces. Big brands, small businesses and individuals have all used Breather – they’ve worked with Google, Facebook, Apple, AirBnB, and Spotify, to name a few. In 2016, the company raised a $40M Series C, with $69M in total funding, and investors including Menlo Ventures, RRE Ventures, Slow Ventures, and Valar Ventures. The company has open positions in operations and engineering in Montreal and New York.

    > View Open Positions

  9. Busbud



    Busbud is building the best way to book bus tickets. They’re the bus travel booking website with the largest coverage, serving over two million departures to travelers around the world every week. Recognized as one of the 20 most innovative companies in Canada, the company has a flat structure, and most recently raised a $9M Series A in 2014 from Omers Ventures, Revolution Ventures, iNovia Capital, and Real Ventures. They’re hiring engineers in Montreal.

    > View Open Positions

  10. Hopper



    Hopper is reinventing the way people plan travel and book flights by leveraging the power of mobile conversation and big data. The Hopper app for iOS and Android analyzes trillions of past and current trips to predict when you should fly and buy. They closed an $82M Series C in December 2016 and are hiring for multiple roles in Boston and Montreal.

    > View Open Positions

  11. Transit



    Transit is building North America’s favourite transit app, helping millions of commuters to navigate their cities without losing their minds. Powered by the belief technology can make sustainable transport more popular than ever, they most raised a $5M Series A in September 2017, led by Accel Partners. They’re hiring engineers in Montreal.

    > View Open Positions

  12. Automat



    Automat is helping companies use AI to talk to their customers and enable business conversations at scale. The promise of conversational marketing is a messaging experience  tailor made for each individual consumer, vastly outperforming traditional digital marketing. They raised an $8.3M Series A in June 2017, and are hiring for engineers, designers, and project management in Montreal — if you’re interested in AI, bots, marketing, or messaging, check them out.

    > View Open Positions

  13. Landr



    Landr is revolutionizing the music mastering process by achieving sound quality that rivals expensive, professional studio work. Their cloud-based solution provides an automated drag and drop mastering process for musicians and delivers a master in minutes. The company raised a $6.2M Series A in 2015 from investors including Warner Music Group, Nas, and Tiesto. They have open positions in design and engineering in Montreal.

    > View Open Positions

  14. Bench



    Bench is developing online bookkeeping for small businesses. As the largest online bookkeeping service in North America for small businesses, they offer a combination of custom-built software and professional online bookkeepers to help small business owners focus on running their business instead of doing accounting. The Techstars company raised a $16M Series B in 2016, led by Bain Capital, and is hiring across engineering, marketing, and other positions.

    > View Open Positions

  15. Vidyard



    Vidyard is helping businesses succeed through the power of video, leveraging insight into action and turning viewers into customers. The Kitchener-Waterloo company raised a $50M Series C in January 2016, led by Battery Ventures, and count among their clients Honeywell, Lenovo, LinkedIn, Citibank, Marketo, and MongoDB. If you’re excited about video, Vidyard is hiring in marketing and operations.

    > View Open Positions

  16. Article



    Article is delivering beautifully designed, high quality furniture direct-to-consumer at a fraction of the cost of traditional retailers. Founder-funded and growing largely on retained earnings, the Vancouver company is building a new kind of furniture company, connecting manufacturers to buyers. They’re hiring for multiple roles, including engineering, product, and marketing, in Vancouver.

    > View Open Positions

  17. Buddybuild

    Buddybuild is helping companies ship apps faster, building the world’s first mobile iteration platform for iOS and Android. They’ve worked with companies including Slack, Firefox, Reddit, Soundcloud, Instacart, and The Washington Post. The company raised a $7.6M Series A in 2016 from investors including Kleiner Perkins, First Round Capital, Bloomberg Beta, and Amplify Partners. They’re hiring across engineering, sales, and accounting roles in Vancouver.

    > View Open Positions

  18. Cover



    Cover is reshaping the way that insurance is sold, building a product to make sure their customers get the most out of the insurance policies they buy. Their app lets you insure just about anything, all from your phone. The Y Combinator company raised a $7.9M Series A in July 2017 led by Social Capital, and has several open positions in design, engineering, marketing, operations, and sales in Toronto and San Francisco.

    > View Open Positions

  19. Careguide


    CareGuide is a family of online marketplaces for local services, pairing families and individuals with great care providers. At the forefront of a growing industry, their team comprises 20 full time employees, and they’ve raised $6M in total, backed by several angels, iNovia Capital, Structure Capital, and RBC. Careguide has multiple engineering roles open in Toronto.

    Here’s John Philip Green, Careguide’s Chief Executive Dad (yes, you read that right), presenting the startup.

    > View Open Positions

  20. Drop

    Connect your cards on Drop and they’ll supercharge them. Drop is a small team redefining loyalty and rewards, building an intelligent mobile rewards platform for debit and credit cards. In minutes, users can earn points from companies they’re already shopping with, and from new retailers and brands Drop thinks they’ll like, based on where they spend. The company’s raised $10M in total, and has multiple open positions in engineering, sales, data, and product in Toronto.

    Here’s one of the founders, Derek, speaking at TechTO on how he thinks about building high potential teams.

    > View Open Positions

  21. Clio



    Clio is transforming how law firms are run. Their software offers everything that’s needed to run a legal practice, letting law firms and lawyers spend less time on administrative tasks and more time with clients. The company raised a $20M Series C in 2014, led by Bessemer Partners. Clio has multiple open positions in marketing, design, engineering, sales, and support in Vancouver and Calgary.

    > View Open Positions

 

 

Each month, #TechTO offers incredible takeaways from lessons learned and a glimpse into some of the coolest emerging tech and startups going. Whether you’re just getting started or you’re a veteran of the industry, TechTO is the place for you to plug into the Toronto tech community. From startup founders, to corporate VPs, to developers, to investors, to passionate enthusiasts – if you’re looking to connect with and learn from the city’s best-in-class, TechTO is where you need to be.

This January 15th, we’re hosting our monthly TechTO event in downtown Toronto, and we’d love to see you there. Don’t miss out – learn more and grab your tickets here.