We had the opportunity to sit down with Ziad Sahid, Executive Director of TechYukon, to learn more about what TechYukon is up to these days. From the sounds of it, they are up to some pretty cool stuff!
Hi Ziad. Can you please tell us what TechYukon is all about?
We advocate on behalf of local tech-based businesses in the Yukon. We accomplish this through advocacy with government, business and networking support for our members, and we host several events and workshops related to tech entrepreneurship and new trends in tech.
Cool, how do you accomplish all of that?
We take several approaches to achieve our goal:
Events and workshops
To support and develop tech entrepreneurs, we partner with several organizations, including Yukonstruct, on events like hackathons and design jams. And we recently launched a business acceleration program supporting Startups that are using AI to solve supply chain challenges in the North.
We also bring forward and present knowledge on new tech trends through member-led events and presentations. Most recently, one of our members did a fascinating and well-attended lunch-and-learn on cybersecurity.
TechYukon is a member of Canada’s Tech Network, which is a network of tech hubs across Canada providing resources and programming for Startups. All TechYukon members that are Startups have access to their resources and funding to help grow their business.
Local and national advocacy is an important function of TechYukon. We have several committees within the organization that deal with topics from recruitment and retention of employees to procurement-related issues that affect the local tech industry. We also work with the Yukon Chamber of Commerce on advocacy initiatives related to business development.
We aim to grow the local tech sector through developing new talent, and youth is an important key to achieving this goal. For this initiative, we partner with leading youth organizations like Skills Canada Yukon and Yukon Women in Trades and Technology on events and workshops like coding, robotics, and youth hackathons. We love to pass down our knowledge and empower youth to explore tech.
Sounds like you do a lot, is there anything you’re particularly proud of at the moment?
Yes, we have grown a lot in recent years. This growth is evidenced by our business acceleration program which is part of Canada’s AI supercluster initiative – the first of its kind in the north. We are proud to participate on the national stage and present the north’s tech sector in the process.
Tell me about your members.
We serve just under 30 diverse members, all of whom provide services across several disciplines within tech. Some work in product development, AR/VR, and animation/film. Complementary to that we also have members that do software development, web development, hardware repair and sales, business analytics, and telecommunications. As you can see tech is more than just programmers and web developers, the industry is very diverse.
Thanks so much for chatting with us!