ELEVATE TECH FESTIVAL- Fri., Sept.20th-Thurs., Sept.26th,2019@Meridian Hall, Design Exchange, King West, and Other Locations.
By A.J. Lam with Photo Credits to Laura Miller (Elevate) for added Festival Photos
It was the 2019 Elevate Tech Festival taking over Toronto while welcoming world-class leaders in the name of Canadian innovation.
This whole festival week was a mission to unite the world’s top innovators to solve society’s greatest challenges.
We enjoyed the festival experience as we joined the Tech Jam at the Design Exchange, or one of the 14 Festival Stages at Meridian Hall, hearing from legendary innovators and change makers including Elevate Co-Chair and Astronaut Chris Hadfield, Martha Stewart, Sophia Amoruso, Guy Kawasaki, and former First Lady Michelle Obama in conversation.
Many of the expected 20,000 guests were reached by “moonshots,” especially with the announcement of being selected as the Canadian HQ for the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. The headline event was an inspiring conversation between BMO’s Claudette McGowan and the former First Lady herself… Michelle Obama.
It was a great time exploring Toronto’s startup community during Startup Open House in addition to enjoying many moments of connection during Elevate King West!
The Elevate theme for this year’s festival was all about “moonshots.” From Co-Chair Chris Hadfield discussing his moonshots, to serial entrepreneur Martha Stewart discussing her new venture in the cannabis industry, to Akon talking about building a real-life “Wakanda” with crypto.
From learning how to build a billion-dollar company with Todd McKinnon, to scale a brand into the stratosphere with Jen Rubio, and to innovate to win with NBA Champion Masai Ujiri, it was another amazing day at Elevate.
As Wednesday night approached, it was time to head out to the Elevate King West.
With over 50 venues in the mix, there was something for everyone. From riding a five-story ferris wheel at the Collective Arts Block Party, hopping over to Love Child to hang with NBA Champion and Toronto Raptor Serge Ibaka, taking Tai Chi at the Wellness Zone at Stackt, and much more, Elevate social guests had plenty to enjoy.
And congratulations to the 2019 ElevateR Pitch competition winner Maryam Navabi of Village Technologies.
Some of the other highlights were:
Private Concert with Akon I 473 Adelaide St. W
Party like a rockstar at Akon’s performance at HP Lit.
Director X Party at Goldie I 619 King St.W
Party with Director X and friends while supporting a great cause. The purchase of a Bottle Service packages supported Operation Prefrontal Cortex.
Salesforce’s #WeTheTrailblazers Lounge I Early Mercy, 540 King St W
#WeTheTrailblazers Lounge, hosted by Salesforce, is where innovators gathered.
Special performance by Jillionaire.
Elevate House, the official after party venue, with some of the hottest names in tech. There was an appearance from Akon and a dazzling drag performance by Canada’s own Brooke Lynn Hytes, on Thursday.
We would like to thank the staff and volunteers at Elevate. We look forward to Elevate in September 2020.