Clearbanc CEO on how moving to Canada fast-tracked his tech career

  • Andrew D’Souza is a successful startup founder running a company out of Toronto.
  • He says leaving Silicon Valley to work at a Canadian company accelerated his career because he was able to establish himself at a fast-growing company in an emerging tech ecosystem.
  • “Everyone talks about, ‘Do you want to be a big fish in a small pond or a small fish in a big pond?’ But I think the dimension that people don’t think about is how fast is the pond growing,” D’Souza said.
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Canada’s tech ecosystem has been called many things. Silicon Valley North. Maple Valley. Even “the nice person’s Silicon Valley.” Call it what you want, but don’t count it out, says Andrew D’Souza, who runs one of Canadian’s hottest tech startups, Clearbanc.

He says that going home to Toronto after a stint in the San Francisco Bay Area turbocharged his career in tech. His advice for young professionals is to migrate north if they want to be part of a fast-growing ecosystem.

“It’s like coming to Silicon Valley 20 years ago,” D’Souza said.

Oh, Canada

In his 20s, D’Souza was working as an analyst at McKinsey’s Toronto outpost when he decided he wanted to build companies instead of PowerPoint presentations. An old roommate from the University of Waterloo introduced him to another alum, Chamath Palihapitiya, a famed startup investor who was head of growth at Facebook at the time. 

Palihapitiya convinced him to move to the land of opportunity, Silicon Valley, where he went to work at a tech company in the investor’s portfolio, D’Souza said. A year later, he jumped to TopHat, a Canadian edtech startup that hired D’Souza to grow its salesforce in San Francisco and Chicago. But D’Souza had a critical decision to make: his company wanted him to leave the US and move back to Canada.

“Our board reached out and said this company is really growing, if you want to be part of the center nucleus of this company, you need to move to the headquarters,” D’Souza remembers.

So he did and ghe company exploded after his return to Toronto. By 2014, TopHat’s digital tools for the classroom were in use by some 300,000 students at more than 400 universities, and the company was booking millions of dollars of revenue a year. D’Souza, who was chief revenue officer, helped scale the organization from 15 to 80 employees.

Canada’s tech scene was thriving, as well. The industry added jobs and funded startups spun out of colleges such as the University of Waterloo — “increasingly known as Canada’s answer to MIT,” TechCrunch wrote. Companies could hire top talent from abroad thanks to the country’s quality of life, lower cost of living, and more relaxed immigration policy.

D’Souza said being at a company that was taking off at the same time an ecosystem — Canada’s tech hub — was gaining steam accelerated his career. In late 2013, he left TopHat, and after a stopover at another Toronto

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Memorial University delaying the start of most winter classes | Canada | News

Memorial University has decided to delay the official start date of its winter semester in most programs at its St. John’s campus, Grenfell Campus in Corner Brook and the Marine Institute.

Originally, the return date for winter classes was Wednesday, Jan. 6. It now will be Monday, Jan. 11.

“I hope that extending the break by a few days… will help to reduce the stress in the winter term,” said Dr. Mark Abrahams, provost and vice-president (academic).



Abraham’s quote appeared in a story in the online version of the MUN Gazette (gazette.mun.ca), used to announce the delay.

Due to what are described as “unique program delivery constraints”, the school says exceptions have been approved for the Faculty of Medicine, the Faculty of Nursing and the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science. 

As a result, classes in these academic units will resume as previously scheduled on Jan.6.

Source Article

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Long-Lost Tectonic Plate Discovered Hundreds of Miles Below Canada

A team of scientists say they have uncovered evidence of a mysterious tectonic plate beneath northern Canada that some experts argue never existed.

In a study published in the Geological Society of America Bulletin, the researchers from the University of Houston identified the remains of the ancient plate—which had mostly disappeared by around 40 million years ago—hundreds of miles beneath Canada’s Yukon territory.

Whether or not the plate—dubbed “Resurrection”—ever existed has long been a hot topic of debate in the field of geology.

Tectonic plates are vast slabs of the planet’s crust, which are in constant, albeit very gradual, motion. Regions where these plates meet tend to be seismically and volcanically active.

Geologists have long known that there were two tectonic plates—called Kula and Farallon—at the beginning of the Cenozoic Era (66 million years ago to the present day) in the Pacific Ocean off the western coast of North America.

But some experts have suggested that a third plate, Resurrection, may have accompanied Kula and Farallon for a time before it mostly sunk beneath the Earth’s surface between 60 and 40 million years ago, in a process known as “subduction.”

As Resurrection slid under the North American Plate—which contains most of North America, as well as Greenland, the northern Caribbean, and parts of Siberia, Iceland, and the Azores—it would have melted and deformed due to the extreme heat of the Earth’s interior, becoming significantly smaller in size.

Now, University of Houston researchers say they have found a large chunk of the crust they believe represents the remains of Resurrection.

Firstly, the scientists analyzed existing mantle topography images, which provided a snapshot of the Earth’s interior beneath North America.

This analysis revealed a chunk of rock 250 to 370 miles below the Yukon, which they have dubbed the “Yukon Slab.”

The team then used a computer modeling technique called “slab unfolding” in order to reconstruct what any subducted plates once looked like in the area. This approach revealed that the Yukon Slab closely matched the hypothesized shape of the Resurrection plate toward the beginning of the Cenozoic Era.

“We believe we have direct evidence that the Resurrection plate existed,” Spencer Fuston, co-author of the study from the University of Houston, said in a statement. “We are also trying to solve a debate and advocate for which side our data supports.”

The researchers say the latest findings could improve our ability to predict volcanic hazards in the region and identify mineral deposits, while also providing new insights into the Earth’s climate.

“Volcanoes form at plate boundaries, and the more plates you have, the more volcanoes you have,” Jonny Wu, another co-author of the study, said in a statement. “Volcanoes also affect climate change. So, when you are trying to model the earth and understand how climate has changed since time, you really want to know how many volcanoes there have been on earth.”

North America tectonics
A plate tectonics reconstruction of western North America 60 million years ago, showing the Kula, Farallon and Resurrection
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