From Startup to School, Meet COO Matt Parson
Having just taken part of Toronto Startup Open House, we caught up with our Chief Operating Officer Matt Parson to learn a little more about RED life on the east coast.
It’s been a busy summer since we opened our Toronto location earlier this Spring, as our COO Matt Parson explains, “We had our grand opening party late-April, launched our part time programs in May, had a soft launch in July, and I’ll consider us fully open by September 26th when our full classes have launched and we’re at full capacity.”
After RED took Vancouver by storm, opening a new school in Toronto was high on our list of priorities: “A primary goal for RED is to address the tech talent shortage. Vancouver and Toronto are the tech centres in Canada, and so Toronto was our next logical step.”
Marketplace aside, RED Academy’s Toronto connections made the move too good to resist. “One of our founders, Mandy Gilbert, has a deep and extensive network in Toronto through her first business, Creative Niche, and there are so many overlaps between what Creative Niche does as a recruiting firm and what RED does in preparing people for the tech industry. It’s a perfect fit!”
Toronto Startup Open House
With our full-time launch just a few days away, Toronto Startup Open House was the perfect chance to meet people from the industry or those looking to jump in as well as show off our teaching space on Wellington Street West.
“Vibe wise we have the feel of an agency but also a homey feeling, and I really think we nailed it; people come in and immediately feel comfortable but there’s still that sense that a lot of great work gets done here.”
After a whirlwind summer, Matt doesn’t hesitate when asked about his highlight so far: “Definitely getting to build a team. We got the chance to build out a second to none group of individuals that are passionate about the things that they teach, and learning to be the best instructors they can be. It’s an absolute pleasure getting to come into work everyday — I can’t wait to show everyone off at the open house.”
“Giving back to the Toronto tech and startup communities is a huge priority for RED. We’ve hosted some great events already this summer with some of Toronto’s top creatives and we’re looking forward to doing even more!”
Dan Ophaug is a copy and content writer currently based in Toronto, Ontario. Born and raised in the UK, Dan has also spent time living in Montreal and New Brunswick. With a background in both journalism and film studies, he decided his real passion was in writing, and has since worked with everyone from arts publications to tech startups to produce creative content.