Hashtag Trending – Canada’s top startups, messaging app usage explodes, Amazon hotline

LinkedIn lists Canada’s top startups, downloads for a specific messaging app explodes, and former Amazon employees create a hotline to report unsafe working conditions.

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Montreal’s Element AI is this year’s top startup, according to LinkedIn’s second annual Top 25 Startups in Canada list. Founded in 2016, Element AI builds artificial intelligence-powered software for enterprises that does things like help automate document reading and processing. To be eligible, companies must be 7 years old or younger, have at least 50 employees, be privately held and headquartered in Canada. LinkedIn says the list is determined by analyzing employee growth, jobseeker interest, member engagement with the company and its employees, and how well these startups pulled talent from LinkedIn’s Top Companies List. Twenty of the top 25 startups on the list are based in Toronto.

A peer-to-peer mesh broadcasting network that doesn’t use the internet has exploded in popularity, garnering all kinds of chatter about it on Reddit. Over the past two months, San Francisco startup Bridgefy’s messaging app has experienced a 4,000 per cent spike in the number of downloads, in large part due to pro-democracy protesters downloading the app to avoid government detection. Chatting is fastest with people who are within a hundred meters, but you can also chat with people who are farther away. Messages will simply “hop” across other Bridgefy users’ phones until they find the intended target. In a recent Forbes article, Briedgefy’s CEO Jorge Rios said in addition to reducing the risk of messages being read by unwanted eyes, people are downloading the app because Honk Kong authorities are beginning to limit Internet access.

Former Amazon Employees Helped Make a Hotline to Report Unsafe Working Conditions from r/technology

The Free and Fair Markets, a nonprofit watchdog, is teaming up with former Amazon workers to create a hotline for reporting unsafe working conditions. While Amazon denies any wrong-doing – they even recently deployed an army of Twitter army comprised of warehouse workers tweeting about the joys of working for Amazon – the company’s poor labour conditions have been well-documented for more than a year. The hotline allows a worker to work around the fear of losing their job, and gives instructions on how to take complaints further to certain government agencies.

That’s all the tech news that’s trending right now. Hashtag Trending is a part of the ITWC Podcast network. Add us to your Alexa Flash Briefing or your Google Home daily briefing. I’m Alex Coop, thanks for listening.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada
Alex Coop
Alex Coophttp://www.itwc.ca
Former Editorial Director for IT World Canada and its sister publications.

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