Monday, May 20, 2019

Toronto Collision tech conference 2019

Opening night at #CollisionConf reached capacity at 5pm and the large crowd waits for the first remarks and PM Justin Trudeau to take to the main stage. At 5pm Collision brought 15 rising businesses to the forefront of the night as they discussed their products in a series of rapid pitches in front of thousands at the Enercare Centre. The pitches are interesting and provide a window into people trying to solve current tech concerns or to fill a new niche. Over 25,000 people, 47.5% of them female, from 125 countries will be at the conference which features over 700 speakers and 15 content tracks.
Shahrzad Rafati's fireside chat with Justin Trudeau 
In just a little time the official opening will be provided by Paddy Cosgrave of Collision, followed at 6:30pm by the Prime Minister. It's standing room only as centre stage is surrounded by attendees to North America's fastest growing tech events. Justin came business casual with some great messages about the benefits of Canada. Our immigration policies and growing status as a tech hub is drawing professionals as well as businesses back to Canada.

The Toronto region is the largest technology hub in Canada and ranks fourth in North America. Providing more the 300,000 jobs in 24,000 companies. From the City of Toronto In 2016, the growth of the Toronto region technology sector outpaced that of New York City and San Francisco combined. Based on that growth rate, Toronto is expected to have more technology jobs than Silicon Valley in the near future."
Houseplant founders Evan Goldberg and Seth Rogen on stage with Karan Wadhera
Seth Rogen, actor and is here to talk about his recreational cannabis company Houseplant and his cinematic experiences with movies like Pineapple Express, 40 Year Old Virgin and more. Seth gave a big shout out to Prime Minister Trudeau for his legalization of marijuana. He talks about the need for trust and education and hopes to have their product available in Ontario soon. Seth is not confident of the American market yet but is trying to change the climate in the US to support legalization.
City of Toronto Mayor John Tory welcomed attendees, was happy to note the high representation of women in tech and helped Collision CEO Paddy Cosgrave countdown to the opening which released fireworks and a waterfall of sparklers falling from the ceiling. Toronto will be the home of Collision for three years, including 2019, as the conference leaves the United States for the first time. "Toronto’s technology and innovation sector is growing at a phenomenal rate. Collision will have a huge economic impact on our city and will help us build on that success." - Toronto Mayor John Tory

More from the City of Toronto; "Collision brings together the people and companies that are redefining the global technology industry. More than 25,000 attendees, including 3,750 CEOs and 750 journalists, from 120 countries are anticipated to attend. The conference is part of a series of technology conferences that include Web Summit in Europe and RISE in Hong Kong. The event includes 14 standalone conferences that focus on industry tracks including marketing, design, coding, robotics, SaaS, big data and more, curated roundtables and workshops, and networking events."

Some highlights of the opening night speakers

The conference is on from Monday, May 20 to Thursday, May 23. Dynamic speakers, startups, leading tech companies, summits and a large expo floor open early on Tuesday as the main conference continues at Exhibition Place. And don't forget about the nightly summits: "Every night during Collision, our attendees will take over a new neighbourhood in Toronto. From street parties to more intimate networking events, Night Summit has something for everyone. We'll see you there."

Conference Hours:
Monday, May 20 Pre-registration & opening night 10am – 8.30pm
Tuesday, May 21 Day 1 9am – 5.30pm
Wednesday, May 22 Day 2 9am – 5.30pm
Thursday, May 23 Day 3 9am – 5.30pm

May 21 will include talks about one of my favourite tech subjects - self driving cars from Dmitri Dolgov, CTO of Waymo; "In the two years since Waymo introduced a fleet of fully autonomous cars to Phoenix, it has run ten million miles of testing and launched its commercial service, Waymo One. But what will it take to bring self-driving cars to millions of people around the world?
Speakers". Also up at centre stage will be David Eun with What's NEXT: Bringing AI to life.

Some other hot button topics that you can learn about are Blockchain ("Blockchain is the new cyber dark art. Complex and mystifying to most, does it really solve any of our technology problems? Is it secure? Scalable? Or is it all just hype?") and Hyperloop ("With zero emissions and the ability to travel at more than 1000 km/h, will the hyperloop be a feasible alternative to the relatively expensive, slow, and environmentally harmful means of travel we have today?").

Pitches start tomorrow with Colli'sion's statup competition showcasing early stage companies joining together for a live, onstage pitching battle. On Thursday, celebrity Damon Wayans Jr. from TV shows like New Girl and Happy Endings, and now co-founder of Special Guest App will appear in a Q&A at 3:30pm.

There is a lot to learn and a lot to take in so prioritize your trip and use the Collision App to help your scheduling.

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