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Takeaways from the Olympics of Tech

Five delegates from White Tuque. Four days and three nights in Toronto. Two showcases with The DMZ‘s global stage and the MEDJCT Ontario Pavilion. One impressive conference.

The countdown to Collision Conference 2023 was finally over. Collision, the Olympics of Tech, was an absolute whirlwind of connections, partnerships, sharing ideas, and taking in the latest in cyber and tech, set against the backdrop of the most innovative start-ups, thought leaders, and entrepreneurs from around the world. With our Founder and CEO Robert D. Stewart leading the charge, the White Tuque crew was able to make an impact at Collision 2023. Here are four highlights from our experiences at Collision 2023.

Everything is Better In-Person

Collision Conference returned to its regular in-person format last year. Although in 2023 we are further removed from the days of pandemic-related restrictions, as a primarily work-from-home firm, our team is always excited for a chance to spend time together in person. Raymond Kyte, our VCM Team Lead, summarized the experience for us:

“The name Collision is certainly appropriate for this conference! It was one of the most unique conferences I have been to throughout my career. It took some time to acclimate to the relentless stream of startups, vendors, and countless interesting pitches populating every inch of the conference floor, but once I adjusted, I was able to truly enjoy the amalgamation of ideas on display at this conference.

“Paradoxically, one of the things I enjoyed most about being in Toronto for the three days of Collision – while people and delegations from all over the world were present to share their plans with conference attendees – was having the opportunity to have more direct conversations with some of our partners also coming from the Barrie, Innisfil, and Simcoe County business and entrepreneurship circles that White Tuque has been fortunate to be a part of, and hearing the other successes that our peers have had.

“It was fantastic to directly experience the support that we have had from Sandbox Centre, Henry Bernick Entrepreneurship Centre, and The DMZ and DMZ Innisfil, and be able to share in that excitement with the other attendees from the same ecosystem that has helped us so much. I am looking forward to continuing to build these relationships as we learn more and more that White Tuque is more than just another new startup in the barrage of perspectives on display during the week of Collision.”

It’s Not All About AI

AI, or machine learning, has been dominating the headlines throughout 2023. Naturally many of the panel discussions and featured tech leaders were looking ahead to a future with AI-powered technology. Interestingly, cybersecurity was a topic that was almost as prevalent, both on the expo floor and on the various stages. Cybersecurity isn’t a new field, but there are new innovations in our industry all the time. Where technology flows cybersecurity follows, and not only because new technology means new challenges in preventing and defending against cyberattacks. We believe that cybersecurity must continue to adapt and evolve along with technology and the threat landscape, growing to meet the challenges that all businesses face.

Opportunities to Learn at Every Turn

Want to hear something obvious? Technology is everywhere. What’s awesome about that? Technology relates to absolutely anything and everything you could possibly want to learn about. The Centre Stage featured the heavy hitters in business and tech, but the White Tuque team got the most out of the smaller-scale forums. Some of the memorable moments include:

  • We learned about an app that helps youth athletes develop their skills by accessing truly affordable coaching expertise.
  • We saw how tech businesses are moving towards environmental sustainability.
  • We listened to thinkers across the political spectrum about how technology has been divisive but can still work to unify and strengthen our online social world.
  • We saw a virtual reality product demo that will help first responders familiarize themselves in and adapt their actions to uncertain environments – like firefighters navigating a dark and smoke-filled building.
  • We heard and took part in countless conversations about cybersecurity. How are the bad guys going to use and abuse the technology that’s around the corner? How will businesses adopting new technologies integrate security measures that are not just reactive, but preventative?

The Value of Commitment

The early bird may get the worm, but a committed presence at an event like Collision will pay unexpected and invaluable dividends. On Day Three, Founder and CEO Robert D. Stewart represented White Tuque at the MEDJCT’s Ontario Pavilion. Some of the most interesting conversations took place on the final day of Collision, and Rob shared his thoughts about what that experience can bring:

“Collision is a unique event in that it can provide both professional development for our team, but also exists to connect us with potential partners and clients and build relationships. It’s a unique value that we were lucky enough to take advantage of.

“We have been able to announce multiple partnerships in recent weeks that came directly from conversations we had at Collision in 2022. Being fortunate enough to be highlighted, supported and promoted by The DMZ, Ontario Government, State of Illinois and World Business Chicago at Collision 2023 was a complete game changer for White Tuque. These are all relationships that were created or strengthened as a direct result of Collision last year. I can’t wait to see where the connections from this year’s event take us.”

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