Collision 2019

Collision is North America’s fastest-growing tech conference. It was created by the same team that’s behind Web Summit – the world’s largest tech event. Collision is the kind of conference that attracts CEOs of the world’s largest companies, startup founders, leading investors, and media from around the world.

This year Collision took place at Toronto Enercare Centre and hosted over 25,000 attendees!

Several members of our team had the opportunity to attend Collision 2019 and we wanted to share our experience, and also talk about what we think can be improved at Collision in the upcoming years.

Microsoft AI For Good

One of our team members stopped by the Microsoft booth to chat about their AI For Good program – the primary focus of Microsoft at Collision 2019. AI For Good provides technology and resources to empower those working to solve humanitarian issues and create a more sustainable and accessible world. The AI For Good program includes a couple of different initiatives. For instance, AI for Earth puts AI technology and cloud software in the hands of those working to solve global climate issues. AI for Accessibility , on the other hand, is about leveraging the power of AI to amplify human capability for more than one billion people globally with a disability. Finally, AI for Humanitarian Action partners with nonprofit and humanitarian organizations working to support disaster recovery, address the needs of children, protect displaced people, and promote human rights.


Building with Microsoft

One of our team members also had the opportunity to sit in on “Cut costs, not Care” which was an interview between Adam Cancryn from POLITICO and Vish Sankaran the Chief Innovation Officer at Walgreens.  One of the underlying themes of the session was modern health-tech partnerships. Microsoft and Verily where two of the significant partners for Walgreens. Vish Sankaran talked about many benefits of working with Microsoft, including going faster and providing a better experience to customers by leveraging their experience. This was also a recurrent theme throughout Collision 2019, where many of the companies’ solutions and services are built and integrate with other technology partners.


Local tech community

We are active in our region with Haltech and it was great to see other Canadian technology groups present and showcase their region’s benefits and tech companies. The scope of the regions technology hubs ranged from a big York Region booth with many tech startups, Calgary meet-and-greets with their Mayor, and the Hamilton Economic Development explored the city on Friday after the show.

General Feedback

Here at RedBit we value transparency and honesty, so we always choose to provide unbiased feedback. That’s why it’s important to say that while some of the members of our team enjoyed the conference and found the experience rather valuable, other members did not necessarily love it, mainly because it didn’t turn out to be what they expected. For example, some team members thought that Collision 2019 was less a technology conference than a startup expo. A lot of the talks were short and lacked any significant insight on the part of the speakers and panellists, and seemed to have been designed to create buzz around the exhibiting startups. As developers, we did not necessarily like that kind of format, however we also recognize that had we attended the conference as founders or investors, or if we were new to the technology industry, we may have found more value in such experience. In the future, we believe that Collision would really benefit from having more talks directed to the “makers” of technology.


Mobile App

Among other things that we thought could be improved was the Collision mobile app.

While it was handy to have the ticket on it, it would have been much easier to have it in your apple wallet or a similar app instead. Furthermore, the Collision 2019 app required far more information than should have been necessary: it prompted you to re-enter all the information already provided at ticket assignment and required a photo for no good reason. At the same time, it buried the ticket QR code in a hamburger menu, and had no Apple Wallet support for the ticket. Lists scrolled randomly to new positions while the user was trying to read (this happened after every pan/scroll gesture that was made), scheduling feature could not warn of conflicting events or help you manage them. Given all that, some of our team members stopped trying to use the app shortly after being admitted to the conference, and deleted it right after Collision 2019 ended.

Final Thoughts

Overall, we thought that Collision was a great place to see what’s happening in the tech industry,

what kind of large scale problems we are grappling with, and where the industry is going. However, we also believe that in the future Collision could really benefit from having more panels directed towards developers.

Are you looking for a mobile based solution, a web-based solution, design or an entire end to end system? Let’s talk!

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