Actual Agency recently attended Collision Conference, one of the world’s biggest tech conferences, held in Toronto, Ontario. Over 35,000 people from 130 different countries were in attendance and among those were 1,557 startups and 793 venture capitalists. The team had the opportunity to receive demos from some of the startups, listen in on media panels and attend Q&A sessions.
A few themes stood out predominantly at the conference including the future of crypto and payment platforms, the impact ecosystem, the journey to autonomous and media’s commitment to factual reporting.
Crypto: a week of perspective
It’s no surprise crypto was a major point of discussion given the recent industry news trends. A panel hosted by Michael del Castillo of Forbes made a last minute topic change from “will blockchain save the world” to “crypto is crashing, but blockchain will survive.” Michael started the discussion with candid commentary about this change and asked fellow panelists Ather Williams III, Kathleen Breitman and Mauricio Di Bartolomeo if blockchain would save the world, to which all three agreed that it would not. There was also a question board posted where attendees could share their thoughts on crypto potentially replacing the traditional banking system.
Future of payments
Of the booth tours and demos that Actual received, one common solution we saw were cards, either digital or physical, to manage business spending. Companies like Lendle, Float, QuadFi and Tillful aim to provide businesses and consumers with access to credit and information on their financial health. There were also several companies in attendance that offer services for people interested in investing, including data and analysis to help investors succeed.
A few startups had a badge on their booth signifying they were an “Impact startup,” a recognition bestowed by Collision Conference for demonstrated innovation in following the UN’s SDGs – 17 objectives in the fight for a better world. Companies like Digital Wellness Institute, which helps companies foster a more positive digital culture through assessment, industry benchmarking, and on-demand learning, and Greenly, a climate tech company that offers software which enables SMBs to measure, reduce and offset their carbon footprint, were among the Impact startups. Purpose matters, and it was encouraging to see organizations that are making a positive impact being recognized for their honorable work.
Journey to autonomous vehicles
Arm CEO Rene Haas joined Wired Editor-at-large Steven Levy on stage to discuss what is next for the company. During the conversation he discussed the company’s vision for the future of autonomous driving (AD) systems and how the power of computing can transform lives with independent decision making and the safe completion of tasks.
Media panels on misinformation
One important theme that was touched upon throughout various panels of journalists was their commitment to reporting verified facts and combating misinformation. Julie Pace of the Associated Press mentioned in a panel that “It’s one thing to say, ‘this is false’. It’s another thing to help walk people through what is the truth.” While we know that reporters have the responsibility to share news, it was pleasant to hear that they would rather be second to report on the story than first, to ensure the information is accurate.
The various discussions throughout the week were really insightful. We recommend checking out the startups listed above and those who were in attendance. If you were unable to attend Collision Conference, the event will be back in Toronto in 2023!
Interested in upleveling executive thought leadership and company presence at your next industry event? Actual Agency provides support for companies at the most impactful conferences around the globe. Get in touch!