Collision has been called the “Olympics of tech,” attracting more than 40,000 attendees from 140 countries. And it makes sense that Toronto—the largest tech hub in Canada—plays host to one of the world’s biggest tech conferences, which made its Toronto debut in 2019 at Exhibition Place. Named North America’s fastest-growing tech market by CBRE, Toronto is home to more than 64 tech-focused business accelerators and incubators, and offers a unique mix of culture, education and diversity in its talent pool.
The number of tech businesses in Toronto have doubled over the past five years, and the city offers the third-largest tech talent pool in North America.
Geoffrey Hinton is the “Godfather of AI”.
Geoffrey Hinton is a global pioneer in the field of deep learning and is widely regarded as the Godfather of AI for his revolutionary work that has earned him a Turing Award. The British-Canadian computer scientist started researching neural networks at the University of Toronto in 1987, when it was largely considered fringe science. Later, his theories were proven correct, and his work has since provided foundational breakthroughs in AI. Today, he’s a University Professor Emeritus at U of T and chief scientific advisor of the Vector Institute in Toronto.
BlueDot combats infectious disease threats.
BlueDot, an epidemic intelligence company, combines public health and medical expertise with advanced data analytics to build solutions that track, contextualize and anticipate infectious disease risks. Co-founder and CEO Kamran Khan, an infectious disease physician and professor at the University of Toronto, was listed among the top 50 most influential Torontonians in 2020 by Toronto Life. Deeply motivated by the SARS outbreak that crippled Toronto in 2023, he’s dedicated his career to finding solutions that help the world better prepare for and respond to tomorrow’s infectious disease threats.
Laura Zizzo tackles climate change.
Laura Zizzo founded one of the first law firms in Canada focused on climate change. Over the years, she’s been a leading voice on the need to bring climate into the core of business considerations, serving as a delegate to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. In 2020, she joined forces with tech entrepreneur Jeremy Greven to become co-founder and CEO of Toronto-based Manifest Climate, a climate intelligence platform that provides climate-related insights, analytics and recommendations for businesses.
Xanadu brings quantum computing to the masses.
Leading the way in quantum computing, Xanadu is on a mission to build quantum computers that are useful and available to everyone, everywhere. The Toronto-based company is building the world’s first photonic-based, fault-tolerant quantum computer, which has the potential to solve complex data problems—from fighting climate change to making advancements in health care. Helmed by founder and CEO Christian Weedbrook, the company is also working with Queen’s University to support the growth of quantum talent and commercialize quantum technologies.
Borrowell helps Canadians take control of their financial health.
An EY Entrepreneur Of The Year award winner, Eva Wong is co-founder and COO of Borrowell, a Toronto-based fintech with a single goal: to make financial prosperity possible for all Canadians by providing access to credit education and innovative digital tools. This includes an AI-powered credit coach and a personalized financial product recommendation engine—helping empower consumers to take control of their financial health. Borrowell is now one of largest fintechs in Canada.
1Password makes password management a breeze.
Weak and reused passwords are a leading cause of cybersecurity breaches. So, Toronto-based 1Password has come up with a human-centric security and privacy solution that serves as a password manager, digital vault and secure digital wallet—earning the company recognition on Forbes’ The Cloud 100 list. Since its inception, CEO Jeff Shiner has grown the company from 20 people to a 900-employee global organization with a US$6.8 billion valuation, supporting millions of consumers and 100,000-plus businesses.
Lorien Gabel brings blockchain into the mainstream.
An accomplished entrepreneur, Lorien Gabel, co-founder and CEO of Figment, has a legacy of creating successful start-ups. He’s a veteran of the web1 era, with a passion for the principles of decentralization, and his cumulative efforts have helped millions of people publish content using open protocols. His latest company, Figment, is a provider of blockchain infrastructure and cryptocurrency staking solutions, and the Toronto-based company is on a mission to see the adoption and usage of blockchains grow.
Ariel Garten combines art and science with brain sensing technology.
Ariel Garten, founder at InteraXon, studied neuroscience at the University of Toronto and worked at Toronto’s esteemed Krembil Neuroscience Centre researching Parkinson’s disease and hippocampal neurogenesis. She’s also worked as an artist, fashion designer and psychotherapist. This combination of art, business and neuroscience is behind InteraXon’s unique approach to brain sensing technology with Muse, a brain fitness tool that senses brain activity and sends real-time feedback to your phone or tablet.
Tailscale is scaling networks, without scaling overhead.
Tailscale is returning to the original vision of the Internet, helping teams create simple, secure networks that scale, without scaling their overhead. At the helm is co-founder and CEO Avery Pennarun, who sold his college start-up to IBM and went on to lead Google Fiber’s gigabit WiFi and platform analytics team. Over the years he’s started several open-source projects—and Toronto-based Tailscale is open source at its core, with a diverse team that works together to understand the challenges that users face.
The number of tech businesses in Toronto have doubled over the past five years, and the city offers the third-largest tech talent pool in North America. As Canada’s hub of innovation, it’s the ideal place for the tech industry to convene, create and do business—and to launch the next great idea.
Collision 2023 takes place from June 26 to 29 at the Enercare Centre.