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The bright lights of Collision shined on the York Region tech ecosystem one final time as the conference finished its multiyear run in Toronto

Collision Conference in Toronto, held at the Enercare Centre from June 18 to 20, 2024, marked a significant gathering of tech enthusiasts, professionals, and innovators from across the globe. This year’s event was particularly noteworthy as it was the last time the conference would grace Toronto, adding a layer of nostalgia to the proceedings.

York Region’s presence was strongly felt with a networking booth, a media booth, and a startup island showcasing a dynamic range of 24 startups. The startup island rotated eight unique ventures each day, offering a glimpse into the future of technology and entrepreneurship in the region.

The conference was abuzz with activity, as five innovation partners, including YSpace, ventureLAB, Treefrog Accelerator, Seneca HELIX, and the Centre for Local Innovation and Collaboration, provided insights and support, fostering an environment of growth and development.

York Region startup island activity

The #YRtech media booth, where tech media personality Marc Saltzman conducted interviews, became a hub for sharing knowledge and experiences, further amplifying the region’s commitment to supporting the local tech sector. Marc spoke with representatives from over 35 companies, organizations, and local municipalities during the three days including:

GM of Product Development, Data, AI & Sustainability | IBM
Canada Lab Director | IBM Canada

Mayor | Town of Aurora

President & CEO | Canadian Life Science and Technology Park

  • Steven Astorino, General Manager, Product Development, Data, AI & Sustainability at IBM and Canada Lab Director for IBM Canada discussed the recent expansion in Markham’s software lab.
  • Town of Aurora Mayor Tom Mrakas spoke about the digital twin city initiative with MetaWorldX and what’s happened since he was last at Collision in 2022.
  • Safa’a Al-Rais, President & CEO of the Canadian Life Science and Technology park, joined Marc to talk about the exciting investment opportunity in the Town of Georgina as they are in the midst of developing a 56-acre business park focused on life science, pharmaceuticals, and technology.
  • Leaders and entrepreneurs from 24 start-ups showcased in York Region’s Start-up Island on the show floor in partnership with innovation incubators and accelerators across the region. You can find those companies at the bottom of this article.

Networking opportunities were in abundance, allowing tech professionals and startups to connect and exchange ideas. The participation of local municipalities including economic development staff from Aurora, Georgina, Markham, Newmarket, and Richmond Hill underscored the collaborative spirit of the region, highlighting its role as a leading Canadian tech hub.

The PITCH competition – the signature event at Collision – was electric with VoxCell BioInnovation clinching the top prize. The victory was a testament to their continued excellence since the startup’s participation in the York Angels RADARxCOLLISION pitch competition at the #YRtech Pavilion during Collision 2022. Markham-based, QEA Tech also made a strong showing finishing in the top 10. Several other York Region-based startups made it into the exclusive 70-company competition, showcasing the depth and diversity of the region’s entrepreneurial talent.

As the conference wrapped up, attendees were left with a wealth of new connections, ideas, and inspiration. The legacy of Collision in Toronto and the impact the #YRtech ecosystem had on one of North America’s largest tech conferences will undoubtedly continue to influence the tech landscape for years to come.

Thank you to all of our partners who helped make Collision 2024 a great success!

Group shot of York Region and Render Media staff

York Region Startup Island Companies

DAY 1 | JUNE 18

Bidmii: Renovation marketplace with funds held in trust.

Functionland: Decentralized data storage by empowering individuals to share the storage of their devices.

Tandem Experiences: An innovative social connection platform that facilitates genuine, real-world interactions.

CyberAICorp (ScamBlox):Solutions to reduce fraud and scams risk for families and small businesses in North America… both online and offline.

We-Watch: Unifies community crime response and prevention through reporting, alerts, and collaboration with global scalability.

Receipt Canada: AI bookkeeping services.

Vigilant AI: Comprehensive platform for gathering corporate financial data for auditors and analysts.

Loop Parking: AI-powered real-time curbside parking detections and enforcement solution.

DAY 2 | JUNE 19

MetaWorldX: Creating virtual replicas of physical assets for enhanced analysis, optimization, and decision-making.

Scooty Mobility: A micromobility company who is working with Metrolinx, cities and public transit to launch ridesharing services.

CloudConstable: AI-technology to sense and welcome venue visitors, supporting natural interactions and deliver digital content.

Gibbly: Generating lessons and quizzes with AI; supporting the education sector and teachers.

Retagen: A programmable biology and biomanufacturing company focused on transformational tissue engineering platforms, proteins and cellular products.

LoopX: AI-powered interoperable autonomy, with a primary focus on revolutionizing safety and productivity in the mining industry.

Ridealike: World’s first peer-to-peer car sharing program for multi-residential communities.

Flutter Care: Develops new technologies to promote safe and informed perinatal experiences.

DAY 3 | JUNE 20

ConeLabs: AI-powered structural inspections.

Storeo: The AirBnB of self storage; offering self-storage where you can store your individual items with a trusted neighbour.

Vision Tif: Developing AI-vision assistant for the blind and visual impaired to empower them to navigate independently. A prototype has been developed.

Explore Bless: A platform where people can share and explore amazing real-life experiences.

MinuteSkill (OneCliq.io): An AI-companion that helps brands manage their content marketing via simple workflows and conversation.

Crewscope: Gamifies construction for field workers.

MyRide901: Helping vehicle owners save time by providing a vehicle management app that captures and organizes receipts, images, and service documentation on a timeline that vehicle owners can share with others.

Aruna Revolution Health: Creating compostable menstrual pads from local food and crop plant by-products.