Despite economic headwinds and investment unease in the global tech community, Collision 2022 was a whirlwind of inspiration, big client wins, and reconnection.
By Angela Bourne, Altitude Accelerator Entrepreneur-in-Residence
When I first heard the news (during a virtual team meeting, of course!) that Altitude Accelerator would be attending Collision in-person with our Brampton Innovation District partners, I could barely contain my joy.
After spending the last couple years in a pandemic cocoon with my hubby and two toddlers, I may have even half-fallen off my dining room chair while exclaiming, “this is SUCH A BIG DEAL! A HUGE DEAL!” into my computer screen to my equally excited colleagues.
And a huge deal it was. For Collision, for Canada, and for all of us in the tech startup space. And wow, did it feel great.
With over 35,000 attendees from all over the world – 1,500 startups, 1,200 journalists, investors from every sector, and smart, big-name speakers you absolutely want to listen to, it’s no wonder Politico calls it “the Olympics of Tech.”
Huge kudos to the conference organizers: registration was a breeze, well-staffed by friendly and helpful employees and volunteers, and production design was impeccable. A+ all-around, and every detail was thought of – even the coffee and food trucks from some of Toronto’s most popular restaurants lined the streets with ample tables and seating to catch up with colleagues and friends.
I’ve certainly been to more tech conferences than I can count during my career, and this one was in a league of its own.
A few days before the conference I read an article on Linkedin by Paddy Cosgrave, Founder & CEO of Collision & Web Summit, in which he shared how he managed to keep his company alive during the pandemic when all in-person events were cancelled. Read it when you have a moment, and given the current news cycle, it is particularly poignant. (Spoiler: he didn’t lay off a single one of his 220 employees, navigated the depths of the pandemic, and emerged stronger than before.)
Here are some of our team’s favourite moments from Collision 2022
The Brampton Innovation District Booth with Batman & the Batmobile was THE place to be!
Our booth was non-stop activity with prospective clients, partners, investors, and media during the entire conference. A huge thank you to Brampton Economic Development for bringing together the Brampton Innovation District partners in this incredible showcase of talent and exciting opportunity.
Three days before the conference kicked off, Collision conference organizers shared which startups were already the “most requested startups” by the 850 investors in attendance, based on meeting request data from the conference app.
It should be no surprise that many of these startups were in the Cleantech space. Cleantech is a $2.5 Trillion opportunity and this is an area where Canada excels.
Altitude Accelerator Entrepreneur-in-Residence James Sbrolla and Cleantech domain expert shared, “I loved how there was a Cleantech area at Collision. It was the main attraction for me, and I was very happy it was concentrated and there were many people for me to engage with in one place, which resulted in some excellent conversations.”
You can learn more about our Cleantech superstar clients and programs at Altitude here.
Women in Tech & Investor Energy
It was standing room only in the Women in Tech and Investor Lounges, with lineups 20+ deep to be admitted over the course of the conference.
The strong showing of women entrepreneurs and investors at Collision 2022 was especially meaningful for Danielle Brewin Graham, Lead Advisor for Altitude’s Investor Readiness program, and Managing Partner of Phoenix Fire angel fund and Co-Founder of The Firehood.
Danielle shared with us, “After the time warp of the past few years at home, Collision was an energizing opportunity to reconnect with my network, reignite relationships, and once again move at the pace of a startup! The Women in Tech Lounge and Investor Lounge were particularly helpful spaces for women entrepreneurs looking to connect with the right people for fundraising efforts.”
Geoff Simonett, Altitude Entrepreneur-in-Residence and President of Pinelands Capital, was enthusiastic about the investor experience: “I had a terrific time at Collision this year. It was amazing to see so many active investors in one place at one time, and there’s nothing like being able to walk up to multiple great companies and hear their story live. Those types of real-time ‘collisions’ will no doubt lead to new investments that may have otherwise not happened.”
Our Startups Clients Won Awards & Made National News Headlines
Many of our Altitude Accelerator clients were in attendance, with several featured in the official Collision startup showcase. EnvAI Solutions was selected as an official Impact Startup, in the Environment, Energy & Cleantech showcase, MOSEA, Phoenix, and Startup Fuel were official Collision Beta startups, and Doc Clik, EnvAI, Smart Cocoon, ROCarbon Labs, Expancio, AssetFlo, XAHIVE, SUBSKRYB, and Tenamint were official Collision Alpha startups! Congratulations to these awesome teams.
It was also wonderful to have many founders speaking with prospective startup entrepreneurs visiting our booth, answering questions, and offering guidance and a behind-the-scenes look into “startup life” and our program offerings. Thank you to Tossdown, Phoenix, MOSEA, Smart Cocoon, SpaceRyde, ROCarbon Labs, AposSys Technologies, Doc Clik, Expancio, AssetFlo, ROVE, Knnct Markets Corp, XAHIVE, Carpollo, Gametime Technologies, SUBSKRYB, Quanta Vici, Tenamint, Biofect Innovations, PathtoCareer, CarbonCap, Startup Fuel, and EnvAI.
Congratulations to SUBSKRYB who won a 2022 Impact Startup Award for Top 100 Startups!
It was a HUGE week in the news for our client SpaceRyde!
CBC: Meet the husband-wife duo competing with SpaceX to send cargo to the moon.
Global News: Canada’s 1st space rocket factory opens with aim to be more eco-friendly.
CTV News: How a Canadian husband and wife team plan to send satellites into space.
Financial Post: Up, up and away: Space industry startup is using balloons to launch rockets.
blogTO: SpaceRyde just opened Canada’s first orbital rocket factory near Toronto.
And that’s a wrap on Collision …our team is busy setting up meetings with people we met and looking forward to this fall’s Incubator 18 applications. Want to learn more? Drop us a line, we’d love to chat. Altitude Accelerator offers programs for startups at any stage, customized for your specific needs. We look forward to hearing from you. And, of course, seeing you at Collision 2023 in Toronto next year!