Every year, Ontario Centres of Excellence’s Discovery trade show and conference showcases the best offerings from Ontario’s and Canada’s best and brightest innovators and entrepreneurs. This year, OCE Discovery‘s 10th edition maintains that tradition with its busiest show at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.
Among the hundreds of made-in-Ontario innovation highlights at this year’s show; the unveiling of the only Canadian entry into the $10 million X Prize Tricorder competition, the debut of a high performance platform for the world’s largest functioning brain model, a robot tea-butler, ‘smart’ jewelry and other wearable tech, advanced 3D printing and scanning, a pen that can draw a circuit board, a pizza oven that turns excess heat into renewable power and a cloud-based pet sitter.
“Discovery is the biggest event on our calendar every year,” says Dr. Tom Corr, president and CEO of OCE. “We look forward to being able to bring industry, academia, investors, government and many more together under one roof for two days to network, make deals and learn what’s new and exciting in the innovation community.”
Named Canada’s Best Trade Show 2010 and 2011, Discovery attracts more than 2,600 attendees and 425 exhibitors. This year, Discovery welcomes back tried and true features like engaging panels, world renowned speakers, career advice, mentoring, competitions and a show floor buzzing with some of the newest made-in-Ontario gadgets and gizmos.
“Discovery showcases truly inspiring ideas and innovations,” says Reza Moridi, Minister of Research and Innovation and Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities. “Over the course of the conference, we will see how Ontario’s entrepreneurs and young people are building the future of our great province and contributing to its economic prosperity.”
Appearing as featured keynote today at 4:30 p.m. is YouTube co-founder Chad Hurley, making his Canadian speaking debut in conversation with CBC’s senior business reporter Amanda Lang. This is followed by an audience Q & A. Yesterday, the keynote speaker was Eric Ries, pioneer of the Lean Startup movement, appearing remotely for a conversation and Q&A moderated by Financial Post columnist Rick Spence.
Featured presenters include Singularity University faculty members Neil Jacobstein, former president and current co-chair of the Artificial Intelligence & Robotics Track at SU, and David Roberts, former VP and award-winning CEO and serial entrepreneur, sharing their thoughts on disruptive technology, advancing tech, security and cyber-security. Discovery’s numerous panels and competitions also feature participation from prominent names in robotics, aerospace, disruptive innovation and health, financial services and agriculture technologies.
This year, Discovery welcomes an unprecedented number of investors, including a large contingent of international investors. Included are hundreds of international investors, including a number from China as well as members of the Keiretsu Forum, a global investment community of accredited private equity angel investors, venture capitalists and corporate and institutional investors. This represents the largest-ever gathering of Keiretsu presidents from around the world including from the US, Israel, Turkey, China, India and Singapore.
Discovery also has booked more than 50 Canadian investors to participate in our Ask an Expert feature, which will have representation from seven of the 10 most active Venture Capital firms in Canada in 2014.
Panels, showcases & contests
Once again, Discovery’s show floor is packed with exhibitors, panels and interactive sessions. Featured panels include such topics as healthcare, agricultural technology, aerospace challenges and innovations, clean water solutions, high performance computing and disruptive technologies. For students, job seekers and young entrepreneurs and startups seeking investment, there are opportunities to interact with experts and investors in a few ways.
Discovery is also the place to see the finals of the popular student competitions that are designed to inspire and reward young entrepreneurs from high school through post grad. Discovery has it all. The show facilitates the exchange of ideas and encourages new ways to collaborate and push the boundaries of research and innovation through to demonstration and development. The annual conference and showcase attracts more than 2,600 attendees and 450 exhibitors.