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Collision Conference, Toronto in review

Where in the world was nanopay this week?

As a global company, we attend events around the world. However, this week North America’s fastest growing technology conference, Collision, came to us (Toronto), and it was a whirlwind of an event. With so many nano-people in attendance, this event was fairly unique for the company.

Our Founder and CEO, Laurence Cooke, spoke on the Growth Summit stage, our Director, Banking and Capital Market Solutions, Elena Litani, took part in the Women in Tech mentorship program, our Directors of Sales ran our booth, and members of our marketing team attended the event as well. Here are a few of the highlights from Collision.

How did this conference compare to others?

Collision is not like a typical payments or banking event, it’s a behemoth. The sister event of the world’s largest technology conference, Web Summit, Collision saw more than 25,000 attendees this year. The event touched on every corner of the tech world, including paytech, healthtech, AI, environmental tech and femtech (technology regarding women’s health). Of course, attendees included tech incumbents, such as AWS, Interac, and Rogers, but the conference really catered to startups of all sizes, from pre-seed funding, to billion dollar valuation.

What we’re trying to say is, Collision doesn’t compare to most events. Being an event this size has its ups and downs, but certainly makes Collision unique in Canada.

Q: What were our highlights from the event?

There was plenty from Collision worth talking about, but a few things in particular stood out.

  1. Laurence presenting on the Growth Summit Stage: Many successful startups have presented on the growth stage of Collision and Web Summit in past years, having almost become a rite of passage for startups in a growth mindset. Being chosen as one of the featured growth startups was a proud moment for the company, and having our CEO, Laurence, present on the transition to digital cash and announced the launch of our new small-to-medium sized business payment platform, Ablii, was outstanding.
  2. Women in tech: Collision is clearly devoted to driving equality in tech, and has implemented a successful program to not only engage women, but to create an environment for networking and mentorship, which our very own, Elena Litani participated in. This year, 46% of all attendees were women, which is a testament to Collision’s commitment to gender equality.
  3. Connecting with investors: One really amazing thing that Collision does, is it connects startups with VC investors, so while it typically could take weeks or months for an early stage startup to set up a half dozen meetings with investors, many are able to have the same success in the 3 days Collision takes place. nanopay had multiple great meetings with very interested investors during Collision.

Q: Any surprises at the event?

One of the biggest surprises was the amount of celebrities presenting. Seth Rogan flew in to discuss his new Cannabis company, Akon presented his cryptocurrency, A-koin, Timbaland spoke as well, as did Jillionaire (from Majer Lazer).

The presence of celebs felt gimmicky to some, but showed how much attention the tech industry is attracting today. The event also reiterated the fact that Toronto has become a global hub for technology.

Q: What generated the most buzz around nanopay and its products?

Launching our small-to-medium sized business payment platform, Ablii, at Collision was great. We were able to generate a lot of buzz, especially with our CEO, Laurence, mentioning the product while on stage.

The fact that Ablii is so cost-effective probably generated the most buzz for many of the early stage startups. Early stage startup wants to be as efficient and cost-effective as possible, so working with a company like nanopay will help them scale. This is also the perfect stage for a lot of these companies to implement a new payment processing tech, as it can be more challenging to integrate a new payment provider into a more mature product.

Regardless of the business vertical, most companies processes payments, so that created a lot of opportunity for Ablii, especially considering how many new ventures were at Collision.

Q: What were our top industry learnings or insights?

  1. “The pace of change has never been this fast, and it’s never going to be this slow again”…this was a quote that a speaker admitted wasn’t their own, but it perfectly captures the business world today. The rate of change is only getting faster, and companies must constantly be looking to the future to stay as agile and open-minded as possible. This lesson is especially true for a disruptor like nanopay, as the company must always stay true to its roots, and look to be a leader in advancing the industry.
  2. Unlike what we’ve been told for years, many at Collision do not believe that AI will replace thousands of jobs. Granted, new technology always eliminates jobs (while creating new ones), but AI is viewed more as a tool to assist in making researchers and data scientists more accurate. One speaker said “AI will assist people, not replace them, but people who use AI will replace those who do not.’’

While it’s usually advisable to focus on depth over breadth, Collision manages to bring members of every corner of tech under the same roof, and that’s an accomplishment. To walk the event and see startups looking at every conceivable problem today, from quantum computing to disease prevention, payments to communications, brought an energy to the event that is difficult to describe. I can’t speak for everyone in attendance, but nanopay employees left feeling energized!

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