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mesh conference announces digital transformation event April 12-13 in Calgary

Canada’s digital transformation event to take place April 12-13 at the Platform Innovation Centre in Calgary, with DX Journal announced as official media partner.

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Get ready to dive into the world of digital transformation and innovation, as the mesh conference today announced it will kick off 2023 with its first event taking place at the Platform Innovation Centre on April 12-13, 2023. 

With a focus on four threads – business, media and technology, society, and marketing – the mesh conference will host Canadian digital transformation leaders who will meet to connect, share, and inspire others to think about changing the way we think, organize, operate and behave.

“Calgary is a hub of incredible startups, scaleups, and corporate innovators and we’re thrilled to be bringing mesh back in a city full of leaders and great ideas,” says Sheri Moore, co-founder of the mesh conference, and partner and creative director of boutique event agency Moore Carlyle Consulting. “We picked Calgary initially in 2020 for mesh because Alberta is full of large-scale and rapid transformation. The pandemic changed our launch plans, but we’re back and excited to connect Eastern and Western Canadian innovators. We can’t think of a better place to do that than at Calgary’s home for innovators, the Platform Innovation Centre.”

Platform Innovation Centre
The Platform Innovation Centre. – Photo courtesy Platform Calgary

mesh relaunches as a multi-city event

Well-known in Eastern Canada, mesh aims to connect Canada’s DX ecosystem by making Calgary a new, permanent home 

Founded in 2005, the mesh conference is now a national event series and omnichannel experience focused on digital transformation. The mission is to create a digital transformation network and event experience that helps organizations and leaders not only determine what to do throughout their digital transformation, but how to do it — and how to succeed at it.

Platform Calgary will host the mesh conference over two days of keynotes, workshops and demos, and will act as a community partner for mesh as it grows in its new, permanent host city.

“The Platform Innovation Centre was intentionally designed to facilitate collisions that lead to innovation, new ideas and meaningful connections,” says Jen Lussier, COO of Platform Calgary. “We’re thrilled to be hosting the mesh conference this year, and look forward to seeing the impact that comes from bringing so many innovators together under one roof.”

mesh is the only digital transformation event that brings people from multiple industries from across the country for an event experience that touches on more than the boardroom or IT stack. Attendees will cross-pollinate ideas and find inspiration from people they don’t typically connect with — creatives, public sector employees, technologists, developers, business strategists and more. mesh believes in “meshing” people together to create unexpected, positive and transformative outcomes.

mesh conference
Photo courtesy mesh conference

The move to an omnichannel experience

The mesh conference also announced that DX Journal, a digital transformation publication, and Digital Journal will be the event’s annual media partners.

“The mesh experience has evolved into an omnichannel experience, with impactful in-person conferences and an extended experience in digital channels,” says Chris Hogg, CEO of Digital Journal Inc. and a partner/co-producer of mesh. “We will reach millions of people this year via Digital Journal and DX Journal, and we look forward to sharing founder stories, capturing best-in-class DX stories from corporate innovators, and deepening sponsor value. The event+media partnership will have a profound impact on our mission to create a network and event experience that helps others be successful in navigating the complexities of digital transformation.”

mesh conference
Photo courtesy mesh conference

The first in-person event in 2023 will follow the two-day format focused on creating opportunities for dialogue, networking and solid take-aways that can be applied immediately. 

Day 1 (April 12) is filled with epic ideas and inspiration from industry leaders, and Day 2 (April 13) will be focused on practical lessons designed to provide attendees with practical takeaways they can apply to their lives and businesses.

Whether you’re looking to deepen your understanding of digital transformation, understand practical success factors from those who’ve been in the trenches, or simply want to network and make new connections, the mesh conference promises a unique experience.

For more information and to purchase tickets to the event on April 12-13, 2023, visit meshconference.com.

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Top 5 tech and digital transformation events to wrap up 2023

A curated list of conferences and trade shows to help you plan your schedule and get the most out of these learning opportunities.

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If you’re looking to round out 2023 by attending a tech conference or two, you definitely have options. From niche events about specific technologies to massive expos, there’s something out there for everyone. 

Here are 7 of the top tech events for November and December 2023, focused on North America.

The 2nd Annual Digital Modernization Summit

November 2
Virtual

While not a full conference or trade expo, this two-hour session focuses on how to retire technical debt in an effort to accelerate business transformation. 

The pandemic forced many organizations to rush forward with DX projects, leading to less-than-ideal coding and design decisions. Now, CIO reports recent survey results, showing that 72% of respondent organizations are behind on their DX goals because of these “debts.”

The Digital Modernization Summit focuses on the business implications that come with moving from legacy systems to those that are cloud-based, the talent/technology/tactical perspective of operations, how emerging technologies can take their place in this modernization, and more.

More on the Digital Modernization Summit


TECHSPO 2023 

Dallas (November 2-3)
Las Vegas (November 6-8)
Phoenix (November 13-14)

TECHSPO brings together developers, brands, marketers, technology providers, designers, innovators, and evangelists to set the pace in our advanced world of technology. It’s a series of expos that take place at the intersection of business, tech, and innovation.

All three of these events showcase the next generation of Internet, Mobile, AdTech, MarTech & SaaS technology, and how these can help grow your business.

More on TECHSPO Dallas, Las Vegas, and Phoenix


FWD50

November 6-8

Ottawa, ON and online

FWD50 looks at the cross-section of policymaking, technology, ethics, and invention.

Focusing on public sector innovation, FWD50 invites together technologists, industry partners, government executives, academics, civic technologists, and policy makers from around the world to talk about all things digital when it comes to governments. 

With an incredible range of speakers — including public servants from all three levels of government — you’ll learn how tech can reimagine how governments can work in a more streamlined way.

More on FWD50


DeveloperWeek Enterprise

November 15-16
Virtual

Join over 3,000 enterprise dev professionals converging for a 2-day virtual conference & expo, featuring technology innovations and trends that corporations need to know about. Topics will include: DevSecOps, Organizing Dev Teams, DevTech Trends, Microservices, Containers, Kubernetes, and more.

More on DeveloperWeek Enterprise


mesh Toronto 2923

December 6-7
Toronto, ON

Billed as Canada’s transformation and innovation event, mesh conference’s successful Calgary event took place back in April, with big ideas and insightful discussions taking place over two packed days.

‘Connect, share, inspire’ is at the heart of mesh — especially since it’s a proudly no-Powerpoint event! This conversation-driven event is packed with Q&As, panel discussions, and fireside chats. Audience participation is highly encouraged here!

More on mesh

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Where will AI go next?

This year’s Collision conference featured a wide range of buzzy AI solutions — both B2B and for consumers.

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The buzzy topic of AI was not in short supply at this year’s annual Collision conference in Toronto. The list of applications using the technology was seemingly endless — from both the presenters and exhibitors. 

It comes at a unique time, as analysis of the industry reveals that we’ve crossed into the “era of deployment.” At the same time, it’s imperative that we think critically and ask questions about said deployment.

In June, Research and Markets revealed a study demonstrating how the AI industry has experienced immense expansion and maturation in recent years, from a $62B market in 2020, to projections saying 40% growth annually until 2026. 

Meanwhile, the 2023 AI Index, an independent initiative at the Stanford Institute for Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence (HAI), reports that:

  • AI systems can both have a large carbon footprint (when training), and be “used to optimize energy use”
  • Incidents of AI misuse is “rapidly” on the rise. As the Stanford team explains, ‘more AI, more problems”
  • There was a 27% decrease in Global AI private investment (year-over-year) from 2021 to 2022. At the same time, over the last decade, investment has increased —  in 2022, it was 18 times greater than in 2013.
  • Companies that have adopted AI are pulling ahead, while the proportion of those adopting AI has actually plateaued.
  • Only 35% of Americans surveyed agree that “products and services using AI had more benefits than drawbacks,” compared to 78% of Chinese respondents, 76% from Saudi Arabia, and 71% from India.

It seems clear that the sector is at something of a crossroads.

DX Journal spoke to four AI startups at Collision, covering areas like filing taxes, DIY home and appliance repair, game building, and building work teams — all showing how AI can have an impact both at home and the workplace.

DIY home maintenance, with a little AI help

Collision presenter Eradj Khaidarov, Chief Technology Officer of IrisCX, spoke on the topic of “Delivering a more human experience through visual intelligence and AI.” He transitioned from twenty years in the video conferencing field to IrisCX, a video-based troubleshooting app that helps users with DIY repair. Anything from appliances to home devices, AI determines the make, model, problem, and spits out possible solutions.

Eradj Khaidarov (Photo by Dave Gordon)

“All of us hate dealing with manuals from 10 years ago and only keep them around when we truly need them — and we also hate dealing with YouTube videos that may not necessarily answer all our questions,” he explained. “The interactions with our product can help you get to an answer faster, without having someone come to your home. It’s just the little bit of guidance that can help us solve a problem quickly and efficiently.”

AI allows the app to summarize certain markers in the conversation, to formulate what was truly the problem. 

Let AI help find your next hire

Meanwhile, Raphael Ouzan, co-founder & CEO of A.Team, wants AI to revolutionize how people build teams. 

Prior to helping found the startup, he served in the Israeli military for five years in cyberwarfare and cryptology, “finding the power-people you could work with, even in impossible missions.”

Later, he built teams as he built start-ups, and realized he wanted to build something that would enable anyone to find the right teammate — or teammates — to accomplish a greater goal.

Raphael Ouzan (Photo by Dave Gordon)

When a user logs in to A.Team, they will do a search for their preferred skill and industry, while the AI will detect keywords, suggesting the relevant team that matches the work desired. 

“I would describe it as a platform that enables the formation, management, and scaling of elite tech teams that drive massive change for companies,” he said. 

“You can look at it like a high-end UpWork, for teams.”

A.Team has raised $55 million, funded by the likes of rapper Jay-Z, and has advisors that include Fiverr founder Shai Wininger and former UpWork CEO Stephane Kasriel.

Creativity + AI

One very popular area where AI is being leveraged is for imagery, game creation, and video creation.

Unity offers tools and solutions for game developers, industrial customers, and professional artists. And as Chief Marketing Officer Carol Carpenter explains, “what we are seeing is that every pixel, every piece of art, every frame will be compacted on the creative side by AI.”

“If you draw two frames, then ask: ‘hey, draw ten more for me like this.’ Or, I want a scene in a digital twin or game, with snowing mountains. AI can offer some art to choose from.” 

Carol Carpenter (Photo by Dave Gordon)

One of their newest products, Unity Muse, launched during Collision. As Carpenter describes, it “has a feel like ChatGPT, where programmers can type in an image request, and either see it animated or developed on-demand.” 

For example, the user could input the text: “Ferrari driving down a steep hill,” and what would pop out would be AI’s creation based on the request. The user could decide to keep it as a standalone graphic, or instruct Unity Muse to make the image animate. 

From there, the sky’s the limit, although a human hand — and creativity — will always play a part.  

To build a game today with real time 3D, she explains, what’s required is experience and coding knowledge. “It’s not something you just pick up and do easily.” 

With Unity, there’s an “ability to use natural language to create, to accelerate the process,” said Carpenter. “We still very much believe the creator needs to have ideas; they need to have the spark of imagination. AI is good for getting started or a prototype. Then there needs to be polish and human element of judgment.” 

Your taxes, automated

Many believe that the best place to deploy AI is for truly mundane tasks that make sense to automate. 

In that vein, Ben Borodach and his team have brought it to tax filing.

April is touted as the first AI-powered tax system that both optimizes and files taxes, via a large language model and proprietary generative AI that reads tax law.

Ben Borodach (Photo by Dave Gordon)

“It doesn’t matter if you’re an Uber driver, an e-commerce seller, or a family with two jobs, you still get the same experience,” explained the co-founder and CEO. “A personalized leveraging of AI, where we serve up 1.2 septillion unique paths to filing returns. So every single person gets a customized flow for their specific experience.”

There are, Borodach explained, thousands of possible tax questions across federal, state, and local jurisdictions that a taxpayer could be asked. Each time the user answers a question, the program learns more about the user.


As AI technologies evolve, its growth is poised to reshape virtually every field it touches.

It is already entering our lives in an accessible, individualized way, catering to the unique needs of each user. From healthcare and education to finance and entertainment, its capabilities will soon permeate unexpected areas, transforming our lives in profound ways.

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Global innovation comes to Collision

1,727 startups and partners from 76 countries descended on Toronto for one of the world’s largest tech events.

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​​Hoping to collide with angels and investors, nearly two thousands startups and partners from 76 countries and thirty industries convened at Collision in Toronto.

For attendees, it was a chance to take a peek at the future of tech. For exhibitors and startups, an all-access pass to global players, all under one roof. Indeed, floor exhibitors spanned the globe: Italy, Kosovo, Portugal, South Korea, and more.

The worldwide innovation and startup scene has had a rollercoaster few years. 2021 saw next-level growth, a trend that continued into 2022, until conflict and an energy crisis in Europe, supply-chain disruptions, layoffs, and inflation meant a period of instability. This has lasted into 2023, though at this midpoint of the year, there’s been an upswing. 

According to Startup Genome’s Global Startup Ecosystem Report 2023 — generated from analysis of data from 3.5 million startups across 290 global ecosystems — VC funding is still down, although gaming, blockchain, and fintech all saw increases. The AI and Big Data sub-sector has the highest number of total VC deals, with 28% of the global share. 

Entrepreneurs from around the world are seizing opportunities to disrupt industries, solve pressing challenges, and create innovative solutions. Collision is just one place to help make that happen.

Here’s a look at four countries that came to town.

Kosovo’s rapid growth

At just fifteen years old, the small Balkan nation of Kosovo came to Collision hoping to position itself as a burgeoning tech incubator — with a workforce less costly than most others in Europe.

Representing the country were Sedat Burrniku, Toronto’s Consul of Kosovo, and Fatos Idrizi from Pristina-based Kreahub, a company that mainly does web design, web development, branding, and digital marketing. Tenton, a software development company from Kosovo, was also part of the team.  

Fatos Idrizi and Sedat Burrniku (Photo by Dave Gordon)

Kosovo is a young country. It has a lot of potential in IT, among other fields and concepts. So, we would like to introduce our companies to the rest of the world,” Idrizi said, adding that his country has one of the highest Internet user rates in Europe, at 96.4% among a population of nearly two million. 

One of their biggest success stories was a made-in-Kosovo project dubbed “NatEv Explorer,” that detects natural disasters and catastrophes around the world, and won the NASA International Space Apps Challenge in 2015. 

“Kreahub is a young company with potential ahead,” explained Idrizi. “It is a first year for us. We finished, already, four projects in the US, one in Germany, and one in Switzerland. So, there is a huge market ahead. Also, today, I got a call for another project in the US.” 

Last year, Forbes featured an op-ed by Fatos Ameti, CEO of the Kosovo-based Sonnect, outlining the country as a “one to watch” in the tech and IT industries. He noted that the information/communications tech ecosystem, “is extensive, with numerous labs, innovation centers and workspaces… that provide startups with mentoring, financing, incubation, training and co-working spaces.”

Portugal: small but mighty

Isabel Advirta, from Lisbon City Council, noted that 13 startups from Portugal were present, showing as alpha or beta stages.

“Portugal is not a very big country, and Canada is a very big market, and a way to enter a greater market – which is North American. So, there are a lot of startups looking for greater investments or to scale to different markets,” she said.

“We have a lot of different verticals that are growing strong in Lisbon. We have Web3. We are also investing in fintech, impact, mobility is also strong,” she said, adding that startups in Lisbon are especially focused on health tech, sports tech, and gaming.

To date, she said Lisbon boasts seven unicorns.

“The companies that want to scale to high levels of investment have to leave the country. What we are doing is trying to change this situation, bringing more investors to Portugal,” she said. 

“It happens all the time that when they learn what is going on there, hear the pitches, they get interested. The trick is to let him hear. Sometimes it’s hard for investors to have that space, but when they do have that space, the opportunities are there.”

Benvenuti Italia

While Rome and Milan both have active startup ecosystems, Startup Genome’s report lists Turin as one of the top 35 European ecosystems for affordable talent. With over 110k students, it’s easy to see why. An in-the-works Italy Digital Nomad Visa will also boost numbers to both the country and region. The northern city is specifically cultivating growth in the areas of Smart Cities, space technology, and AI, Big Data, and analytics.

And in the fintech space, Mara Vendramin — founder and CEO of My Money — was at Collision’s Italy pavilion showing off a completely biometric form of handheld payment device that uses a fingerprint instead of a plastic debit/credit card — just one of the country’s 12,000+ startups.

Mara Vendramin (Photo by Mara Vendramin)

“Most importantly, it will democratize payment for everyone. Because today, the latest technology you can use to pay is with a smartphone – an expensive smartphone. With our system, all the people around the world will be able to pay, even if they don’t have a smartphone.”

Fraud will be “impossible” because fingerprint readers are FBI certified, she said. “For example, if I chop your finger and use it to pay, it will not work. The readers have ‘liveness’ detection. So, they will be able to realize if the finger is alive or real.” This will, she hopes, eliminate credit card fraud, and streamline faster payment at store kiosks.

South Korea at the forefront of innovation

South Korea does have a reputation as a tech and innovation centre — after all, it’s the home of companies like Samsung and LG. But as a startup ecosystem, it’s one of the world’s most thriving. In fact, Startup Genome has Seoul at #12 in its global ranking. It’s also in the top 15 for knowledge and for talent and experience. The ecosystem’s strengths? AI/Big Data/Analytics, life sciences, and advanced manufacturing and robotics, reports Startup Genome.  

At Collision, Hyunjin Shin, CEO and co-founder of Seoul’s Hudson.ai, is featuring their AI-powered dubbing solution to the film industry. It matches translated audio with natural mouth movement in any language or voice.

Hyunjin Shin (Photo by Dave Gordon)

“Sometimes, people are struggling to see a movie because of subtitles or the awkward dubbing,” she said. “The voice actor’s voice is sometimes really different from the original content. Also, it doesn’t match the lip and sound. It makes you very disengaged. We would like to tackle that problem with generated AI technology.”

With a staff of nine, in its first year they have already dubbed two Korean feature films. She said the company is hoping to gain a foothold in documentary films and US major motion pictures.

Like countless other South Korean startups, Hudson.ai benefits from their government’s support, Shin added. “They also have many programs to help accelerate an early stage company – especially tech companies,” she said. “My country has more and more an entrepreneurial culture, with mentorship, funding, and networking opportunities.”

Companies like e-commerce app Coupang and mobile platform Kakao have achieved significant growth and valuation, inspiring and attracting aspiring entrepreneurs, she explained. 


The interconnectedness fostered by Collision has created a fertile ground for innovation, where diverse perspectives and expertise converge to tackle complex global challenges.

As a four-day innovation station, no doubt many deals were made — a testament to these startups’  hotbed of creativity, disruption, and economic growth potential. The global startup ecosystem continues to thrive, pushing the boundaries of what is possible and shaping the future of industries worldwide.

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