Discovery brings Silicon Valley to Ontario

April 22, 2014

The 2014 edition of Ontario Centres of Excellence’s award-winning Discovery, Canada’s premier innovation showcase, is less than three weeks away. 

On May 12 and 13, Discovery’s 200,000-square-foot show floor in the south building of the Metro Toronto Convention Centre will be buzzing with activity.

The top-notch program features internationally renowned speakers, fascinating panel discussions, networking and career advancement opportunities, and competitions, as well as a chance to meet with investors from Canada and overseas.

Discovery opens May 12 with a main stage keynote presentation from senior faculty from Silicon Valley’s Singularity University founded by past Discovery presenters Peter Diamandis and Ray Kurzweil to address humanity’s toughest challenges. 

This year, Singularity's Founding Executive Director Salim Ismail along with Networks and Computing Chair Brad Templeton will share their thoughts on exponential technologies, their intersections and the impact on economies worldwide. In later panel sessions, they will also address areas such as computation, artificial intelligence and robotics, 3D printing, biotech, nanomaterials, energy and more.

This is a rare chance to learn from Singularity University faculty, who advise and educate senior business leaders and governments worldwide, without leaving Ontario.

Silicon Valley returns to the main stage on May 13 with a keynote from one of the region’s founders, gurus and godfathers. In a rare Canadian appearance, serial entrepreneur Steve Blank will appear via satellite for a moderated conversation and Q&A session. The Harvard Business Review recently declared him one of the “12 Masters of Innovation”, alongside Thomas Edison and Clayton Christensen.

In another first this year, select C-level business leaders whose companies are global success stories will discuss future directions, including their multi-year plans, R&D priorities, potential areas of collaboration with academia and what they see as opportunities for companies to be part of their innovation strategy.

Other highlights of this year’s show are the dynamic panel discussions including Hyperconnectivity and the Internet of Everything and Cybersecurity – Issues and Opportunities. 

Moderated by Michael O’Farrell from The Mobile Institute, Hyperconnectivity and the Internet of Everything will explore what it means to live in a hyper-connected world. Panel members include representatives from Bell Business Markets, Cisco Canada, Wavefront and Western University.

Cybersecurity – Issues and Opportunities, moderated by Jeffrey Tracey of VENUS Cybersecurity Corporation, will challenge industry to think of new approaches to dealing with cybersecurity. Panel members include senior executives from Telus, TD Bank Group, I-Sec Integrated Strategies (ISECIS), Institute for Quantum Computing, Canadian Tire Corporation and The Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO).

Discovery is also pleased to welcome The Perimeter Institute
Discovery will also feature two new competitions, the Elevator Pitch competition (for young entrepreneurs aged 29 years or younger) and the Investor Pitch competition. Two other pitch finals at Discovery are the Young Entrepreneurs: Make Your Pitch for high school students and the David McFadden Energy Entrepreneur Challenge.

For a quick overview of everything Discovery has to offer this year, download Discovery at a Glance (PDF).