Discovery 2016 lineup boasts first-rate speakers and programming

March 31, 2016

Discovery 2016 promises to be the best yet.

With less than six weeks to go, the countdown is on for Discovery 16. And this year’s event promises to be the best yet for Canada’s leading innovation-to-commercialization conference, featuring a packed lineup of first-rate speakers and programming.

In addition to our keynote speakers, JB Straubel and Robin Chase, Discovery is proud to host speakers and panellists from all corners of the global innovation community.

On May 9, Inspirational Speaker, Author and Humanitarian Spencer West will appear on Discovery’s main stage. West captivates hundreds of thousands of people worldwide with his keynote addresses, Redefining Possible and No Can’t, No Won’t, Only How, and raises awareness of global issues through his work with Free the Children.

On May 10, Discovery will welcome Paul Bunje, Principal Scientist of Carbon XPRIZE, to the main stage. As the leader of the XPRIZE Foundation’s Energy and Environment prizes, Bunje is working to find innovative solutions to the world’s biggest environmental challenges.  

We are also excited to feature a panel with some of Canada’s leading entrepreneurs at Discovery 2016. Titled Upstart Start-ups: How a new generation of young Ontario entrepreneurs are scaling up, securing big investments and attracting international attention, this panel will inform and inspire young entrepreneurs on ways to build market and scale successful start-ups. The discussion will focus on strategies for success, how investments are secured and how differing styles can lead to successes. Featured on the panel will be some of the brightest minds in the province including Kurtis McBride, CEO of Miovision Technologies; Mike Katchen, Founder & CEO of Wealthsimple; Nicole Verkindt, Founder & President of OMX and Dragon on Dragons' Den Next Gen Den; Michael Litt, Co-Founder & CEO of Vidyard; Katherine Hague, Co-Founder & Former CEO of Shoplocket and CEO & Founder of Female Funders; and Blair Livingston, CEO & Founder of Street Contxt. The panel will be moderated by Janet Bannister, General Partner at Real Ventures and Co-founder of Kijiji.

Other panels at Discovery 2016 include:

  • The World of 5G: Full speed ahead on the next gen networks - This panel will bring together a collection of some of the major players (both from Canada and abroad) to discuss the current global task of “mapping out” the next generation of wireless networking. Topics to be discussed include the global collaboration needed to make 5G feasible, the next steps in development and the implications on sectors beyond telecommunications such as climate change, health, and logistics.
  • Steering ‘no hands’ into the future - This panel will address the challenges and opportunities presented by the advent of completely autonomous vehicles and how policy shifts at home in Ontario and abroad will make this futuristic technology a reality in the next five to 10 years. Canadian companies are already making great inroads on technology but there is more we can learn from what is happening in Silicon Valley and around the world.
  • Purpose Built Aerospace Systems - This panel will examine the innovation and development of specialized technology needed for aerospace systems designed and built for a particular use or with a special goal in mind. Whether the system is built for space, specialized aviation tasks, or for pleasure or sporting purposes, the outcome goals are not always the same as they would be for standard commercial aviation.

New this year, in partnership with Ontario’s Ministry of Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure (MEDEI), Discovery will also highlight Ontario-based companies showcasing their accessibility-focused innovations in the Accessibility Showcase on the Discovery show floor.

Additionally, in partnership with MEDEI, MaRS Centre for Impact Investing and the Centre for Social Innovation, Ontario-based companies will be invited to exhibit their social innovation in the Social Enterprise Showcase.

Now a staple of the Discovery experience, Discovery 2016 will also hold six pitch competitions featuring some of Ontario’s brightest entrepreneurs from across the province:

  • The David McFadden Energy Entrepreneur Challenge
  • Young Entrepreneurs, Make Your Pitch
  • Accessibility Innovation Tech Pitch Competition
  • Social Enterprise Pitch Competition
  • GlobalStart Pitch Competition
  • Innovative Designs for Accessibility (IDeA) Competition

Make sure to sign up for Discovery updates to get the latest news on speakers, programming and features added daily. If you haven’t registered for Discovery 2016 yet, don’t wait! Register by April 4 to take advantage of our early bird rates.