Canada outsmarts Silicon Valley
Collision 2019 in Toronto had plenty to offer: over 25,000 participants, an electrifying atmosphere, numerous tech celebrities, a multitude of new e-commerce ideas, a country that is posing a challenge to Silicon Valley and a Prime Minister who has proclaimed himself leader of the tech revolution.
It’s not surprising that one of Canada’s most popular actors and comedians says video is vital for publicity. But at the 2019 Collision Conference in Toronto, Seth Rogen was not talking about himself but about his company, Houseplant. Rogen founded Houseplant together with his childhood friend, Evan Goldberg, in order to grow hemp and sell cannabis products in his home country. Video is an important medium for explaining the products and communicating information about them, says Rogen.
Hollywood and Houseplant: Creativity in business & entertainment
The popular tech conference was held outside the U.S. for the first time. “The fastest growing tech conference in North America,” according to Forbes, this show will again be held in the Canadian city of Toronto for the next two years and is expected to attract more than 25,000 visitors from around 125 countries.
None other than Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau set himself the goal of bringing Collision to Toronto. According to Toronto’s mayor, John Tory, the city has not only made its mark on the global tech map, but “booming” Toronto is “the future tech capital of the world” – and it’s a job machine.
Official Opening Ceremony
In his opening talk, Trudeau presented himself as the leading figure at the forefront of the “tech revolution in Canada”. The country plans to invest over 180 billion Canadian dollars (around 120 billion Euros) in the coming ten years in infrastructure, green technology and the tech industry. The result, among other things, is that many young talents now see Canada as more attractive than Silicon Valley. Trudeau: “Canada wants to be a vibrant hub for entrepreneurship.”
In conversation with Justin Trudeau
About Investment, Tech future
“Access to talent” was one of the conference mottos. Next to the more than 1,100 start-ups from 60 countries that presented themselves and their business ideas here, many international stars and prominent business people gathered at this event. One of them was actor and director Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Around ten years ago, he founded the online platform HitRecord where people with diverse creative ambitions can bundle their talent. Gordon-Levitt: “Be creative together with other people.” More than 700,000 people now use the platform to produce and market their music, texts, photos, films and videos. A TV show even won an Emmy.
“We didn’t want to raise money in Hollywood, we went to Silicon Valley and pitched technology VCs with this idea,“ the HitRecord founder revealed. Nor does Gordon-Levitt make money by selling ideas or formats, but through cooperation with businesses and brands.
Creativity and technology – Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Laurie Segall
The star actor and tech entrepreneur sums it all up: “that´s cool!” – two words that hold true for the entire Collision 2019 show.