Imagining Tomorrow and Tackling Today’s Challenges: Wavefront 2017 IoT Summit

How can Canadian businesses become more relevant and competitive in the Digital Era?

This question was answered in many ways at the Wavefront 2017 IoT Summit, May 1-2 in Toronto. As Canada’s leader in transforming business through mobile and IoT innovation, Wavefront works with organizations of all sizes across the country. The Wavefront Summit brought together business leaders, entrepreneurs, tech specialists, government representatives, SMEs and media to explore how to connect with opportunities presented by the Internet of Things.

Large or small, businesses must adopt the mindset of a startup, said Wavefront President and CEO James Maynard in his opening remarks. There is an urgent need for Canada to seize opportunities presented by the knowledge-based economy.

More than 350 people came together at the Wavefront Summit to discuss issues such as privacy, trending technologies, global IoT trends and meeting the challenge of organizational change. While large and small companies showcased their IoT solutions in the Innovation Showcase, more than 60 B2B Meetings were taking place. Introductions were made. Partnerships were created. The Wavefront team will continue to foster those connections.

Other Summit highlights:

  • Teenage innovators take centre stage: Danish Mahmood and Waleed Sawan have created IoT solutions for agriculture and healthcare. Their innovations are impressive, especially when you consider that they are in Grades 8 and 10. The two science fair winners wowed the Summit audience with descriptions of their work. Read Murray McKercher’s excellent report.


  • A warning about privacy: “Embed Privacy by Design into IoT and all connected devices or face unintended consequences.” With this session title, Dr. Ann Cavoukian from the Privacy and Big Data Institute caught the attention of the audience with her frank talk about the need for IoT solutions to step up privacy features.


  • From digital dinosaur to digital dynamo: Elyse Allan, President and CEO of GE Canada, described her personal journey and leadership approach. You need to get your people past the fear and into the positivity of new technology, she explained.


  • The courage to change: Nitin Kawale, President of Rogers’ Enterprise Business Unit, encouraged corporate leaders to shake off complacency and join the Digital Revolution.


  • Retail industry transforming through IoT: Gale Blank, Vice President of IT at Holt Renfrew described the need for investment in digital platforms to retain advantage in increasingly competitive retail landscape.


  • Smart cities engaging new tech for better living: Rob Meikle, Chief Information Officer of the City of Toronto and Jessie Adcock, Chief Technology Officer of the City of Vancouver spoke of the need for cities to adopt technology as a driver of prosperity, bridging the information and wealth gaps in our society.


  • Welbi wins pitch competition: 10 emerging companies in the IoT space pitched for prizes in the Summit pitch competition. The winner was Elizabeth Audette-Bourdeau, who made a compelling pitch for Welbi, a smart caregiver assistant.

Keynote presentations from the Summit are available in the Wavefront Summit Resource Library. You can find event photos on the Wavefront Flickr page

Let’s continue the conversation. Stay connected by joining the Wavefront Community.


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