Welcome!

News Feed Item

Waterloo Innovation Summit: Hardware on the Rise

WATERLOO, ON--(Marketwired - April 15, 2014) - Hardware is making a comeback and is spawning a strong ecosystem for the next generation of technology development, according to leading entrepreneurs at the Waterloo Innovation Summit at the University of Waterloo.

After several years in which software led the technology industry, Eric Migicovsky, founder and CEO of Pebble, and Matt Rendall, founder and CEO of Clearpath Robotics Inc., said that the time is ripe for hardware-focused companies to grow. But they had a caveat: in order to succeed, companies need to focus as much on their business case as the technology they are developing.

"A startup's main goal is to make something that people want," said Migicovsky, adding that understanding a product's market fit is paramount for success.

Rendall discussed the growing need for robotics, from search and rescue to performing what he calls the dullest, dirtiest and deadliest jobs. He said that his company's key to success is working closely with customers to learn what they need and want.

The importance of understanding the business case also came up again in the talk by Wal van Lierop, the co-founder and CEO of Chrysalix Energy Venture Capital. He discussed the need for engineers and entrepreneurs to think critically when they are sitting in front of their computer at 3 a.m. looking over the latest iteration of their great technology idea.

Innovation is meaningless until someone is willing to pay for it, said van Lierop.

Technology risk versus market risk
Helge Seetzen, CEO of TandemLaunch Inc., said that young companies need to push the envelope when it comes to their technology developments but be more conservative when assessing the market's need for their technology.

"Market risk kills companies and therefore makes for bad investments," Seetzen said.

Referring to the process that Clearpath has taken to understand and respond to its market, Matt Rendall agreed that it was critical to understand the business case for his company's products.

"It is not market risk, it is proven that people want robotics," he said. He also agreed that it is important to take technology risks saying that startups need to "fail fast, fail cheap, fail often."

On funding Seetzen said that it is important for investors to have specialized knowledge in the fields they are investing in so they can properly assess a technology's market risk.

Waterloo innovation ecosystem
Feridun Hamdullahpur, president and vice-chancellor of the University, opened the summit by addressing the importance of technology innovation in building a stronger global community. He stressed the importance of the role that Waterloo Region plays on the global stage, with the University at its heart.

Hamdullahpur specifically underlined the region's strength as a technology hub as well an area with many entrepreneurs. "It is very rare to find both in existence in the same place," he said.

During a panel discussion, Stephen Lake, co-founder and CEO of Thalmic Labs Inc, Michael Litt, founder of Vidyard, and Eric Migicovsky discussed the close-knit Waterloo ecosystem. The young entrepreneurs reinforced the positive impact of having other technology entrepreneurs so close at hand. "We have talent in the ecosystem and the community," said Lake.

Litt added that his education at University of Waterloo was critical in his development as an entrepreneur. "The university education here was absolutely vital to where I am today," he said.

Gary Goodyear, Minister of State responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario, also spoke at the summit. Goodyear said that Canada is "in a position of envy of so many countries around the world" as he discussed the importance of innovation in Canada's future.

Women in technology
Susan Fonseca, founder of [email protected], spoke about the lack of women as technology role models and the impact this issue has on the producing the next generation of women innovators.

Fonseca mentioned that currently only four per cent of venture capital funding is going to female-led initiatives. Her organization is working to create a network of female game-changers around the world so it is easier to identify those innovators who can become role models for the next generation of women technology entrepreneurs.

Looking forward
As Canadian technology entrepreneurs look toward future, long-term success, Tom Jenkins, chairman of OpenText Corporation, had some advice -- understand that there is value keeping your cards close to your vest.

"It is actually smart staying under the radar a while…the longer you wait, the more value you get," said Jenkins.

More than 30 speakers presented at the University of Waterloo 2014 Innovation Summit. A video archive of speakers and panel sessions is available online.

About the University of Waterloo
In just half a century, the University of Waterloo, located at the heart of Canada's technology hub, has become one of Canada's leading comprehensive universities with 35,000 full- and part-time students in undergraduate and graduate programs. Waterloo, as home to the world's largest post-secondary co-operative education program, embraces its connections to the world and encourages enterprising partnerships in learning, research and discovery. In the next decade, the university is committed to building a better future for Canada and the world by championing innovation and collaboration to create solutions relevant to the needs of today and tomorrow. For more information about Waterloo, please visit www.uwaterloo.ca.

Attention broadcasters: Waterloo has facilities to provide broadcast quality audio and video feeds with a double-ender studio. Please contact us to book.

Image Available: http://www.marketwire.com/library/MwGo/2014/4/15/11G014585/Images/wis-pc-wal-van-lierop2-535283054230.jpg
Image Available: http://www.marketwire.com/library/MwGo/2014/4/15/11G014585/Images/10246317_10152310293695758_7014496107022898676_n-329760231624.jpg

Embedded Video Available: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d9O_-DyO5Aw&feature=share&list=PLawkBQ15NDEneGxdyABdb6Rs9YthH8UUc&index=3

More Stories By Marketwired .

Copyright © 2009 Marketwired. All rights reserved. All the news releases provided by Marketwired are copyrighted. Any forms of copying other than an individual user's personal reference without express written permission is prohibited. Further distribution of these materials is strictly forbidden, including but not limited to, posting, emailing, faxing, archiving in a public database, redistributing via a computer network or in a printed form.

Latest Stories
Fact: storage performance problems have only gotten more complicated, as applications not only have become largely virtualized, but also have moved to cloud-based infrastructures. Storage performance in virtualized environments isn’t just about IOPS anymore. Instead, you need to guarantee performance for individual VMs, helping applications maintain performance as the number of VMs continues to go up in real time. In his session at Cloud Expo, Dhiraj Sehgal, Product and Marketing at Tintri, wil...
19th Cloud Expo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy. Meanwhile, 94% of enterpri...
Enterprises have forever faced challenges surrounding the sharing of their intellectual property. Emerging cloud adoption has made it more compelling for enterprises to digitize their content, making them available over a wide variety of devices across the Internet. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Santosh Ahuja, Director of Architecture at Impiger Technologies, will introduce various mechanisms provided by cloud service providers today to manage and share digital content in a secure manner....
Smart Cities are here to stay, but for their promise to be delivered, the data they produce must not be put in new siloes. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Mathias Herberts, Co-founder and CTO of Cityzen Data, will deep dive into best practices that will ensure a successful smart city journey.
SYS-CON Events announced today that 910Telecom will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Housed in the classic Denver Gas & Electric Building, 910 15th St., 910Telecom is a carrier-neutral telecom hotel located in the heart of Denver. Adjacent to CenturyLink, AT&T, and Denver Main, 910Telecom offers connectivity to all major carriers, Internet service providers, Internet backbones and ...
To leverage Continuous Delivery, enterprises must consider impacts that span functional silos, as well as applications that touch older, slower moving components. Managing the many dependencies can cause slowdowns. See how to achieve continuous delivery in the enterprise.
There is growing need for data-driven applications and the need for digital platforms to build these apps. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Muddu Sudhakar, VP and GM of Security & IoT at Splunk, will cover different PaaS solutions and Big Data platforms that are available to build applications. In addition, AI and machine learning are creating new requirements that developers need in the building of next-gen apps. The next-generation digital platforms have some of the past platform needs a...
SYS-CON Events announced today Telecom Reseller has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Telecom Reseller reports on Unified Communications, UCaaS, BPaaS for enterprise and SMBs. They report extensively on both customer premises based solutions such as IP-PBX as well as cloud based and hosted platforms.
DevOps at Cloud Expo – being held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA – announces that its Call for Papers is open. Born out of proven success in agile development, cloud computing, and process automation, DevOps is a macro trend you cannot afford to miss. From showcase success stories from early adopters and web-scale businesses, DevOps is expanding to organizations of all sizes, including the world's largest enterprises – and delivering real results. Am...
I wanted to gather all of my Internet of Things (IOT) blogs into a single blog (that I could later use with my University of San Francisco (USF) Big Data “MBA” course). However as I started to pull these blogs together, I realized that my IOT discussion lacked a vision; it lacked an end point towards which an organization could drive their IOT envisioning, proof of value, app dev, data engineering and data science efforts. And I think that the IOT end point is really quite simple…
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 19th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal and enterprise IT since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago. All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devices - comp...
StarNet Communications Corp has announced the addition of three Secure Remote Desktop modules to its flagship X-Win32 PC X server. The new modules enable X-Win32 to safely tunnel the remote desktops from Linux and Unix servers to the user’s PC over encrypted SSH. Traditionally, users of PC X servers deploy the XDMCP protocol to display remote desktop environments such as the Gnome and KDE desktops on Linux servers and the CDE environment on Solaris Unix machines. XDMCP is used primarily on comp...
Traditional on-premises data centers have long been the domain of modern data platforms like Apache Hadoop, meaning companies who build their business on public cloud were challenged to run Big Data processing and analytics at scale. But recent advancements in Hadoop performance, security, and most importantly cloud-native integrations, are giving organizations the ability to truly gain value from all their data. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, David Tishgart, Director of Product Marketing ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that eCube Systems, a leading provider of middleware modernization, integration, and management solutions, will exhibit at @DevOpsSummit at 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. eCube Systems offers a family of middleware evolution products and services that maximize return on technology investment by leveraging existing technical equity to meet evolving business needs. ...
The 19th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Digital Transformation, Microservices and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportuni...