Around 380 people converged on the Shaw Centre for the two-day Wavefront Summits this week, exceeding organizers expectations, according to Wavefront CEO Jim Maynard.
“It’s not just the numbers. To me, it’s great to have a roomful but I think it’s the quality of the people,” Mr. Maynard said as the event was drawing to a close Wednesday.
Major players in the mobile enterprise and Internet of Things industries came to the event – the likes of Ericsson, Verizon, and Hewlett Packard to name three.
“They all commented on the quality of the people, the unique mix of experienced small to medium businessmen,” Mr. Maynard said. “The Verizon guys were blown away. They don’t usually get to events where they have this opportunity to sit down with 12-14 companies that had applied and were pre-selected ... They don’t get access to this kind of innovation very often.”
Mr. Maynard was quick to credit Invest Ottawa for its support organizing the event. Invest Ottawa was one of more than 50 partners between Waterloo and Montreal involved in making the summit a success.
He said SMEs from at least five provinces came to the capital for the event.
“It’s great for Ottawa but I think the bigger message is we need to celebrate Canada here and this is a real ecosystem effort to pull together companies from all across Canada to get together and talk about this,” Mr. Maynard said.
He called the move of mobile coming to enterprise a “watershed time for the competitiveness and prosperity of the Canadian economy.”
“To see all parts of Canada actually pulling together to make this conference a really good connection point is pretty gratifying,” he said.
Robert Platek was one of the businessmen who came from outside Ottawa for the event. The CEO of Toronto-based SensorSuite went to the event in Vancouver last year. This year he was invited to participate in the Innovation Showcase pitch event, where he had three minutes to promote his company.
SensorSuite is in the Internet of Things space, connecting buildings and machines, like boilers or elevator shafts to the internet for monitoring.
Once the audience voted through a mobile app, Mr. Platek found himself the winner.
The cash prize of $5,000 is quite insignificant for Mr. Platek, who raised $500,000 in financing just last week. The value was the exposure, he said.
“This is pretty much the M2M/IoT event in Canada,” he said. To win in front of this whole crowd was amazing. You’ve got all the carriers there, Verizon from the states, investors, it was just a really cool thing to present and actually win. It was nice recognition for sure.”
Still, every dollar counts, and Mr. Platek said he sees the money as somebody’s salary for a month.
“First, we ate some shawarmas like kings ... and then we’ll use the rest for someone’s salary,” he said.