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Recapping the 3rd Annual HardTech Summit – Day 1

ventureLAB kicked off their 3rd Annual HardTech Summit, in partnership with York Region, yesterday with an outstanding lineup of impactful speakers, thought-provoking panels and cutting edge technology displayed in a trade-show style set up of technical booths. As Canada’s premiere technology and innovation focused summit supporting Hardware, Semiconductor, MedTech, AI, and Automobility, HardTech 2023 truly did not disappoint in bringing together more than 800 industry leaders, founders, partners, innovators, government officials and regulators virtually and in person!

Hosted by the dynamic Manjula Selvarajah, the summit started with opening remarks from ventureLAB’s CEO, Hugh Chow as well as the VP of the Hardware Catalyst Initiative, Avinash Persaud. What followed was an exciting group of speakers and panelists who shared key insights on everything  from artificial intelligence to MedTech, hardware, automotive, IP, investment, talent and more.

Here are some of our favorite highlights from HardTech 2023

The jam-packed agenda featured keynote speaker Denis Gaudreault, Canada Country Manager at Intel, who outlined Canada’s role in the semiconductor sector with valuable recommendations on how to leverage key partnerships to drive growth, such as capitalizing on our close relationship with the US and diversifying government funding for semiconductor startups. Denis also welcomed us to the term Siliconomy, coined by Intel, which describes how semiconductors are the foundation for the economy of the future!

Gaudreault’s keynote was followed by a robust discussion featuring Jay Dawani, CEO and Co-Founder of Lemurian Labs, Alex Qi, CEO of Pontosense and Homeira Afshar, Research and Insight Analyst at the Ontario Vehicle Innovation Network (OVIN), moderated by Anita Balakriishnan, Reporter at The Logic. Our panelists outlined the automotive sector’s road to recovery in a post-pandemic world and the trends we can expect to see in the next 5 years.

HardTech attendees also had the privilege of learning from industry experts who shared valuable insights and salient advice for hardware start-ups raising investment. The panel titled, “Driving Investment in Canadian Hardware Startups: What Do VCs Consider?”, was joined by Sabrina Sasaki, Principal & Country Manager at Monozukuri Ventures, Jim Laird, CFA, CPA, CMA, Director, Technology & Innovation Banking, Risk Management at Roynat Capital and Cyrille Brando, Director Technology Partnerships and Strategic Business Development at Bosch and moderated by Yuri Navarro, Managing Partner at Kanata Ventures and Advisor at ventureLAB. Attendees were left with valuable recommendations on how to successfully secure investment from different types of funders at all stages of startup growth.

Sponsored by Marvell Technology, Douglas Soltys, Editor in Chief at BetaKit moderated “Hardware That Powers AI”, which discussed the key trends, windows of opportunity, challenges and the impact that AI will have on functionality, performance and efficiency in the hardware ecosystem. In discussion were Arun Iyengar, CEO at Untether AI, Phil Vokins, Director - Channels, ISVs and Cloud at Intel Corporation, Ben Davies, CIO at the Vector Institute. 

After an impressive showcase of student-built robots by the FIRST Robotics team, the panels came to a close as HardTech Day 1 wrapped up with a Networking Cocktail Reception, generously sponsored by the Canadian Semiconductor Council. With a full house at the summit, attendees enjoyed a drink at the reception that transformed into a vibrant hub, forging connections that echoed the innovative spirit of HardTech.

This year’s HardTech Summit could not have been possible without the support of our sponsors, speakers, panelists, media, and guests. We eagerly anticipate the opportunity to welcome you back to Day 2 tomorrow for our first-ever Gala dinner with our highly anticipated Pitch Competition where eight companies will pitch for their chance to take home a collective $50,000 in cash prizes. 

Looking forward to seeing you tonight!

ventureLAB is a leading global founder community for hardware technology and enterprise software companies in Canada. Our organization is led by seasoned entrepreneurs and business leaders with decades of industry experience in building IP-rich start-ups, scale-ups, and global multinationals to help you scale your business. Located at the heart of Ontario’s innovation corridor in York Region, ventureLAB is part of one of the biggest and most diverse tech communities in Canada. We enable technology startups to accelerate the commercialization of transformational products on a global scale.

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