Members of industry, government and academia gathered April 24-25 in Stratford for the fourth annual CDMN Canada 3.0 2012 digital media forum, to accelerate the Moonshot goal that anyone in Canada can do anything online by 2017. Emerging companies OpenEra of Ottawa, Qwalify from Waterloo Region, and XYZ Interactive of Toronto left the forum tops in a field of 50 companies in the Road to Banff® Pitch-Off competition. Another entrepreneur, Hannah Chapplain, the first musician to present her business as a digital media entrepreneurial venture in the Road to Banff competition, reached her funding goal of $25,000 at the event.
“Through the Road to Banff Pitch-Off competition, the forum highlighted the cream of the crop of emerging digital talent in this country, and the strong field of contenders reaffirmed our belief that we need to seed Canada’s digital media future from the ground up.” said Kevin Tuer, Managing Director of the Canadian Digital Media Network (CDMN).
This year’s Road to Banff Venture Forum Pitch-Off competition enabled 50 ICT companies to pitch in front of a panel of experienced judges – comprised of leading VCs, Angel investors and technology industry experts – competing for $20,000 in prizes including Grand Prizes of three spots at the Banff Venture Forum in October 2012. While OpenEra, Qwalify and XYZ Interactive led the leader-board, the rest of the top 10 companies, which included Uberflip and Philanthrokidz, received cash and in-kind prizing from sponsors. The full list of winners is showcased on the Canada 3.0 website.
Beyond the Pitch-Off competition, this year’s forum also featured keynotes and break-out sessions focused on topics aimed at helping Canada increase industry adoption of digital media and compete globally in the digital economy, including access to capital and talent. A broad scope of speakers ranging from Industry Minister Christian Paradis to entrepreneur Blo blow dry bar founder Devon Brooks participated in the forum.
Attendees at this year’s two-day forum recognized that increased efforts are required to encourage Canadian entrepreneurs to build the next digital media success. The 2011 forum set a goal to ensure connectivity for all Canadians of any financial status and geographic location, and this year’s programming also discussed the need to close the digital divide.
Outcomes of the forum also included ensuring Canadian content be fully mobile and accessible, and that particular attention be paid to the role policy-making has in that access. Attendees suggested ways to increase productivity through the adoption of technology, from organizations making cutting-edge technology available to attract Millennial talent, to the need for entrepreneurs to “future-proof” their business. This year’s forum also included delegates from Brazil, proving that the forum truly went international.
CDMN will provide a more in-depth report on all of the conversations at Canada 3.0 2012 in mid-May. Summary blogs of Day 1 and Day 2 are available online, and the forum’s social media channels and online community at Talk.Canada30.ca feature real-time quotes, messages and guest blogs from the event. Videos of select keynotes and breakout sessions are now available on the Canada30.ca website, and you can follow CDMN Canada 3.0 2012 on Twitter @Can3_0 or join the conversation using #CDA30.