Where can you find all three levels of the Canadian government together with internationally-known celebrities like Seth Rogen and Joseph Gordon-Levitt as well as CEOs of multi-million-dollar companies? This eclectic group of people all converged at the Enercare Centre in downtown Toronto last month for the fifth year of the Collision Conference.

This is where Distributed Compute Labs (DCL), a local tech company, had the opportunity to take centre stage during a pitch competition and exhibit on the show floor. 

The four-day showcase of Canadian and international innovation had five main stages, dozens of smaller stages, 700 speakers, 1100 startups and over 25,000 attendees. Inc.com has touted the conference as “North America’s fastest-growing tech conference.”

"We saw this as an incredible opportunity to highlight examples of the innovative technologies being developed in the Kingston region,” says Jim Banting, Assistant Vice-Principal (Partnerships and Innovation), Queen’s University.

In keeping with the Office of Partnerships and Innovation’s (OPI) mandate of supporting local tech entrepreneurs and fostering collaborations within the Kingston and region innovation ecosystem, it was an easy decision to sponsor DCL’s participation at the event. While several companies from the region attended the conference, with support from Invest Canada, the Kingston Economic Development Corp. and OPI, DCL was the only local company that pitched and exhibited.

“Queen’s University’s OPI informed us about the conference and sponsored us to attend. We are really grateful because we were able to make some really great contacts in the financial industry and the defence sector. Dozens of startups were also interested in our platform,” says Dan Desjardins, CEO and Founder of DCL.

It’s no surprise so many are interested in DCL’s platform. An RMC Professor and Queen’s University alum, Dr. Desjardins first started exploring the possibility of distributed computing to speed up his own research. With modern day research requiring extensive computing power, researchers are competing for limited resources. DCL’s online platform harnesses the processing power from idle computers, tablets and mobile phones to dramatically speed up data-processing times from years to a matter of months. Ultimately DCL will save researchers both time and money.

The company launched its unique online platform in December 2018.

Going forward, DCL hopes to develop the leads generated at the conference and foster some new pilot projects while continuing to deepen its relationship with Queen’s University.

“The conference was a really incredible experience. We learned a lot of fresh insights and new perspectives from a diverse group of speakers and attendees. At our stage in the game, its very important for us to reach a lot of people and create a strong first impression. I feel like we accomplished that goal at Collision,” says Mr. Desjardins.