EPICentre was in attendance at Digifest Toronto, a three-day conference located on Toronto’s waterfront (Corus Quay) that focuses on the future of education, creativity, entrepreneurship, gaming, and technology; organized by George Brown College. The goal is to connect the creative community with the most innovative technologies, ideas, and initiatives focused on learning, leadership, and positive social change.
Many guest presenters were on hand from companies such as Lynda.com, Code D’Azur, Cossette, GoDaddy, Shopify, Critical Mass and the International Game Developers Association. There was also an Interactive Zone, where the leading ideas and technologies intersect to explore the future narrative of the way we work, learn and play.
A team of computer scientists from the University of Windsor also won praise at the conference for their service to share information about the accessibility of sites to people with disabilities.
AccessLocator is a web-based application that combines open data and ratings from users to describe everything from restaurants and hotels to schools and parks. Computer science professor Stephanos Mavromoustakos and Master’s students Rumana Hakeem, Areeba Kamal, and Jianye Liu presented it at the Student Showcase at Digifest. This year, the showcase focused on ‘Research and Business’, bringing together the most innovative cross-disciplinary collaborations between students and industry across North America.
The UWindsor presentation won a warm welcome there, says Dr. Mavromoustakos. “The app received great appreciation from industry professionals who are excited about the immense need for an all-encompassing disability application.”
Digifest 2017 also featured the It’s A Start Pitch Competition where 10 finalists presented their new ventures to a panel of judges. The winning startup, FlashFood, impressed the judges with their business model while at the same time, illustrating how to solve a major world problem. One third of the world’s food ends up in a landfill (that is approximately 1.3 billion tons of food wasted every year). The Flashfood app allows grocery stores and restaurants to sell high-quality, surplus food at steep discounts to savvy shoppers. Shoppers see deals in their area and purchase items directly through FlashFood. Ultimately, this saves money for shoppers, increases revenue for vendors and lessens our collective environmental impact.
FlashFood will now move on to represent Canada at the Overseas Talent Entrepreneurship Conference in Beijing, China to compete for an opportunity to pitch for the grand prize–the first time that a Canadian startup will be represented at the event.
Overall, the conference was an exciting event for entrepreneurs, students and digital media professionals. For more information, please visit: http://torontodigifest.ca/2017/