Collision Conference

We had a terrific couple of days at collision, taking in many panels, talks and just generally soaking up the atmosphere of New Orleans. From the vast array of offerings, favourites included Chris Boshuizen from Data Collective VC, who gave a great talk on bringing lean principles to bear in developing novel big data and machine learning solutions in aerospace. Stephen Wolfram presented an exciting demo on the latest incarnation of wolfram alpha, the language and platform for integrating search, rapid development of technical applications, and now direct deployment to cloud. On the topic of lean, luminary and all round good guy Steve Blank shared his wisdom as well.

So many wonderful small companies participated in the alpha program/start-up alley, including a large contingent from overseas. A significant subset appeared to be concerned with tackling genuinely difficult problems, such as affordable water purification and pollution monitoring. We manned a booth on Wednesday, and a variety of companies small and large demonstrated interest in extracting PDF document data using the plot2txt platform, which was very encouraging too.

I am very grateful to Bec for organizing everything, and for Adrian A and Mike M’s attendance/support. It was a special privilege to hang with our team on a number of occasions, including a night out at second line brewery, sponsored by Revelry. I’ll never forget walking several blocks of uptown New Orleans behind a marching band, directly after imbibing the amber fluid and craw fish. Collision was a unique and highly stimulating experience to say the least, a great credit to the organizers; very much look forward to the next year! (Photos courtesy of Mike M).