From April 30th to May 3rd, the Yellow team visited Collision, a North America tech conference taking place in New Orleans, Louisiana. For four days, the world brightest tech minds were engaged in discussions, roundtables and workshops of all kinds amidst the vibrant atmosphere of the City of Jazz. The Yellow team just couldn’t miss the opportunity to play a part in such an event!
So, what we were up to in New Orleans?
First and foremost, we hoped to hang out with fellow techies from all around the globe and make some valuable connections. Collision didn’t fail us and proved to be a nice place with both opportunities in abundance.
We can’t even count how many business cards we exchanged with potential clients, investors and partners during these days, and many of them are now our LinkedIn connections. Among them is Issouf, whose company develops health management solutions for communities, organizations and governments.
We had a really insightful talk with Marco, Jaime and Mario about the challenges of growing startups in Belarus and Mexico. We will now see how we can help each other in this struggle. The power of a handshake can definitely take a business up to the next level!
Every day, the Collision venue transformed into a big exhibition hall where the attending companies showcased their products and technologies. On the closing day, we also took part in the exhibition with our pet product StickerBox, an AI-based mobile application that allows users to make fun stickers out of their photos. Let’s see how it was!
Kirill, the Yellow CTO, demonstrates the app’s user interface. At the exhibition, he told visitors how we shifted from mathematical algorithms to neural networks to implement the technical part of StickerBox.
This is what our exhibition booth looked like. As we hoped to gather as much feedback as possible from non-tech users, we covered our booth with stickers, showing that something funny was going on in there. Our small trick kicked in!
As people approached our booth, we encouraged them to try StickerBox for themselves. To make it even more hilarious, we connected a mobile phone to a TV so that people could see the stickers they created on a big screen. Did we mention that the laughing never stopped at our booth? StickerBox has literally created a buzz at Collision!
What we like most about conferences is that they allow looking at the world tech scene from different angles.
At Collision, the most insightful experience for us was to learn how companies in various parts of the world reconsider their approaches to technology business to make it more sustainable and secure. Some speeches left much food for thought and deeper research for us to do back home, especially the ones delivered by speakers with no technical background.
Photo credit: Stephen McCarthy (Collision / Sportsfile)
Wyclef Jean rocked the stage at the closing day of the conference. A musician by trade, he talked about the role of an entrepreneur in the modern world. Wyclef has become our personal hero at Collision as he made us look at our responsibilities as entrepreneurs from a totally different perspective.
Despite a really tight schedule, fun was also on our conference to-do list.
What we enjoyed a lot about Collision is that fun was officially part of the schedule. Every day at 5 pm, the jolly crowd left the conference hall to join Pub Summit, a party for the conference guests and speakers held at the local bars.
We were lucky to meet Justin on the first night in New Orleans as we got in one group at Pub Summit. What can be better than a chit-chat about artificial intelligence with someone as well-versed in the subject as the guy on the photo? Only the one seasoned with a glass of good beer and a pinch of jazz! No surprise that a lot of the networking at Collision happened after hours.
When we were not talking shop with fellow tech heads, we strolled around the city of New Orleans looking for adventures. One day, we went on a guided tour around the Mississippi River - and look who we finally met! As locals told us, in the past, when the city was mostly covered by swamps, gators inhabited every nook and cranny of it, but now they can only occasionally be encountered in the remaining swamps and City Park. So we are lucky ducks!
Looking back now, we can’t believe we managed to find time for so many activities within just four days. Collision was a truly great experience that we would definitely like to repeat. Btw, we’ve already started preparing something new and amazing to present at the Collision Conference in 2019.
See you next year in Toronto!
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