Two weeks ago, the Thinker-Tinker team traveled to Toronto, ON for the Collision Conference. Set in downtown, this tech conference brought over 25,000 founders, techies, and ultimate bosses together to discuss anything from the environment to managing finances. We had the opportunity to join one of the largest tech events in North America as part of the Alpha Program. Catered toward early-stage startups, the Alpha program allows companies to showcase what they are doing in a full-day of exhibiting.
The team landed in Toronto on Monday, the first day of the conference. Did you know that they don’t stamp passports anymore? As we got off the plane, we were hit with the blast of Canadian cold weather; we aren’t used to changing seasons in Southern California. The discomfort soon ended as we filled with excitement hearing the fireworks to kickoff the three-day long event. Opening night speakers included Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Seth Rogan and Jessie Reyez.
Day 2 was our opportunity to check out the fellow startups, visit the company partners, and sit in on some insightful talks. I went from the planet:tech stage to the main stage, and back to the content area a few times. I got my steps in, to say the least. My favorite panel included Pamela Pavliscak (CEO, Change Sciences), Dan Gardner (Founder & CEO, Code and Theory), and Sairah Ashman (CEO, Wolff Olins). Moderated by Leah Hunter of Fast Company, they discussed the importance of building a connection with your customers. The experience you provide to your users has an emotional layer. At Thinker-Tinker, we want to create trust with our products and services that we offer. We’ve established this dependable value by seizing an opportunity in behaviors that are untouched. With our new way of innovative storytelling, we have created a smart toy that genuinely feels like it comes from a different place. Our learning companion can excite people and has value in its innovation. The idea of disruption was a main focus of the conversation on the panel. Disruption can come with the intersection of industries and here at Thinker-Tinker, we are doing just that. With our focus on early childhood development, we have created an innovative tech toy that changes how young creative minds interact with screens and their devices.
On Day 3 of the conference, we got to share how Thinker-Tinker is changing how tech is integrated in consumer products for young creative minds. Check out our stand setup:
We were visited by the team at Product Hunt (and got featured on their IG story!), Comcast and made a ton of connections with other people in the startup space. Collision was a great opportunity to learn, share the mission of Thinker-Tinker, and showcase our first product, Octobo.
Day 4 of the Conference was our chance to show the tech components of our product and how it works in tandem with our mobile app platform. The Machine Demo competition included the top 15 exhibiting startups and let us demonstrate our software-hardware system on stage. We got to showcase how we are creating technology-enabled physical play. Most “smart” toys are hard, rigid robots. Built-in hardware toys become out of date quickly as their system is unchangeable. This makes them unsustainable as technology is constantly evolving. Thinker-Tinker is changing how technology is integrated into physical products, and how children can interact with them. As an app-based platform, we are able to evolve our digital play system that works with our physical products. The Machine Demo allowed us to show our innovative learning companion to the conference attendees before our upcoming release. We got great feedback and ranked in the top 2! The Collision Conference was a great way to learn how people interact with our product and gain insight on how we can improve for our customers from tech experts.
Octobo will be launching soon and we could not be more excited! After a successful Kickstarter campaign, we will be releasing Octobo to the public. Parents will be able to buy our first product on our website and Amazon (yes, it’ll be on Amazon Prime!). In addition to your smart plush companion, the product comes with storykits that promote different learning objectives, and access to our Octobo mobile platform. The Octobo app works on any 7-8 inch tablet and is an expandable digital library. This means that Octobo can grow with your child through a growing collection of storykits and mobile games, all available and update-able on your mobile device!
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Jourdan, Product Specialist