Collision Technology Conference kicks off in Toronto amid industry downturn and layoffs

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TORONTO — The first full day of the Collision Technology Conference began in Toronto this morning as the industry grapples with a downturn.

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The four-day event will see around 35,000 startup executives, investors and tech workers attend discussions with more than 600 speakers, including former Google CEO Eric Schmidt and basketball star Carmelo Anthony.

This year’s conference coincides with waning exuberance around tech stocks, which have soared during the pandemic but are now plunging, prompting companies like Netflix and Wealthsimple to lay off workers.

Collision CEO Paddy Cosgrave expects the slowdown to be a hot topic at the conference, along with the state of crypto, after the value of several currencies fell significantly in recent months.

Cosgrave says at least eight cryptocurrency companies, including beleaguered lending platform Celsius, have dropped out of Collision in recent days.

Cosgrave’s traveling lecture kicked off Monday evening with an appearance by author Margaret Atwood and actress Lupita Nyong’o at the Enercare Centre.

This year marks the return of the conference to an in-person format, after moving online during the COVID-19 pandemic.

This report from The Canadian Press was first published on June 21, 2022.

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