4 Ways Tech Continues to Flourish in Waterloo Region

We’re excited about the True North conference happening next week.

Next week, Waterloo Region will host one of the largest tech conferences in Canada – True North. We’re excited about joining the conversation about how to use Tech for Good. And, there is lots of good happening in Waterloo Region when it comes to tech.

1. We’re making AI our friend – 3 Waterloo companies using AI for Good

Formed in 2017, Kiite helps sales professionals to be more productive using AI. Siblings Joseph Fung and Donna Litt founded Kiite and have raised over $3 million and currently employs 15 individuals.

Greta Cutulenco co-founded Acerta to use big data and machine learning to help car manufacturers. Acerta uses deep learning to analyze the safety of each vehicle before release. Feedback is continuously processed to improve the software. In doing so, Acerta has helped clients “achieve a new standard of quality and improved KPIs.”

Emagin is another key player. Their focus is using AI to manage water and wastewater facilities. They specialize in emergency preparedness and anomaly detection. Their methods – which harness the power of the cloud, big data, and virtual assistants – have shown to reduce operational costs. Emagin was also nominated as a top ten global digital water company.

2. Thriving startup ecosystem

Startups are supported by a strong network of organizations such as Communitech, the University of Waterloo’s Velocity programs, the Accelerator Centre, Wilfrid Laurier’s LaunchPad and Conestoga College’s Centre for Entrepreneurship.

These organizations offer business advice, hands-on help for recruiting and innovating, workspaces, as well as investment and networking opportunities.

3. Fostering productive AI

The recently announced Waterloo AI institute embodies this spirit. The center intends to transform “how we work, how we travel, how we treat disease, how we communicate, and how we learn.” The research will accentuate the work of AI enthusiasts such as Dr. Alex Wong and Dr. Fakhri Karray. A core focus will be uniting disciplines, teachers, and students in the investigation of AI.

Waterloo has an important role to play as the heart of Canadian AI innovation. Moving forward, more research into machine learning will help tech advance safely and productively. This institution is well-positioned to allow Waterloo to further support its vibrant community. Learn more about it here.

4. Join the discussion at the True North conference

Waterloo Region is home to the True North conference, running May 29-31. Join other leaders to discuss the state of the tech sector and how it is impacting society and our daily lives.

The conference features Craig Silverman (the guy who coined “fake news”), Ed Catmull (co-founder of Pixar), Bozoma Saint John (CBO of Uber), Siyabulela Xuza (founder of Galactic Energy Ventures) and Spike Jonze (director).

Evenings feature #TNDTK festival events such as tours of startups and other points of interest, a concert by the Beaches and an incredible night of technology, sound, and electronics at THEMUSEUM in Kitchener.

Betakit has a great post covering all the True North events. Help make True North awesome and join the conversation. Buy tickets here.


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By Jack Mitchell and Wes Worsfold

Jack Mitchell
Jack is a Laurier Business student and is passionate about all things tech

Wes Worsfold is CEO and co-founder of BitBakery Software located in Waterloo Region.

Winning with HQ Trivia

“Disrupting mobile gaming”

By Wes Worsfold and Trisha Sharma, BitBakery Software

We’re interested in mobile apps that break through the clutter and attract users. HQ Trivia is one of those apps.

Daily at 3 and 9 PM EST, 1 million plus players are glued to their phones playing HQ Trivia – the most recent mobile gaming sensation.

Here’s a quick rundown: (iPhone and Android links).

After signing onto the app, you’re greeted by the game’s host Scott Rogowsky. Scott is a comedian who’s puns and antics make the game engaging. The players, affectionately called HQ-ties (pronounced H-Cuties), compete for cash prizes by answering 12 questions ranging in topics from history to pop culture and current events. Answer correctly within the 10 second time limit and you move onto the next round, incorrect; and, you’re booted from the game with the chance to watch as others progress. At the culmination of the 12 rounds, a jackpot is distributed evenly among the winners. Prizes range from a few dollars twenty-five thousand dollars. The size of the winnings does little to impact the feeling of joy users experience after answering the 12th question correctly-the first questions are easy and progressively get more difficult.

Rogowsky says you have to go one step further. The key to winning, he says, is to play with a combination of old and young people around you—just as former CBS News anchor, Dan Rather did when he won the jackpot on his very first try.

Time.com. Feb. 15, 2018

Four reasons HQ trivia is winning in the mobile gaming category:

1.Synchronous (real-time) Gaming System

The appeal of mobile games has traditionally been the “where-you-want, when-you-want” convenience. HQ Trivia challenges this convention, bringing players together at 3 pm EST every weekday and 9 pm daily. Miss the time, and you’ll be stuck watching others. HQ Trivia maximizes its player base by sending out notifications five to ten minutes before the start of the game.

The game has become not only an individual indulgence but a social phenomenon. It is not uncommon to see groups of employees gathered around the water cooler discussing answers hurriedly, or even at dinner parties and gatherings.

2. Real Money, Real Winners

The game is fun and engaging. The questions are challenging and hosts are entertaining. Making it to the end results in real money.

3. Live, Engaging Hosts

Scott Rogowsky (or as some HQties know him, Quiz Daddy) has become the face of the game and a constant part of the HQ gaming interaction. Scott’s presence is what brings the game closer to a TV game show than a mobile app, providing live commentary and direct engagement with the platform’s users.

4. Ad Free and Free to Play

HQ Trivia is free to play, making trying the game easy and commitment-free. The HQ founders (ex-Vine founders) say that no sponsored content has appeared in the app so far.

As the player base of the game expands, HQ Trivia hopes to increase its prize amounts and collaborate with potential sponsors to enrich the gaming experience for everyone.

The Future of HQ Trivia

This was a breakthrough week for HQ Trivia. In partnership with Nike, in recognition of Air Max Day; and, Steven Spielberg’s movie Ready Player One, HQ Trivia provided prizes of $100,000 and $250,000 to HQties. HQ Trivia is showing the value of monetizing mobile users with its innovative model.

By Wes Worsfold, CEO and Co-founder and Trisha Sharma, Social Media and Marketing Intern, BitBakery Software