Collision Conference – Being an ALPHA Startup

It’s that time of year again the mega tech conferences are back with a bang! Probably the biggest conference in the calendar is the Collision Conference that’s making its first appearance in Toronto this May! Winfooz is delighted to say that are a featured startup at the event and we will be taking part in the events ALPHA startup program. These mega conferences are a surefire way of reaching potential customers, showing our products to the public, making partnerships, networking and attracting serious investment. This basically means floor space is highly coveted with approminatly 90,000 attendees descending on the event including industry leaders to VC’s and everything in between. You can see why we are proud to be involved but what is the ALPHA program and how does it benefit your company? Let’s find out:

What is the Collision Conference?

First things first the ALPHA Startup program is the startup program being run by Collision Conference, one of the biggest tech shows in the world created by the same team behind Web Summit.

This is going to be their first year in Toronto after outgrowing their previous homes in Las Vegas and New Orleans with 90,00 atteendees expected to hit the exhibition floor over the couple of days. Some of these atteendees includes media, venture capitalists, industry leaders and startups. The startup

So what is an ALPHA Startup

The APLHA program is built with startups in mind. It’s a brilliant opportunity for companies like ourselves to pitch ourselves on the exhibition floor, show our skills in the PITCH competition and avail of some workshops, investor meetings and mentorship hours. If you want to display at the Collision Conference, companies are put into one of three categories:

  • ALPHA – Your startup is in the pre-investment stage or has under $1 million in funding.
  • BETA – Your startup has launched successfully and is often one of Collision’s startup alumnus.
  • GROWTH – Your company is experiencing exponential growth and expanding globally. And if you’ve often raised over $3 million.

Essentially the Alpha startup program gives startups with outstanding potential a platform to show their work and connect with some very influencial people.

Why become an ALPHA Startup

Apart from the what we have already mentioned in terms of access to industry leaders, mentors and of course the PITCH competition where entrants have the opportunity to win investment, the benefits of becoming an ALPHA Startup are as follows:

Brand awareness

With over 750 journalists from the world’s leading publications, Collision offers a unique platform to tell the world your story. Engage with potential future users and industry-shaping voices looking for tomorrow’s top startups.


Meet investors from the world’s most influential funds. Investor Meetings are a series of pre-scheduled meetings designed to help selected startups meet the investors that can take them to the next level.


Start networking before arriving, meet potential leads and arrange meetings through the Collision app. After hours, the work continues as you can make valuable connections at Night Summit.


Collision gathers the tech talent that will make products stand out. Talk to them in dedicated developers’ stages and lounges or reach them before you even get to Toronto – simply open the app and start the conversation.

At the event

Now we know why you want to be an ALPHA Startup and what benefits it has to the business, the next big question is…. what do we do at the Collision Conference?


As an ALPHA Startup you get to exhibit for one day during the event. Better yet they take care of all of the heavy lifting. Your exhibition stand will be ready when you arrive at the venue. The stand will have an ethernet cable, exhibition board and two power sockets, all you need to do is be there at 7:30 on your exhibition day to set yourself up.

As a company exhibiting all you need to bring yourself is promotional material and business cards, freebies, swag or small company mascots and of course anything you may want to demo.

PITCH Competition

PITCH is the startup competition at Collision that offers early-stage startups with an excellent opportunity to present their startup to a panel of investors, industry influencers, and journalists. It’s essentially a live pitch battle on-stage against 60 other selected startups all competing to be crowned the 2019 PITCH and win some expert investment.

Participating in PITCH empowers startups to generate significant traction and garner confidence in creating a strong pitch.  

Mentor Hours

As a startup, it’s always wise to take advice from the experts, that’s why Collision has put together the Mentor Hours for their ALPHA Startups. These mentor hours are a series of pre-scheduled, hour-long meetings between high-level attendees and startups. Mentors donate an hour of their time to coach seven startups in a group setting. This mix of backgrounds means the session will be shaped by individual and collective experiences in the startup community. Mentor Hours comprises of four topics each of which has a different focus to cover your companies most important interests and challenges.

Investor Meetings

For Collision, it always looks great for them when their investors and startups collide. This is why they take a whopping 414 variables into consideration recommending the startups with the most to gain from investors’ advice.
If a match is determined for your startup, our investors team will be in touch with details and they will organize to connect you throughout the three days of Collision.

Investors in attendance

The Collision Conference as we mentioned is expecting huge attendance, only right when it’s one of the biggest tech conferences in the world. That means it attracts some of the biggest investors in the world too. According to the Collision websitethere are 50 investors featured with backgrounds throughout the tech space and although we would love to list them all we have picked three to give you a better idea of who to expect:

Eric Paley
Co-founder & General Partner at Founder Collective

Eric Paley is a Partner at Founder Collective. Eric’s investments include Uber, Cruise, Makerbot, Airtable, & The TradeDesk. Eric was named to Forbes Midas List for the past three years. Previously, Eric founded Brontes, which is now part of 3M.

Michael Seibel
CEO and Partner at Y Combinator

Michael Seibel is the CEO of YC. He was the cofounder and CEO and Socialcam. Socialcam sold to Autodesk in 2012 and under the leadership of Emmett Shear, became and sold to Amazon in 2014.

Cheryl Cheng
General Partner at BlueRun Ventures

Cheryl is a General Partner at BlueRun Ventures, an early stage venture capital firm. She focuses on early stage mobile & real-time data opportunities.

How to become an ALPHA Startup

The event is fast approaching and while the entry window for this year is sure to be closed it’s still good to know how you can apply for next year. Here’s the process

  • Apply through the Collision Conference website
  • Speak with their specialist startup team to discuss the business, goals and plans for the event
  • Once the above is complete their team will screen you and identify the most promising businesses and entrepreneurs to join the event

If you would like to see how Collision score potential startups they have a great article on the WebSummit blog.

Final Thoughts

Events like Collision are great for the local area. As we mentioned there is expected roughly 90,000 people attending and that alone is great for the local economy. Beyond that it’s fantastic for us and other startups as this will be one of the very first times we show our products to the public. We cannot wait to debut at the inaugural Canadian event and the PITCH startup battle is a another great opportunity to stand up and show what we can do.

Looking forward to seeing everyone there, we can’t wait to see you.