This week our team had the pleasure of attending two events; TECHTO Meetup and the CMA Agency Mixer at Steam Whistle Brewery. While in two very different industries and discussing very different topics, we saw ourselves connecting with a lot of people around the power of partnerships.

With the common understanding that businesses cannot be everything to everyone, they can certainly try to target as many people as possible through partnership. At TECHTO, every seat was filled at the RBC Waterpark, bursting with talent and entrepreneurial spirit in the tech space. Some loud discussions emerged from topics such as artificial intelligence, wearable technology and interactive apps that are disrupting our aging industries.

To name a few…

Malgosia Green, Chief Product Officer at TopHat discussed the need to retire print textbooks at schools, universities and colleges, and instead turn to products like TopHat, a company building interactive apps and e-textbooks to support learning both in and outside of the classroom. TopHat partners directly with teachers and professors to become champions in introducing these kinds of technology into the educational system.

Shiva Amiri, Chief Executive Officer of BioSymetrics, discussed current major challenges around building machine learning (an application of artificial intelligence). While many tech companies are looking to integrate machine learning into their industry, there are few who are actually on the pursuit of building this technology due to its difficult nature. Fewer companies on the pursuit of building machine learning signals emerging partnership opportunities in tech around artificial intelligence. With the successful patenting or open-sourcing of certain applications, integrated strategic partnerships will develop among technology companies allowing certain businesses to fast track into this space.

At the CMA’s Agency Mixer, some strong discussions emerged on how marketing agencies, too, cannot always be everything to everyone (or to their clients). The power of partnership emerges between agencies when the needs of clients grow beyond the scope of a single organization. Agencies have grown immensely in Toronto and all major markets around the world, some through acquisition and others through specialization. Whether an agency specializes in experiential, public relations, digital or brand strategy, agency partnerships can be the best way to put the best work forward for clients.

Two major lessons emerge from this week’s industry events:

1. Networking and informational events can be a powerful tactic to learn from others and deliver new insights.

2. The power of partnership is strong and prevalent in every industry. The right partnership can immensely grow a business and the wrong one can kill it. Develop your alliances strategically.