We Learned About Disruptive Startups at Dx3


March 13, 2017 |

Several Disruptive Startups Were Featured at Dx3 2017

The PayPal Startup Zone at Dx3 2017 held a pitch competition for a chance to win tickets to Singularity University’s Canada Summit. The speakers were all tech company founders who shared their visions of the future. Here are some things we learned about digital disruption in 2017.

Technology conference in Toronto
  • 1. Cheap and accessible technology will change consumer’s tangible experiences with brands

PinchVR pitched $5 virtual reality headsets. Specifically designed to be branded and fit in a standard sized envelope, these light-weight affordable headsets deliver remarkable experiences. Download the app and minutes later you’re behind the wheel of a Ferrari. It’s a whole new world on an entirely new level.

deepPIXEL pitched customer service chatbots designed to alleviate overstressed service departments while gathering data about customers to offer a better experience overall – for staff and customers alike.

  • 2. Advertisements will be more relevant and customized

This year’s pitch competition winner, SmartTones Media, built a product that inserts inaudible tones on television or radio that trigger compatible coupon delivery on the listener’s smartphone. Since mobile offers are redeemed 10 times more frequently than print offers, this looks like a huge opportunity for brands to bring traffic to both online and brick-and-mortar stores.  

BlockThrough’s Accelerated Ad Reinsertion promises to get past ad blockers by redelivering ads in more acceptable formats: without malware, without being interruptive or invading user’s privacy, and that won’t slow down page load times. This means that businesses can continue to  advertise to their target markets with less invasive, more relevant ads to increase ROI on ad spend.

speaker engages with audience at Toronto tech convention
  • 3. Supporting small businesses is big business

Multiple pitches came from startups who support small businesses. LendMart offers small businesses a single platform for applying for small business loans; Knit is a tool for managing payroll for small business owners, and Schema App lets businesses of all sizes communicate more effectively with Google to help improve search results. With increasing bank and government support of small businesses in Canada, the time is ripe for services tailored to this fast growing market.

  • 4. Content marketing will  keep getting smarter

Content marketing has the marketing world abuzz, but measurement of its success is still in its infancy. Rewordly pitched a tool that measures reading of articles (as opposed to page visits), offering gamification and social sharing for readers and data for publishers on drop-off points. This type of tool can help with focusing on a brand’s strengths in content marketing, refining offerings to create the best value for readers, increasing return on content marketing spending and helping marketing departments justify the focus on content.

  • 5. Personalization and accessibility are key in disrupting traditional industries.

While travel insurance may not be the sexiest topic, Jauntin thrilled the audience with their pitch on accessible, touch-of-a-button travel insurance tailored to individuals.  CubbySpot pitched an app to help parents find local daycare, a process usually fraught with complications. Both apps have found early success with their target markets and are  growing rapidly.

Every year brings new disruptions and this year didn’t disappoint.  Digital disruptions are constantly changing consumers expectations. Keep an eye on our Blog for more trends and innovations affecting your industry.

Lori Franze is a senior strategist at KPDI. Continue to watch the blog more more digital insights, innovations and disruption.  

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