BetaKit Wants to Send You to This Summer’s GROW Conference

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Update: Thanks to all of our readers for all the wonderful and insightful responses. A winner has been selected and will be contacted.

BetaKit has teamed up with the good folks at Dealmaker Media to send one lucky winner to this summer’s GROW Conference in beautiful Whistler, BC, August 20-22.

Included in the big trip with a value of about $2,000 will be a two-night stay at the Fairmont Chateau Whistler. Airfare is not included.

All you have to do is tell us in the comment section:

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What tech trend you think will change the way we do business the most dramatically,

OR

What tech trend has you most excited, and why?

GROW Conference was created “to help entrepreneurs build the next billion dollar company. GROW is about the future of innovation, growth and entrepreneurship. It is a curated environment that brings together technology pioneers, founders, executives, influencers and investors who are passionate about identifying problems worth solving.”

The prize pack also includes:

  • 2 Tickets to GROW, which include access to:
  • Main Conference Stage and Side Sessions
  • GROW Sponsored Activities
  • Transportation from Vancouver 

Other activities available to GROW participants this year in Whistler are:

  • Outdoor fitness challenges testing the latest activity trackers and heads-up displays
  • An Innovation Marketplace showcasing the latest smart devices (open to the general public/hotel guests)
  • Gondola Talks with founders, partners and investors
  • RC Helicopter or Drone sound-off coined, Game of Drones
  • Technology showcase for the Whistler business community (Mountain, Resort, Hotels, Retail Stores, Bars/Restaurants & property owners)
  • Connected Car Hackathon

So what are you waiting for? Get to the comment section and tell us what you think, and you could win a two-night trip to the GROW Conference in Whistler this year.

We’ll announce the winner in exactly one month, on Friday July 4 at 12 noon. All of your thoughtful entries will be thrown into a hat and we’ll get someone here at BetaKit HQ to pull the lucky straw. 

  • http://www.twitter.com/amritachandra Amrita Chandra

    I’m most excited about the application of software and hardware to the healthcare system, through companies like Figure1 and even PillPack. Anything that can help us deliver better, more effective healthcare has the ability to make a huge positive impact on our quality of life, which is the true power of technology.

  • http://robinhood.com SIMON BURNS

    Joey – you deserve drinks anyway! I’m falling in love with @pmarca and the Google mafia’s idea of automation to create a new society without manual labor. This is manifesting in automated cars to eradicate drivers, with 3D printed homes that threaten construction workers and countless other examples.

  • Dan Seider

    I’m very excited for both virtual currencies and virtual reality. Virtual reality is so exciting because of all the possibilities around it. Of course, there are many road blocks we need to over come (like latency) but with a company like FB backing VR with big money, there is big potential. The jump from a rotary phone to a cell phone is going to be like the jump from PC to VR.

  • http://rogerstringer.com/ Roger Stringer

    Myself, I’m excited for the way the telephone industry is getting turned on its head by startups like Twilio.

    There are things you can do to improve your company’s customer service or user security with services like these guys that you couldn’t do as easily even a few years ago.

  • rick1558

    With the proliferation of mobile smart devices, it now makes it possible for real world tasks to be made more efficient by technology and leveraged to drive business. When the web started, it was all about online taking away business from bricks, now its technology enabling businesses to better refine their message to the user in a way that draws them in. With so many SAAS based models evolving, the tools for business and consumers meet in the middle for the benefit of both.

  • caff

    One tech trend I’ve liked is the reduced barrier of entry – easier now for new startups to actually get something up and running (in terms of tools, hosting, education, etc.) and that has enabled all sorts of fresh ideas to actually have a legitimate product out there, ready to be launched and market tested.

  • Michael Szego

    The humanization of Big Data. In my mind, data has always been big, complicated and messy. What has always been important is to to extract the meaningful nuggets and apply them deftly. Technology enables the collection and harvesting of information at a level of sophistication never seen before. This puts more onus than ever to find what’s relevant within the data, and most importantly, add the personal touch to make deeper, human connections.

  • Kelsoh

    I’m most excited about “Bitcoin 2.0″–technology that uses the concept of a decentralized crypto-currency blockchain to disrupt activities way beyond simple financial transactions. Soon via projects like Ethereum, developers will have access to turing-complete languages that will enable them to set-up digitally enforceable legal contracts, trust-free escrow systems, decentralized autonomous corporations and p2p server/storage networks. I am confident that within ten years we will see this technology beginning to seriously disrupt the practices of many industries–from finance to real estate to law to consumer devices.

  • Judy Hamilton

    I’m most excited about iBeacon and the ease with which businesses can now sense your proximity to them to provide useful, targeted content. With a network of iBeacons, recommendations, and even predictions, of user wants can now be properly distributed based on patterns and behaviours in the real world. With every smart device we own being able to be an iBeacon, the future of connecting the physical world with the digital one to provide and share information that is useful ‘in the moment’ and ‘in real time’ is finally within our grasp.

  • http://www.makeworks.com MakeWorks

    We’re most excited by wearable technology and connected devices in general! Privacy concerns aside, monitoring and acting upon countless aspects of day to day life has the ability to greatly improve our health and general quality of life. Well, that and we think its pretty cool that we can automate our kitchen to tell us the beer fridge is empty!

  • Eric William Dolan

    Big Data. The buzz word that extends every industry and the hottest enterprise functions for startups. From data science to biostatistics to data science, this terms encapsulates something that will impact every industry and startup in the future. But who will dominate? Who will be the next Oracle, Google or Facebook of this era? Someone needs to deliver consultant grade analysis and simplify it for the average consumer. This information must also be presented in a beautiful and pleasing way. It is a marriage of the left and right side of the brain, the hard analytics we need as well as the bold and simplified ascetics we desire. A tall order that has yet to be filled. This is what I will be looking for in the coming years, will you?

    • Eric William Dolan

      As an entrepreneur and studying data scientist, I am fascinated by this area.

  • Payam Ahangar

    Growth hacking is very exciting. It employs multidisciplinary strategies and tactics (design, programming, marketing) to generate highest possible amount of returns as opposed to traditional marketing. I am talking about the mindset and the culture as opposed to hacks for short term growth. There is amazing discussions on the topic on the web. A great amount of valuable knowledge is being shared by the practitioners as well. I think the mindset will help bring efficiency to startups and disrupt traditional marketing in a profound way.

  • sasha uritsky

    I am excited by the recent advancements in semantic technologies. The ultimate goal of semantic technologies in IT is to make computer understand human language. And in terms of human-computer interaction it is also the ultimate goal of the computer science. Think about it, at the dawn of the computer era the interactions between humans and computers were entirely in machine language. Since then we are gradually moving to the position where the interactions will entirely be in human language.
    And with emergence of social and Big Data the semantic technologies are getting a huge acceleration we haven’t seen before – its a wonderful time for us.

  • Tom Bielecki

    I believe–in one way or another–3D printing and other digital manufacturing techniques are going to quickly disrupt every single industry that they touch. There will be a content explosion from VR and IoT that will enable this to reach closer into our personal lives and give us a tremendous amount of value.

    Bitcoin and wearables excite me too, so I’m looking into new ways that they can integrate with 3D printing.

  • Bobby Graham

    Im most excited about social analytics and financial analytics within the music industry. I feel that the music industry is on the rise again, but with the money this time going back to the artists. Bands like Die Antwoord have already proven that a DIY approach to self-management can work and I feel that with the right social insights and the proper financial analytics, these artists will be able to further take their careers back into their own hands.

  • http://blueperch.co Justin Goodhew

    I am most excited about the Tinder trend. That’s right, Tinder. After the Tinder craze that wrapped up users into a swiping frenzy; tinder has shown what great UX/UI can do to an app. Now think of the possibilities – Tinder for ________ (insert any market here). It is an app that gains unique user inputs that allow for lots of new data and analytics, also a lot of opportunity to LEARN about the user and get SMARTER. Think about this tagline, “Tinder for _______, the app that learns about what you like the best, and sends you more of it”. I want all my apps to be like that. Tinder for all. Watch out google now and siri, Tinder may swipe you left.

  • ahmacleod

    My vote goes to blockchain technology and the idea of trusted P2P transactions. Consider how BitTorrent changed our notion of distribution and file hosting. Look at how the internet itself circumvented service failure by its decentralized model. By removing the need for centralized authority, all of these technologies created a more robust and unencumbered environment for innovation and freedom of expression. Blockchain will likely do the same for transactions and identification.

  • Derek Jen

    I’m most excited about the further development of SMAC (social, mobile, analytics and cloud services). Whether it’s healthcare or retail industry, companies are finally beginning to invest and making it work for them.

  • Cliff Edwards

    I’m excited about the revolution in robotics that has only just begun, and it’s promise for helping us deal with a whole lot of challenges in future. Demographics for most countries around the world point to a surge in people over age 65 and those over 80 go way up also. There won’t be as many people working in the economy to support more non-working people, so we are going to need automation and robotics to help boost the labor force. Robotics has the potential to bring a lot of manufacturing back to North America and Europe, and support a more distributed, local form of manufacturing, agriculture, and other production.

  • Andrey

    I am very excited about the new wave of wearables equipped with all kinds of sensors. Not only it will use the data to provide insights on health and lifestyle for people but it will allow a whole new level of services that will use this gathered information. Think of the apps that react on human emotions (with the right sensors you can detect that, the same principle that is used in lie detectors – certain feelings cause certain body reactions). Imagine services that will know what you really like as oppose to where you hit the “like” button. Or integrate it with the smart house and let the computer turn the heat when you feel cold and turn AC when it’s too hot. This opens a door to a new kind of pro-active natural user interfaces in addition to more established voice and motion controlled systems.

  • Daniel Dent

    Marketing automation and the increasing application of data-driven thinking to sales and marketing processes is going to continue to change the world – we’ve only seen the beginning. Businesses like Google and Facebook have been built on this idea, and more like them are coming. Marketing and advertising will be automatically personalized to deliver more relevant and individualized messaging. Businesses that find the winning formula for customer messaging + product-market fit will be able to scale even more quickly than they already can. We are entering a world where attention is a limited commodity that will grow in value.

  • Maria MP

    The so called “internet of things” in my opinion is one of the most fascinating trends today. And I’m not talking about fridge that can tweet, I mean coming platforms that will connect all these “dumb” devices that we use every day. Before Nest nobody would believe that thermostat and detector can attract so much attention, and I believe it’s just the beginning. Smart lightbulbs, door locks, blinds etc. all can be integrated with one platform that will finally provide a true 21st century home experience that will put today’s home automation systems to shame. Not to mention how this can change our lifestyle by saving us time and energy: all devices will know when no one is home and go to sleep mode, making smarter greener homes a norm. If we look at it from even a more global perspective, not just separate homes or people, larger integrations on district or even city level will make a huge difference.

  • Chloe Chan

    I’m most excited about the shift in digital advertising! To start, Brian Wong’s Kiip is disrupting the mobile ad market. Rather than bombarding users with banners ads and tricking them into tapping on pop-ups on splash screens, Kiip uses special algorithm and rewards consumers for doing what they are already doing. For example, if I logged in 4 days in a row in a fitness app, Coca Cola may reward me with a sports drink for being active. Not only is this less intrusive, the “surprise” element of this marketing technique makes users feel more special, thus enhancing their relationship with companies.

    Advertising in the wearable tech arena is equally exciting. Specifically, Google Glass’ patented pay-per-gaze concept has the possibility to provide marketers with highly accurate data on ROMI, reach, and engagement.

    Copied from an excerpt of a Telegraph online article: “By combining the gazing direction information of multiple users, Google could generate batched information and charge advertisers for analysis of this data. The company also claims to be able to infer a user’s emotional response to an advert by measuring their pupil dilation.”

  • Jamie Nicoll

    The most interesting technology with potential to impact our population at present, and for generations to come is plasma gasification of municipal solid waste. Since the beginnings of civilization mankind has been disposing of waste in dump sites, passing along the problem for generations to come. In today’s consumer driven society, the volume of waste is monumental, as are the problems that accompany it.
    Plasma gasification uses solid waste to produce clean, green energy. This technology will allow us to divert near 100% of solid waste from landfill sites. So as all of these other wonderful technologies create an even more advanced consumer society, think about the waste.

  • Amanda Levin

    I’m most excited for the return of hardware. The shift from creating gadgets to useful well integrated technology is what will make the internet of things viable for the general consumer.

  • Emma Nemtin

    There’s too many tech trends that are on the cusp of exploding in popularity, but I would have to say I’m most fascinated by the rise of the quantified self movement. Finding a way to make sense of these huge datasets that we can gather about ourselves for self exploration and discovery is so awesome. I’m looking forward to using this information to make better life choices, in health and fitness as well as monitoring all aspects of mental wellness. I can’t wait to see how we can start sharing this rich data with each other in a seamless way.

  • Alex Bonavia

    We’re most excited about the possibilities of crowdsourcing and it’s application to a wide range of industries. At Wavo we use the power of the crowd to break the best new music, saving millions of dollars in A & R costs. The focused power of the crowd can be applied to disrupt other industries like travel, public transport, and more!

  • http://digitalmediaspace.tumblr.com Jen Greenberg

    The trend that I could see having a massive impact on how we do business has got to be mobile commerce apps, and electronic payment apps. When you look at many startups they are selling direct to customers now, because they can, easily. B2C is growing and this is changing the supply chain. The trend I’m really excited about is wearables, the ideas people are coming up with are complete games changers, things you would never think possible, like Muse.

  • Daniel Mathews

    I’m most excited about see how these 4 things will evolve:
    - 3D Printing
    - Bitcoin
    - Education being mainstreams through online video
    - tech behind BitTorrent

  • Jen Chin

    I believe that the general populace’s increasing awareness of cyber identity security and online safety is going to be a huge driver for the future of business as many companies are increasing their commitment to e-commerce. Your online identity is now as powerful, and sometimes even more so than your physical identity and companies need to realize this and take steps to protect consumers. SMS and email verification is no longer enough with the huge amounts of data and personal information people are entrusting to companies. For instance, Airbnb uses Jumio to help verify hosts and guests offering government ID verification to help ease trust issues. I believe that this trend is only getting started and soon even biometric verification and social identity vetting will become commonplace.

  • Anca Borza

    I’m most excited about wearable technology, like Ringly. Less conspicuous than Google glasses, but always connected to your smartphone anyway. And I’m looking forward to wearing a jacket that inflates whenever someone likes my post on Facebook, for example.

  • http://www.propelswimming.com Kiel Olver

    Wearable tech and VR is still in such an infant state, I cannot wait to see where it takes us in terms of combining the physical and digital landscapes.

  • CYeh

    Super excited about the internet of things and the continued development of 3D printing technology.

  • Johannes Schut

    I am most excited about the continued development of wearable technology. As larger companies get involved we may see more useful applications develop.

  • Ashley Beattie

    I’m most excited about the the potential of contextual applications which integrate information from the web, mobile, wearables, the internet of things… the so-called “Internet 3.0+” Google Now is a great start, but it’s barely scratching the surface of what’s actually possible.

    Today, almost every service/application is built with “an average user” in mind, incorporating a minimal amount personalization and markup. But soon, almost every aspect of our digital lives will be customized by context-enabled applications which integrate what we’re doing, where we are, how we’re feeling (yes it’s possible!), our interests and other pieces of information in real-time, to deliver us situational, and personally-catered digital experiences.

    “Smart stores” and “Smart homes” are just the beginning. We’re talking “Smart lifestyles” here. Giddyup!

  • Robin Sim

    i agree with many of the people below, internet of things is definitely a trend that is happening right now as well as big data and continued growth of software products, but I believe that a sector that has long been ignored and will change in the coming years is education. As MOOCs gain popularity and acceptance by universities, education systems will change. Students are beginning to questions the cost – benefit of the university environments as they focus more and more on infrastructure rather than the bottom line of teaching their students to be successful in the desired field. education startups are growing with new schools such as general assembly a hacker school that teaches startup related field such as product management and coding. Many new startups will emerge as people find better ways to educate and post-secondary education will be more industry and hands on focused. This will impact the way we hire people, the number of years people spend in education, and the way research is viewed and valued. Just a thought.

  • sassycontessa

    Most excited about 3d printing and the changes this will bring to current traditional manufacturing cycles, putting design into the hands of the people. The business models starting to pop up around this (including companies of existing products selling the designs for people to DIY print) are fascinating – we have barely scratched the surface!

  • Reza S

    Super excited about 3D printing and the parallelism between how open source software has changed our world in the last 15 years and how open source hardware will affect us in the next decade.

  • http://www.loyoly.com Grant Sernick

    I think the biggest technology change will be the decline of Ratings/Review sites (such as Yelp, Rate MD, Homestars) and the rise of closed (private) personal networks optimized for users finding things based on the recommendations of their friends. The impact to business will be huge, as the age of the micro-celebrity (people that have huge influence in small populations or 10s or 100s) will come into full effect. Ultimately, it will allow regular people to monetize their influence, and will change the face of marketing on a scale similar to facebook and google.

  • Zennon Gagne

    What tech trend you think will change the way we do business the most dramatically:

    The way the world does business is starting to and will radically change in the next 10 years because of tech. The lead time between a customer becoming interested in a product and when they pay for the product is being dramatically decreased year after year due to entrepreneurial advances in online technology. The industry of middle men and organizations that facilitate transactions have faced immense transformation to automated systems. Business is becoming increasingly ‘direct to customer’ and are able to secure sales online because of the simplification of 1) payment processing 2) inventory browsing 3) ease of shopping 4) increase trust in online purchasing. No longer do we need to visit a travel agent to purchase a vacation. I think that in the next 5 years, companies who are able to make purchasing easier for consumers are the ones who are going to be successful in the future.

  • koo

    The technology of the mobile Internet is evolving rapidly, with intuitive interfaces and new formats, including wearable devices with more than 1.1 billion people currently using smartphones and tablets. This technology could fuel significant transformation and disruption, not least from its potential to bring two billion to three billion more people into the connected world, mostly from developing economies. Even if the ultimate economic value of mobile Internet technology falls far short of its potential, mobile Internet use will almost certainly have lasting and profound effects. App downloads grew 150 percent in 2012, and an array of new mobile services has emerged. So‑called near-field payments (which use unpowered radio frequency chips to easily exchange data between devices) grew 400 percent in 2012 and are expected to increase 20-fold by 2016. These are the systems that allow consumers to wave a phone near a point of sale terminal to make a payment, for example. Media and entertainment consumption on mobile devices has grown and is rapidly shifting viewers from cable and broadcast channels. Time spent playing video games, emailing, and text messaging on mobile phones grew 200 percent in the past four years. In the United States, an estimated 30 percent of all Web browsing and 40 percent of social media usage are now done on mobile devices.

  • pdejoe

    Gmail opening up their API means email can now be used reliably as a back end. There will be a significant amount of companies created from this alone as email has never been done correctly to make us most effective. Email today puts us on the defense of having to respond. A new company that can now use Gmail’s API will create the new and preferred interface for how to communicate using email which I believe will have the most impact on us on a day to day basis.

  • Siobhan Small

    I’m very impressed with the growing potential presented by 3D printing. it may seem a tad obvious to single out, but the implications of relatively rapid and adaptable modelling is astounding. this one piece of equipment really seems like a game changer in so many fields, all the way from every day use to mass manufacturing and even medicine.

  • Leslie Laforest

    Hardware platforms like Arduino and the Raspberry Pi are quickly becoming strong candidates for the Internet of Things. With mobile internet moving to embedded systems, it won’t be long before schools, designers, start-ups, and hobbyists get there hands on real IoT systems. The Internet of Things in my opinion will change the way we do business the most dramatically.

  • Joey Gracey

    The Internet of Things revolution has never been about a technology revolution. The biggest innovations thus far have all been improvisational. noSQL is nothing but deconstruction of formal SQL– but it’s opened a massive opportunity for flexible data persistence.

    What we need is a paradigm shift where people think more critically about open standards and freedom to explore unconventional solutions.

  • James Clarke

    I believe Apple’s iBeacon is going to be the trend that most dramatically impacts business. Social media is huge. Retail is even larger. iBeacon will help businesses connect and engage with their customers in more meaningful ways. While iBeacon should be the largest game changer, its also the least exciting technology. It will probably be the most annoying technology too when the ad networks get integrated.

  • Joey Gracey

    @disqus_DpMZhIqmJJ:disqus the challenge with integrated hardware is that there really isn’t a lot of options for developers at the moment.

    The best thing with have is a Raspberry Pi, which suffers from volatile memory, poor power management for peripheral modules, and a lack of operating systems designed for autonomous computing.

    Ideally, 3g or WiFi connectivity would be integrated right onto the board. A means of registering devices behind firewalls to something like an ssh tunnel would also be extremely beneficial to jumpstart development. Basically, out of the box and without peripherals, the raspberry pi isn’t nearly as useful as it sounds.

  • John Andrew

    3D printing has me most excited. Presently its pretty tough for consumers to get started with 3D printing, between the high price tag, tough installation, high chance of failed prints, few useful items on Thingiverse, and steep learning curves for design software like Solidworks or Rhino. I doubt it will have a huge business impact for a while-but it certainly will eventually.

    But 3D printing is still the most exciting by far. At all maker fairs the crowds go straight to the 3D printers. Everyone loves 3D printing.

  • John Gracey

    Digital marketing is once again going to change the world, this time driven by emerging wearables/IoT, iBeacon, and virtual reality. The marketing industry wins for every new device, sensor, or app created. Coupled with increasingly common IPv6, geolocation centric apps, government data sets, the marketing industry has so much new data and mediums to play with. To me, this is the most exciting trend.

  • Vladimir Tucek

    Wearable technology will change the way share experience with others about products and services. Written reviews are not accurate for mobile world. It takes to much time to write and it’s complicated to find something quickly.