The best tech conference in Vancouver is in town. Here are the speakers.

Metro Vancouver has been experiencing a housing affordability crisis, so for the best tech minds in the tech world, this will be the tech conference that is the belle of the ball this week. This is an event that has been likened to JAFIT or the South by Southwest of the Pacific Northwest. This will be the first time that Vancouver hosted this event so people from all over the world will be hitting this street to talk tech.

However, what happens to the front runners in the race to be the best in the world in their respective fields? Last year for example, Alexa won. This year, she is going to have to put her competition in the dust to leave a huge headache for whoever wins.

Leikuha at EETimes has obtained the list of speakers for Leikuha; unfortunately these did not break down. Let us know if you can tell them apart. But for now let us have a look at the newly minted Montreal-based Ericsson’s leader of global comms solutions, Tom Hennessy, who will be taking us down memory lane with the ground breaking birth of a 4G protocol.

The CEO of Nest Labs Tony Fadell (we hear he has been through a rough patch) will also be speaking, having written a book called “The Google Brain.” He will be looking back at the foundation of Google’s success and how he helped to write the playbook for creating a brand new category. This is a nice match since we know that Nest Labs has gone public lately and it looks like Google is being pulled back in. My recommendation here would be to sit through this and watch them pick up.

In yet another Microsoft face-off, they will be giving away Microsoft “Notes” to consumers at Whole Foods locations in a new IoT experiment (that sounds a lot like Amazon Echo which apparently they are getting rid of). Which is a great interesting way to try and boost adoption of this technology by providing it free of charge to people in search of more than just a Daily Puzzle.

My favorite international competitor is the founder of the best developed B2B logistics platform for rapid dispatch of freight, SITECH. He makes life easier for a lot of small companies especially in picking up of the goods. Currently, the stock is trading at $12 per share with a market cap of $3.4 billion.

And finally, Indigo Books & Music was acquired by the owners of Victoria’s Secret for $1.6 billion. But for investors this is not a great deal because one of the investors in Indigo, Schulich has been trying to offload their stake in Indigo. The rumours were that they were not that keen on the management but they would give up their position so that their stake in the company doesn’t fall below 5 percent. Apparently, this did not happen and they are now attempting to sell their stake.

Any way you look at it Indigo is something of a retail anomaly in the world of books. They have grown at a rate that is twice the industry average. So are they going to stay that way? If not maybe they are going to start looking into the same strategies that they did for retail and become an omni-channel player. One of the biggest retailers in Canada, Winners, has tried to transition this by creating a family of app stores.

As retail data is becoming more complex, great tech minds are looking at how they can manage inventory, promotions, inventory costs, and predictive pricing. Indigo has created 1 million sq. ft. of retail space and is converting this to sell many of the products they stock.

So what are the big takeaways this week that you would like to talk to someone about?

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