Royal Canadian Navy hosts “Ideas Hack-a-thon” at Techstars Toronto

As Canadian academics, scientists and entrepreneurs continue to push the envelope in the research and commercialization of technologies associated with Artificial Intelligence (AI), the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) hosted its first-ever “Ideas Hack-a-thon” on February 10, 2018 in partnership with Techstars Toronto.

The “Ideas Hack-a-thon” was facilitated by Sunil Sharma, Managing Director of Techstars Toronto, a local entrepreneurial accelerator, and engaged more than a dozen local entrepreneurs, all of whom are active in the AI sector. Mr. Sharma is a former Canadian Foreign Service Officer who cut his teeth in the Canadian start-up ecosystem as a Managing Partner of Extreme Venture Partners. Also participating was Mark McQueen, an Honorary Captain of the RCN and President and Executive Managing Director of CIBC Innovation Banking. 

The goal of this exciting day was to gather a diverse group of individuals in an effort to help the RCN introduce practical applications of AI into the daily work of its sailors, whether at sea or at home.

With the help of Techstars Toronto, a volunteer “crew” was drawn from an invited pool of Ontario-based academics, entrepreneurs, scientists and students with an expertise or affinity for various applications of AI. The “crew” included officers of the RCN’s Naval Reserve unit in Toronto, HMCS York, as well as key leaders of the RCN’s Ottawa-based information technology team.

The participation of these Reserve and…

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