The Innovation Engine, Live from Collision Conference 2018

We just concluded the second and last – for now – stop of The Innovation Engine’s Spring 2018 tour, from the floor of Collision in New Orleans. Collision is North America’s fastest growing tech conference and contains 16 different tracks, including SaaS Monster, Talk Robot, FullStk, and Growth Summit.

This year’s conference brought together more than 25,000 business leaders from more than 5,600 companies in 120 countries to watch talks and learn how tech is impacting their lives, companies, and industries. Over the course of this episode, we’ll be talking with tech and product leaders from an interesting cross-section of companies, including Dropbox, NASA, and Haymarket Consumer Media, among others.


You can tune in to the full episode via the SoundCloud embed below.


Guests we chat with on this episode include:

  • [1:20] Anaid Chacon, a product manager at Dropbox, a secure file hosting service that offers cloud storage, file synchronization, personal cloud, and client software. With a combination of both product management and engineering experience, she is able to help Dropbox execute on their technology strategy, particularly relating to putting our product out on desktop devices.
  • [12:15] Christopher Carmichael, the Chief Technology Officer for the Stennis Space Center, which is NASA’s largest rocket testing facility. We discuss how his team adapts to changing demands over time, how they are leveraging machine learning, and the technology that makes Christopher excited about the future.
  • [21:50] Mercedes Soria, the VP of Software Engineering for Knightscope, a startup that utilizes autonomous robots, analytics, and engagement to predict and prevent crime. “We build what we call the ultimate security guard.” Mercedes shares what goes into developing this technology, how they’re being used today, and what she sees happening in the future.
  • [31:10] Andrew Macharg, Head of Technology at Haymarket Consumer Media & Haymarket Network, one of the largest content marketing networks in the U.K. He’s working to change the business by reducing their reliance on advertising and adding additional revenue streams.
  • [37:45] Yoshi Tsuji and Tom Kruse join us from Win-Kel, a storage startup that participated in the startup competition hosted by Collision. Win-Kel is essentially “Airbnb for storage,” allowing people to make money off of extra space in their homes by renting it, at more affordable and flexible prices than traditional storage companies. As an international student, Yoshi felt he was paying too much to store things for a few months over the summer. He created a demo of this product on a simple website and, within a week, every listing was gone. “That’s when I knew this idea was going to fly.”
  • [44:20] Jonathan Block-Verk, the coFounder & CEO of coParenter, an online dispute resolution platform that uses AI, machine learning, and live mediators to help separating, divorced, and never married parents save money and time by staying out of court. 80% of users self-report that they no longer use courts to resolve their issues, so it’s actually being adopted by court systems to reduce caseload.


Since 2014, 3Pillar has published The Innovation Engine, a podcast that sees a wide range of innovation experts come on to discuss topics that include technology, leadership, and company culture. You can download and subscribe to The Innovation Engine on iTunes. You can also tune in via the podcast’s home on Stitcher Radio or SoundCloud to listen online, via Android or iOS, or on any device supporting a mobile browser.

Will Sherlin

Will Sherlin

Senior Manager of Digital Marketing

Will Sherlin is the Senior Manager of Digital Marketing at 3Pillar Global. He oversees the 3Pillar website and other web properties, hosts 3Pillar’s ‘Innovation Engine’ podcast, and manages 3Pillar’s social media accounts. Prior to its acquisition by 3Pillar, Will was an Account Manager at PointAbout, a DC-based mobile app boutique that specialized in developing iPhone and iPad apps. He holds a BA in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of North Carolina.

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