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Keynote: Stuart Lombard

Founder, CEO, President ecobee

Before founding ecobee in 2007, Stuart Lombard was on a mission to reduce his family’s carbon footprint and save money. He found a lot of ways to conserve energy but most were complex and costly. However, he discovered that heating and cooling made up the majority of his home energy use. So, he tried a programmable thermostat. It turned out to be really complicated, even for someone with an engineering degree. And, unreliable. When Stuart and his family came home one winter day to find their house freezing, they'd had enough. He knew there had to be a better way and decided to build his own thermostat. A truly smart thermostat, that was easy to install, smart enough to deliver comfort, conserving energy and pay for itself in energy savings. That day, ecobee was born.


Alana Frome

Co-Founder, HiMama

Alana is the Co-founder and CTO at HiMama. HiMama builds software for the preschool space and is all about improving outcomes for young children. Their products bring together early childhood educators, business owners and parents, and are used and loved by hundreds of thousands. Alana's spent the last decade in tech startups building products, but in past lives has also worked as an English teacher and volunteer coach to girls with interests in STEM.

Teri Kirk

Founder & CEO, Funding Portal

Teri Kirk is the Founder and CEO of The Funding Portal Inc. (Fundingportal) where she has overseen the growth of North America's leading platform for companies seeking improved access to funding, including government incentives, capital and financing markets. Teri holds a Juris Doctor from Osgoode Hall Law School and a Master’s degree from Queen's University. Teri has been an instructor within the international MBA program at Sprott School of Business, teaching Enterprise Development.
Teri has 25 years’ experience as a lawyer, executive and entrepreneur. As Vice President, Business Development, Bell Canada, she led important national e-commerce initiatives with federal, provincial and municipal governments. As an entrepreneur, she has built and commercialized three ventures using e-business technologies to transform business processes related to law, insurance and, now, corporate financing.


Balaji Gopalan

Founder & Ceo, Medstack

Balaji Gopalan leads business development and strategy as the Co-Founder and CEO at MedStack, a digital app platform for the healthcare industry. Prior to that, he launched the BlackBerry BBM service and led platform strategy at D2L, Nymi and EventMobi. As an expert in product management and software platform ecosystem design, Balaji is also a well-respected startup educator, advisor and mentor. He is an advocate for the role of ecosystems in industry transformation and in tackling tough problems like improving healthcare.

Alison Gordon

Co-CEO, 48North Cannabis Corp

Alison is a veteran of the Canadian cannabis industry, bringing unique experience and relationships to her role as co-chief executive officer of 48North. A skilled marketer, she is celebrated for her ability to shift public opinion and consumer behavior and has been named one of Canada’s Top 10 Marketers by Marketing magazine.
As co-founder of Rethink Breast Cancer, Alison is credited with growing a new generation of young breast cancer supporters, compelled by her ground-breaking communication and pharmaceutical expertise in the health-care realm. Today, Alison is applying her skills to 48North’s business plan in this new era of the cannabis industry. She is on the board of directors for the Cannabis Canada Council

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Somen Mondal

Founder & CEO, Ideal.com

Somen is the Co-Founder and CEO of Ideal. Prior to Ideal, Somen served as Co-Founder and CEO of Field ID until it was successfully acquired in 2012. Somen’s accomplishments include spots on both the Profit Hot 50 and Deloitte Fast 50 lists. In 2012, Somen received the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award

Anna Hu

Founder & CEO, Brizi

Anna Hu is the CEO and Co-founder at Brizi, an IoT startup that lets anyone tap into nearby cameras in iconic locations to capture group memories. Brizi is backed by Canon USA through a unique strategic alliance, and funded by the investors behind GuitarHero and Rockband. Licensed across iconic sports venues and landmarks including NBA basketball, European soccer, Grand Slam tennis, NCAA, professional hockey, and at the Washington monument, guests can capture stunning photos or fun looping video clips from the perfect vantage point. Anna is a mathematics & business graduate from University of Waterloo and Wilfrid Laurier University in 2014. Anna was also named to Forbes 30 Under 30 list in 2018

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Jahanzaib Ansari

Co-Founder & CEO, Knockri

Jahanzaib Ansari is a leader in Transformative HR Technology and is the Co-founder and
CEO of Knockri. An Artificially Intelligent Video based Soft Skills assessment tool that reduces
unconscious bias and short lists the best fit talent to interview. Knockri’s customers include fortune 500’s such as IBM & Education First, the world’s largest English language teacher employer.
Jahanzaib serves on the World Economic Forum’s Global Council on Equality & Inclusion and is a contributor to Forbes.com.  Jahanzaib is often invited to share his thoughts on A.I., Future of Work, Unconscious Bias, and Diversity at major events internationally. In 2018, he was named among 22 of Canada's most promising young HR professionals by HRD & recognized as Innovator of the year by Ascend - one of the largest diversity and inclusion groups in North America.

Ian Xiao

Engagement Lead, Dessa

Ian Xiao is an Engagement Lead at Dessa. He works with enterprise clients to prototype and overcome the last-mile problems of deploying AI systems. He drives Dessa's offering in banking and specializes in Marketing & Sales, and distributed machine learning algorithms. Before joining Dessa, Ian worked in management consulting, product management, and software engineering. He studied Computer Engineering at the University of Toronto. Ian is passionate about the self-monetizing and ownership of personal data.

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Matt Roberts

Partner, ScaleUP Ventures

Matt joined ScaleUP Ventures as a Partner from BDC where he led sourcing and investments in the IT Venture Funds Seed deals including Crowdriff, Sonder (Flatbook), Unsplash and Crew. Before this Matt raised the Seed and Series “A” round for Semiconductor startup GaN Systems which he joined after graduating from his MBA. Matt was an Analyst at Venture Capital firm Wesley Clover, best known as billionaire entrepreneur Terry Matthews investment group and was also the co-founder and CEO at JohnnyVoIP, a company that developed a web based VoIP application platform. He started his career at eighteen as the youngest Project Coordinator (Manager) at Newbridge Networks, working in the LMDS wireless group (now part of Alcatel Canada). In addition to his Master of Business Administration from the Richard Ivey School of Business at Western University, Matt holds a Bachelors of Arts (Honours) in History and Economics from Carleton University.

Michael Garbuz

President, Materia Ventures

Michael Garbuz currently serves as the President of Materia Ventures, a leading global manufacturer and supplier of cannabis and CBD products. Michael also is the founder and director of High 12 Brands, a CPG cannabis brands company.

Prior to these companies, Michael held a corporate strategy and legal counsel role with Origin House (CSE:OH) (formerly, CannaRoyalty) and was a founding shareholder and advisor of Trichome Financial. Prior to joining Origin House, Michael worked in the business law group at Cassels Brock & Blackwell, helping to build out the country’s top cannabis practice group.

In addition to being a frequent speaker and panelist, Michael regularly appears as a media commentator on television, print, and radio.

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Isaac Olowolafe Jr.

General Partner, Dream Maker Ventures Inc.

Isaac Olowolafe Jr. is an award-winning real estate entrepreneur, angel investor and philanthropist. Isaac’s corporation, Dream Maker Inc., successfully operates multiple divisions including a brokerage, real estate development, wealth management, property management, education, private equity and insurance.  The Development division celebrated the completion of the first major mixed-use development (condos, townhomes, retail) called Dream Residences at Yorkdale, located directly across from Yorkdale Mall, and has more developments underway across the GTA. Through his love of sports, Dream Maker Developments became the jersey sponsor of the Men and Women National Basketball Team and will be participating in the 2019 World Cup in China. 
Isaac received a Bachelor in Economics from the University of Toronto. He has received numerous awards and recognition, including a Harry Jerome Business Award, an Enterprise Business Award by Planet Africa, an Arbor Award from the University of Toronto, a Business Leadership Award by Leadership and Governance Canada Inc. and a Public Service Award from the Transformation Institute for Leadership & Innovation and Toronto Board of Trade Award.

Margaret Wu

VP, Georgian Partners

Margaret Wu is a VP on the Georgian Partners investment team and is involved in deal sourcing and due diligence for startups exploiting Applied AI. Prior to Georgian, she was a Product Manager for mobile marketing at Amazon, co-founded a biotech company and served as COO at OneSpout, a local e-commerce startup.  Margaret began her career in consulting at Accenture and holds an MBA from Cornell University, as well as a BSc and BES from the University of Waterloo.

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Afshin Mousavian

CEO, Responsible Cannabis Use

Afshin Mousavian is the CEO of RCU. RCU is a cannabis data and insights company that develops products that empower responsible cannabis choices for consumers, employers and cannabis retailers.

With more than 14 years of experience in technology, startups, and product companies, Afshin was most recently the president of Demac Media, an ecommerce agency thats served private, public, and government organizations with online and in-store commerce platforms.

Prior to Demac Media Afshin was part of the Shopify team where he developed the foundation to Shopify Plus, the enterprise version of the product that now represents over 25% of Shopify's revenue.