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Thu, May 6, 2021

Inventures 2021 and COVID-19
The health and safety of conference attendees, presenters, staff and the community are a top priority. Learn more about the enhanced safety measures being taken by our host venue at calgary-convention.com. Get updates on visitor travel to Canada at travel.gc.ca/covid-19-travel.



Connect with entrepreneurs, startups and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) seeking partners, advisors and capital. Inventures is a one-stop opportunity to assess fast-growing players and discover investment gems!


Access investors, thought leaders and fellow entrepreneurs through keynotes, panels, pitch competitions and informal networking opportunities. Come pitch the pros!


Inventures provides multiple programming streams for discovery, sharing and deeper learning in emerging and transforming industries. This is your front-row seat to innovation!


Showcase solutions for the startup, scale and spread of networks that tap into and feed the exponential growth of the global innovation knowledge hub. Be where the future is!

Announcing Keynote – Scott Harrison

Scott Harrison, founder and CEO of charity: water, spent almost 10 years as a nightclub promoter in New York City before realizing that for him, happiness isn’t found in cars, real estate and “conventional successes.” While travelling in developing parts of the world, Harrison became aware of the world’s clean water crisis and changed course to found the life-saving non-profit organization charity: water in 2006. Harrison will give a keynote address at Inventures 2021 in Calgary, September 22-24, 2021.

Turning his full attention to aiding the world’s 785 million people without clean water to drink, Harrison created public installations and innovative online fundraising platforms to spread awareness. Since then, charity: water has attracted more than 1 million supporters, raised over $475 million, funded 59,608 water projects, and will provide more than 11.6 million people in 29 countries with clean drinking water.

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Inventures 2021 Speakers

Priscila Chaves

Priscila Chaves has worked at the intersection of technology, entrepreneurship and impact for over 15 years, collaborating with multinationals and startups in North & Latin America, Sub-Saharan Africa and South-East Asia. She's a technology ethicist, impact entrepreneur and keynote speaker on topics related to the future of our society.

Mara Lewis

Mara Lewis is a serial entrepreneur, angel investor, and was previously the Managing Director at the Start Co. accelerator. In 2016 Mara co-founded ID8, a corporate innovation and CVC consulting firm. ID8 works with some of the world’s most recognized companies to help them pursue strategic partnerships, invest capital in startups, and overcome innovation hurdles. Mara sits on the Board of the Consumer Technology Association (producers of CES) and is the Chairman of the CTA Investment Committee, overseeing a $100M venture capital fund.

Jilliane Yawney

Jilliane Yawney has helped over 1000 people get onstage to share their story. She is a Story Coach and the creator of the Core 7 Stories for Business™ framework.

Charlton Cunningham

Charlton Cunningham serves as the Ecosystems Program Manager at HBCUvc, an organization dedicated to bringing more diversity into the venture capital industry.

Alfredo Coppola

Alfredo is Co-CEO of US Market Access Center, a Silicon Valley-based accelerator that helps international startups with global market expansion via Silicon Valley. Since 2011, more than $1.5 billion in funding has been raised by 224 startup alumni.

Marcelo Lebendiker

Senator at World Business Angel Investment Forum; Serial Entrepreneur.Angel investor ,VC; Founder/ Partner of Invert UP a Seed Capital fund registered at the National Stock exchange, Costa Rica www.invertup.com; Founder and CEO of Parque Tec an accelerator and Business incubator specialized in ICT, Costa Rica, ,www.parquetec.org; Founder / Partner of the first financial newspaper in Costa Rica : El Financiero.www.elfinancierocr.com; Co founder of the First Financial newspaper in Panama: Capital Financiero.www.capitalfinanciero.com; Founder of the Costa Rica Business Angel Network Link Inversiones

Ebrahim Varachia

Ebrahim is the President & Co-Founder of Patronicity, a civic & community crowdfunding platform built to inspire growth and change in placemaking throughout cities and towns, both urban and rural, across the country. Growing Patronicity to be more than just a civic crowdfunding platform, he has led Patronicity to change the way grants are administered and how communities come together to envision, build and create more sustainable and impactful projects meaningful to them.

P.K. Newby

P.K. Newby, ScD, MPH, MS is a scientist, author, food personality, and entrepreneur who has dedicated her career to researching and communicating what we eat and why it matters, from farm to fork. An internationally recognized expert on plant-based diets and disease prevention, she refocused her career on science communication in 2012 to bring evidence to today’s food and nutrition conversations and launched Food Matters Multimedia, LLC, in 2019.



Innovation of Work

A new generation of digital nomads is creating a ‘do anything from anywhere’ workplace shaped by technologies that erase distance and compress time. Human to humanoid interaction is gaining sophistication thanks to automation and machine learning. In parallel, data visualization, augmented reality and interdisciplinary trends are bringing the arts to STEM, expanding opportunities for a resilient, creative and diverse workforce.

AgTech Meets BioTech

Smart agriculture and geo-sciences are at the heart of an expanding universe of bio-tech solutions for critical issues – from feeding one billion undernourished people to sheltering millions who live without adequate essentials. Genomics, real time soil and water data, regenerative practices are driving the radical transformation of labour intensive farm-to-fork supply chains to high-tech, interconnected processing hubs.

The AI Datasphere

The wide spectrum of intelligent automation and algorithmic learning technologies represents a powerful and adaptive strategic platform. Riding on it is data, the new currency – with an estimated 20 billion active IoT (internet of things) devices in use. This is driving monumental leaps in blockchain, quantum computing, fintech and augmented analytics. This is met by equal urgency to create impenetrable security systems for global trade, banking and consumer product supply chains.

Co-Designing Healthier Living

Technologies that put the person at the centre of the solution are helping to save lives and lessen costs on a local and global scale. Against the backdrop of the global health pandemic, rapid response systems are revolutionizing the way we treat disease and how we prevent it. Sensor technology, predictive data models, advanced algorithms and robotics are transforming how health care is designed, delivered and received.

Building Adaptive Communities

Vibrant new cities are emerging from concrete monoliths as technologies interconnect symbiotic neighborhoods built with smart electricity grids, shared transportation networks, vertical food production centres and green spaces. Shared mobile and transportation networks, modular construction, 4-D printing technologies and sustainable materials are helping to generate livable communities that reimagine daily interaction between people, structures and technologies.

Net-Zero Emissions Energy

The future of energy production and consumption is at the forefront of global conversations. Through innovation, net zero emission in the production and use of conventional energy resources is within sight. This includes CCUS, blue hydrogen, and advanced materials from bitumen. These and other energy transforming technologies are pointing the way to high demand and high value markets for low carbon products. As wholesale social change sweeps across sectors, industry leaders from energy to manufacturing to information technologies are finding better ways to address changing demands.


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Previous Keynotes

In just two years we’ve had over 400 speakers on our Inventures stages.

Temple Grandin

Honoured in 2010 by Time Magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in the world, Temple has been a pioneer in improving the handling and welfare of farm animals.

At two years of age, Temple showed all the signs of severe autism, and worked tirelessly through intensive teachings and speech therapy to learn to speak. Since then, she has earned a lengthy list of achievements, including a New York Times best-selling book, Animals in Translation, and numerous recognitions, such as the Meritorious Achievement Award from the Livestock Conservation Institute.

Currently, Temple is a professor at Colorado State University, where she continues her research while teaching courses on livestock handling and facility design.

Dr. Daniel Kraft

Daniel Kraft is a Stanford and Harvard trained physician-scientist, inventor, entrepreneur, and innovator. With over 25 years of experience in clinical practice, biomedical research and healthcare innovation, Kraft has served as Faculty Chair for Medicine at Singularity University since SU’s inception, and founded and is chair of Exponential Medicine, a program that explores convergent, rapidly developing technologies and their potential in biomedicine and healthcare.

Following undergraduate degrees from Brown University and medical school at Stanford, Daniel was Board Certified in both Internal Medicine & Pediatrics after completing a Harvard residency at the Massachusetts General Hospital & Boston Children’s Hospital, and fellowships in hematology, oncology and bone marrow transplantation at Stanford. He has multiple patents on medical devices, including immunology and stem cell related patents through faculty positions with Stanford University School of Medicine and as clinical faculty for the pediatric bone marrow transplantation service at University of California, San Francisco.

Arlene Dickinson

“The purpose of marketing is to deliver business results,” says Arlene Dickinson, renowned CBC “dragon” and one of Canada’s most successful communications entrepreneurs. Whether explaining how to leverage marketing in even the toughest of economic times, sharing backstage stories from “The Den,” or giving audiences a look into her personal story of success, Dickinson’s experience and expertise always shine through.

Dickinson is one of Canada’s most renowned independent marketing communications entrepreneurs. As CEO of Venture Communications, her creative and strategic approach has turned the company into a powerhouse with a blue chip client list. She is also the CEO of District Ventures Capital a fund investing in Canadian companies in the food and health sectors.

Dickinson is best known to Canadians as one of the venture capitalists on the award-winning series Dragons’ Den, an investor on The Big Decision, and a judge on Recipe to Riches. She is the author of two bestselling books — Persuasion, and her most recent bestselling release, All In.

Her success and leadership have been recognized with multiple honours and awards including Canada’s Most Powerful Women Top 100 Award, the Pinnacle Award for Entrepreneurial Excellence, as well as being recognized with PROFIT and Chatelaine magazine’s TOP 100 Women Business Owners Awards.

Dickinson is an Honorary Captain of the Royal Canadian Navy and is the recipient of honorary degrees from Mount Saint Vincent University, Concordia University, Saint Mary’s University and NAIT. She is a recipient of the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee medal. She also sits on numerous public and private boards and is dedicated to giving back to her community and country.

Michelle Romanow

Michele Romanow is an engineer and a serial entrepreneur who started five companies before her 33rd birthday. Michele brings her incredible entrepreneurial savvy to every stage, including as a co-founder of Clearbanc, which gave entrepreneurs more than $100 million in funding, just this year alone. Named in WXN’s “100 Most Powerful in Canada,” awarded Angel Investor of the Year by the Canadian Innovation Awards, and listed as the only Canadian on Forbes’s “Millennial on a Mission” list, Michele is a prolific angel investor who has also co-founded the Canadian Entrepreneurship Initiative with Richard Branson to encourage more women entrepreneurs.

Guy Kawasaki

Guy is an expert on entrepreneurship, social media, and marketing. He is the chief evangelist of Canva, a brand ambassador for Mercedes-Benz, and an executive fellow of the HAAS School of Business at UC Berkeley.

Alex Miller

Alex Miller is president and founder of Esri Canada, which provides enterprise geographic information system (GIS) solutions to Canadian organizations in the public and private sectors. He founded Esri Canada in 1984 and has led the company through more than three decades of growth. With about 400 employees, the company serves more than 12,000 customers in various industries. In 2015, Esri Canada became a Gold Standard winner of Canada’s Best Managed Companies and in 2016 was named one of Canada’s Most Admired Corporate Cultures.

Mr. Miller has long supported the Canadian technology sector and a wide variety of technology-based businesses, startups and nonprofits. As a thought leader in the world of location analytics, he has delivered many keynote speeches and presentations at international and local conferences. He has often consulted with industries and the Government of Canada, on how location analytics can help them cope with the fast-paced nature of change currently disrupting their environments. He was a member of the Open Government Advisory Panel and recently has been advising on the creation of the Federal Geospatial Platform, being used by government ministries.

Mr. Miller holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Surveying Engineering from the University of New Brunswick. An outdoor enthusiast, he enjoys skiing, cycling and photography.

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