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Mon, July 26, 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!

International Cyber Risk Expert

Isaac Ben-Israel to Address Inventures

Isaac Ben-Israel, renowned expert on artificial intelligence and cybersecurity, will be a featured keynote at Inventures. Professor Ben-Israel is an academic, military scientist and retired Israel Defense Forces Major General. He currently serves as Chairman of the Israeli Space Agency.

A pioneer in the field of cybersecurity, Professor Ben-Israel has spearheaded his country’s leading role in next-gen technology and national security. He will take centre stage on September 23 for a lunch hour conversation with Deborah Yedlin, Chancellor of the University of Calgary, President and CEO of the Calgary Chamber of Commerce, and noted journalist.

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Neuroscientist Tali Sharot Announced as Opening Keynote

Tali Sharot, author of The Optimism Bias and The Influential Mind will be the opening keynote speaker at Inventures 2021. Sharot is a leading expert on decision-making and emotion. Her insights have helped organizations induce behavioural change, create effective decision-making policies, and shift hard-held beliefs. Sharot’s work mixes behavioural economics, psychology and neuroscience to great effect.

Learn More About Her Work

Keynote Speaker – Scott Harrison

Scott Harrison, founder and CEO of charity: water, left his life as a nightclub promoter in New York City and signed up for volunteer service with a humanitarian organization offering free medical care to the world’s poorest nations. Astonished by the conditions in his new surroundings, Harrison founded the non-profit organization charity:water, which uses public installations and innovative online fundraising platforms to fund over 22,000 water projects in 24 countries. He believes that a combination of innovation, motivation and radical transparency is key to inspiring generosity. In this visual keynote, Harrison tells the full story of how he transformed himself from a nightclub promoter into a successful philanthropist, and how his innovative value-driven movement changed the non-profit world.

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Inventures 2021 Speakers

Eli Velasquez

Eli is co-founder of the Investors of Color Network, a U.S. network of Black and Latinx accredited investors focused on closing the racial funding gap in early-stage capital.

Ethy Levy

Ethy is the Co-Founder of the Bridge Hub, based in Wagga Wagga and Israel, a global agrifood tech innovation hub helping entrepreneurs and researchers validate and commercialize their technologies globally. Through their extensive networks in Australia, Latin America and Israel, they accelerate the commercialization of agrifood tech research and startups. Ethy has been involved in the tech and innovation space for almost 20 years both in Israel and overseas. Ethy was also posted in Australia for five years as Israel's Trade Commissioner.

Ibrahim Gedeon

Ibrahim Gedeon is one of the telecommunications industry’s eminent thought leaders. By combining insight and skill as an applied scientist with a lighthearted approach to leadership he is now Chief Technology Officer for TELUS, where he is responsible for all technology development and strategy.

Leigh-Ann Buchanan

Leigh-Ann A. Buchanan, Esq. is a writer, strategist, and a facilitator. She supports leaders and communities bridge systemic gaps in access, inclusion, opportunity and racial equity, with a focus on technology, innovation and entrepreneurial ecosystems. She has advised and provided technical support to innovation and technology leaders at Fortune 500 companies including Google, Facebook, Delta, P&G Ventures, AirBnB, HSBC and UBS.Leigh-Ann currently serves as the President of aīre ventures and is the Founder of Nyah Project. She has launched ventures from concept to scale and raised seven figure philanthropic investments.

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.

Christine Goudie

Co-Founder + CEO of Granville Biomedical - specializing in the design of women’s health anatomical simulation models to enhance healthcare training, advance patient education, and innovate device demonstration.

Charles Nan Kwarteng

Charles is a resourceful impact founder with 5+ years of diverse experience in emerging environments. He is building an interactive platform that helps farmers realize instant earnings from regenerative agriculture.

Jim Gibson

I am an entrepreneur, venture capitalist, educator and change maker thrilled to be at the core of the transformation of our city and the world. Published author of Tip of the Spear and an active speaker.



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.

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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