Speakers - Inventures

Adam Chambers

Adam Chambers is the head of technology at Digital Surgeons, a consultancy that accelerates business growth through experience design, creative marketing, and digital business model innovation. Put simply, we design demand through digital experiences.

Alan Bernstein

Alan Bernstein has been President & CEO of CIFAR since 2012, responsible for developing and leading the institute’s overall strategic direction. He is one of Canada’s leading scientists and was an early champion of women in science and young scientists.

Alec Fischer

Alec Fischer is an award-winning content creator based in Minneapolis. As a Dalai Lama Fellow and founder of Fischr Media, he aims to use storytelling as a catalyst for change.

Alex Cohen

Alex Cohen is the founder of TwentyTables, an award winning social enterprise solution for tokenized commerce within discrete, customizable micro-markets. In 2019, TwentyTables received SXSW Pitch's coveted "Best Bootstrap Award", and in 2020 TwentyTables was again recognized on the national stage when it received the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation's "Best Corporate Steward Award."

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.

Alice Reimer

Alice Reimer is a successful technology entrepreneur and dedicated community leader and mentor.Currently, the CEO of Fillip, a start-up innovating in the fuel and convenience industry and the Site Lead of Creative Destruction Lab Rockies.Alice is a co-founder and director of The51, a financial platform for democratized access to female capital for female led businesses, serves on the board of Opportunity Calgary Investment Fund, Syantra Diagnostics Inc. and is the former Board Chair of Startup Calgary and The A100.

Alina Turner

Dr. Alina Turner is the Co-President & Co-Founder of HelpSeeker, a social enterprise harnessing tech innovation for the greater social good. She is recognized as a leading researcher and thinker on social issues with proven implementation results.

Alison Sunstrum

Serial entrepreneur and angel investor finding and creating sustainable solutions that improve agriculture’sprofitability, animal welfare and the environment. A passionate advocate for advancing women in STEM andAgriculture.

Alison Thompson

Alison Thompson has stood on both sides of what sometimes seems like a deep divide between renewable and fossil energy production. As a geothermal policy alchemist, Canadian projects are accelerating.

Aliza Seeber

Chief Solution Architect and Co-CEO at SparkOrange, a Salesforce Silver Strategic Implementation Partner. Passionate about advocacy, working with non-profits, and Women in Technology initiatives.

Andrew Hyde

With a passion for community, Andrew has been on the cutting edge of entrepreneurial movements around the world. He lives in Boulder, Colorado.

Angela Kouris

A galvanizing force between team members, stakeholders and mentors, Angela Kouris draws on over fifteen years of collaborative, international work and research experience to actualize Synergia Biotech’s technology commercialization.

Anoush Poursartip

Anoush Poursartip is Director of the Composites Research Network at UBC, and Co-Director of the Composites Knowledge Network, a Canada Networks of Centres of Excellence – NCE.

Apoorv Sinha

Apoorv is a co-founder and CEO of Carbon Upcycling Technologies (CUT), a Carbon Tech company commercializing a process to convert CO2 emissions into performance enhancing fillers for concrete, plastics, pharmaceuticals, and batteries.

Bindi Karia

Bindi is incredibly passionate about all things startup in Europe and connecting the dots between Investors, Founders, Corporates and Government, and as a result, has worked in and around technology startups for most of her career. As a Consultant (PwC Consulting), as a Corporate (Microsoft BizSpark /Ventures), as a Startup employee (Trayport), as an Advisor (Startup Europe, TechStars Startup Weekend, Tech London Advocates, European Innovation Council, WEF), as a Connector (GQ UK, the IoD and Evening Standard have all recognized this) and as their Banker (Silicon Valley Bank). She is deeply inspired by entrepreneurship and is the founder of a Boutique Advisory Firm, bindi ventures, focused on advising and connecting across four core Innovation pillars (Corporate, Startup, VC Managing Partners, Government) for commercial success.

Callie Chamberlain

Callie Chamberlain is committed to health, health care, and well-being for all. She is a community builder with a belief in the power of intercultural, inter-religious dialogue.

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.

Charlton Cunningham

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

Chris Burkmon

Confident, enthusiastic, and energetic clinical researcher and healthcare professional with 10+ years of cumulative clinical, research, project management, and clinical trials experience. With a hope to bring diversity and inclusion to the clinical trials space to create a healthier future for all.

Chris McCarthy

As a “change rebel for good”, Chris lives at the intersection of strategy and design to explore/imagine novel ideas to improve the health & happiness of fellow humans.

Chris Shipley

Chris Shipley is the author of The Adaptation Advantage and partner at CR Strategy Partners collaborating with companies to develop and implement digital transformation strategies at startup speed.

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.

Christine Somerville

Christine started her career as an engineer in the energy sector. Pivoting through an MBA at UBC, she now works with startups, specifically focused on venture financing.

Damon King

My passion lies at the intersection of co-creation and innovation. Futurism, cultural dexterity, and an experience lens define my unorthodox approach to strategizing, directing creative projects, and designing for humans.

David Knight Legg

A proven leader in foreign investment and international trade, David brings more than 20 years’ of experience in the private and public sector to his role as the inaugural CEO of the Invest Alberta Corporation

Deborah Yeldin

"Deborah Yedlin was appointed President and CEO of the Calgary Chamber of Commerce effective July 5th, 2021. She takes on the role of stewarding the 130 year old organization in addition to her current responsibilities as the University of Calgary’s 14th Chancellor. Deborah comes to her current position with a resume that includes working on Wall Street and Bay Street, and more than two decades covering and commenting on the nexus of business and politics for a wide array of news media outlets in Canada. Since moving to Calgary in 1992, Deborah has been very active in the Calgary community, serving on the boards of a number of arts and community organizations and is currently a director on the boards of the Canada West Foundation and Library and Archives Canada. She is also one of three co-chairs for the $250 mm Calgary Cancer Centre fundraising campaign."

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.

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.

Elizabeth Coker

Dr. Coker obtained her first degree in Computer Science from the University of Jos in Nigeria. She then went on to complete her Masters Degree in HC Organizational Management, as well as her PhD in Business Administration, at Cyprus International University. Dr. Coker research focus is on population and organizational human resources - specializing on healthy and safe workplace. Her future research interests include developing a healthy working population in Alberta; focusing on mental health and other correlated variables. She has presented her research findings at several conferences, and has publications in peer-reviewed journals, social science citation index journals, and IEEE.

Emmanuel Adegboye

Emmanuel is the managing partner of Utopia Lagos and is leading Utopia's emerging efforts across Africa. Utopia is an urban innovation group that aims to build the urban ecosystem for emerging cities and their slums across Asia, Africa and Latin America.

Erin Houston

Erin co-founded wearwell after working for a media platform that serves the global development community, where she had the opportunity to build and lead their partnerships division. During that same time in her life, she earned her Masters in Social Enterprise and focused on sustainable supply chains in the fashion industry. She loves the work she does at wearwell because a more sustainable fashion industry has the power to positively impact the lives of so many. Other things she loves: daily yoga, the Trader Joe’s cheese aisle, reading, hot cocoa, and her pup, Ruby.

Erin Lamberty

Erin Lamberty is a Director of Strategy at The Design Gym where she leads innovation programs that unlock creative potential in people and teams. She lives in Boulder, CO.

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.

Ginna Baik

Ginna Baik is CDW’s Senior Care and Aging Technology Strategist. She serves as a trusted advisor to Senior care organizations to best care for their residents and differentiate themselves with the use of technology.

Gwynn Sturdevant

Dr gwynn sturdevant is interested in delivering data differently. Currently, many data visualizations are not accessible to the multitudes of visually impaired throughout the world or to those that lack education. I am interested in developing methods that can communicate basic data to anyone regardless of ability and education.

Helena Acheson

How to achieve impact from public investment in research and innovation? How to measure and demonstrate that impact? How to ensure that the different actors, including firms, are optimally inter-connected in a national innovation system and, are both outward and forward looking and robust in the face of uncertain futures? Such questions have been the leitmotif for Helena’s work over the last 25 years.

Hermes Huang

Hermes Huang is a Bangkok-based, purpose-driven entrepreneur, design thinking expert, and researcher. He is a co-founder and managing partner at InsightPact and Viajai Learning Studios.

Hussam Tungekar

Hussam Tungekar is the team lead for Futurpreneur Canada’s Alberta team. He has a passion for nurturing economic empowerment in our community. His experience is centered around communication strategy and organizational governance in both corporate and non-profit organizations. Hussam loves working with startups; observing and learning in an ever evolving business landscape.

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.

Janelle Smiley

Professional Ski Mountaineering Athlete-6x National Ski Mountaineering Champion-World Record Speed Traverse across the entire Alps range in 36 consecutive days-Many First Female Ski Descents-Mother of two-Mindset Performance Coach

Jeanine Vany

Jeanine Vany is an APEGA registered professional geologist with a career spanning 20 years in the oil and gas / geothermal industries. Her experience ranges from reservoir characterization, drilling and operations to full field delineation strategies and acquisition.

Jeremy Jensen

Jeremy Jensen is an entrepreneur, speaker, and mountain sports athlete - passionate about helping people lead authentic and intentional lives, rich with experiences that make them feel alive! His interests lie at the intersection of flow science, lifestyle design, and action/adventure sports.

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.

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.

Joseph Lewis

Joseph Lewis is a leader with diverse corporate and not-for-profit experience who has risen above personal and professional challenges in developing and implementing sustainable diversity and inclusion initiatives.

Josh Chapman

Josh Chapman is an operator who has worked in a variety of fields during his 25-year career. Dating back to his time at Allianz Global Assistance, his passion is to help transform industries by moving offline activities online. In his current role as the COO of Landscape Hub, Josh is hoping to do just that for landscapers and landscape supply companies.

Katy Jeremy

Co-Founder & Partner at 2C, a global indie network powering the future of work. Previously: NASA & co-founder of re:3D to tackle human-scale 3D printing. Designer & entrepreneurship advocate.

Kaveh Sadeghian

Kaveh develops and facilitates transformative educational experiences using trauma-informed, anti-oppressive, and equity-centered pedagogies. He co-founded University of Pennsylvania’s Center for Social Impact Strategy, where he still serves as an Adjunct Professor. Today, Kaveh leads undergraduate course strategy at 2U and continues to develop programming for several high-impact organizations, including the Obama Foundation and the Aspen Institute. Through his work, Kaveh has trained over 6,000 impact-driven leaders, and the online programs he’s designed have reached over 150,000 learners to date.

Kristina Williams

Kristina is the President and CEO of Alberta Enterprise Corporation and oversees the management of the Alberta Enterprise Fund with its 21 venture capital fund investments and the underlying portfolio of more than 200 technology companies.

Laura Netz

Creative Strategist | Strategic Creative

Lauren Mundell

I am the CEO and Founder of cannabis tech start-up Hi-Curious. Hi-Curious enables digital business for content creators and cannabis entrepreneurs.

Lauren Schmeisser

Dr. Schmeisser is a scientist with expertise in environmental challenges, and a passion for understanding climate change. She solves complex systemic problems with a spectrum of tools and interdisciplinary teamwork.

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.

Laura Kilcrease

As CEO of Alberta Innovates, including its subsidiaries InnoTech Alberta and C-FER Technologies, Laura Kilcrease brings 25+ years of experience commercializing technology to forge an innovative, healthy, sustainable and prosperous future for Albertans.

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.

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

Mark Gustowski

Mark Gustowski, Managing Director, is an experienced investment executive and has worked with innovative, fast-growth businesses for over 20 years.

Mary Haynes

"Mary Haynes, RN, MS, MSN, CNHA President and CEO of Nazareth Home in Louisville, Kentucky, since 2011, Ms Haynes is an active advocate for innovation in long term care and began Kentucky’s first dementia support properties. The two Nazareth Homes are each 5 Star skilled nursing home ranked among the nation’s top 10% of communities. Haynes is a founder of the Louisville Value Network and the Innovators Alliance serving on the initial board of the Thrive Center, an innovation hub. A frequent thought leader presenter and a Louisville Business First ‘leader to watch,” Haynes most recent frontier is the promotion of a better understanding of palliative care."

Matt Anderson-Baron

Matt is a cofounder and the CEO of Future Fields, a biotechnology company developing cost-effective and scalable growth factor solutions for the cellular agriculture industry.

Matt Kesinger

Ambulance medic turned medical researcher and then entrepreneur - As CEO of Forest Devices, he had led the company from the first product conception in 2015 to pivotal trial in Alberta

Melissa Allen

"With an award-winning career in wealth management, Melissa Allen began her professional career as a digital marketing expert, first interning at Foreign Affairs Canada in Paris, France, and then working with major technology brands, such as Torstar Digital and Google. In 2018, Melissa graduated from the Female Funder’s Angel Academy accelerator program. After becoming a first-time VC investor and Limited Partner in 2019, Melissa began lending her expertise as an advisor to FinTech startups."

Newsha Ghaeli

Newsha Ghaeli is President and Cofounder of Biobot Analytics, the first company in the world bringing wastewater epidemiology to market. Biobot’s customers include federal, state, and local governments, Fortune 100 companies, and International Aid Organizations. In North America alone, Biobot has worked with over 500 communities generating data to help better track and manage COVID-19.

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.

Paolo Bomben

Paolo is a formally trained PhD chemist with previous experience in consulting, a materials start-up company and now at Alberta Innovates as a co-lead of the Bitumen Beyond Combustion portfolio.

Patrick Lor

Patrick Lor is a managing partner at Panache Ventures, a seed-stage venture capital firm that will invest in over 100 Canadian startups over the next 3 years.

Peter Riddles

With 25 years of international experience in research, innovation and industry, Peter applies a unique understanding of regions and enterprises in delivering widespread benefits arising through science and technology.

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.

Reilly Flynn

Reilly is a Founding and Managing Partner of GAN Ventures, an early stage VC fund that invests in startups in and around the GAN, a global community of founders, accelerators, startup studios, and corporate partners. The GAN community graduates ~1500 startups each year from over over 120 independent accelerators, many of which are not in cities typically deemed to be tech hubs. GAN Ventures is built to provide catalytic capital for these everywhere else founders.

Robert Saik

A lifetime entrepreneur, Robert has been sought for his agriculture expertise from the likes of Bill Gates, Nigeria’s Minister of Agriculture, The International Fertilizer Association and most recently the UN_FAO Committee on World Food Security. A sought after keynote and author of “FOOD 5.0 How We Feed The Future”, Robert has leveraged his passion for innovation to found and lead many organizations in the areas of farming, ag retail, fertilizer manufacturing and distribution, consulting, precision agriculture, data management, and robotics. As Founder of Agri-Trend/Agri-Data (now Trimble) and as CEO of DOT Technology Corp (now Raven), Robert has a unique ability to identify and address “white space” he sees in the agricultural sector. Now, as Founder & CEO of AGvisorPRO, his team is creating a global connectivity channel to increase agriculture sustainability, farm profitability and enhance global food security.

Ryan Michaluk

Ryan Michaluk brings over 30 years of accounting and finance experience, including 10 years as CFO of publicly traded companies. Ryan is a Chartered Professional Accountant and holds a bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Saskatchewan

Scott Resnick

Scott is a serial entrepreneur and serves as the Entrepreneur in Residence of StartingBlock, a startup hub in Madison, Wisconsin. He previously held elected office and co-founded Hardin Design & Development.

Scott Collier

Scott leads the venture investing and in-store partnerships team for Whole Foods Market, leveraging 20+ years of enterprise formation and growth, and a love for the entrepreneurial quest to nurture people and the planet.

Seyi Famuyiwa

Seyi is a model, speaker, and content creator and behind The Daily Seyi, a lifestyle, style, and beauty brand focused on encouraging the black millennial woman to live their absolute best life in all areas. She graduated from American University with her Masters of Business Administration degree in 2016 and has significant knowledge in the digital and social media marketing space.

Shawna Butler

As the Managing Director of the Exponential Medicine Conference, Shawna works with the pioneers integrating robotics, 3D printing, drones, AI, blended reality, voice recognition, digital humans, big data and sensors into our health solutions and lifestyles. Her various roles have taken her across the world and given her an unusually broad understanding of the impact technology and policy have on health systems, professionals, and populations. Butler is the energy behind the global EntrepreNURSE movement and host of SEE YOU NOW, a podcast project of Johnson & Johnson and the American Nurses Association, highlighting nurses as drivers of health innovation.

Shelley Kuipers

Shelley Kuipers is building the world she wants to live in. As an activist in business, entrepreneurship and investment, Shelley is hellbent on taking the status quo, and transforming to more equitable, feminist, corporately sound and ecologically sustainable options.

Sheri Rose

Sheri Rose is the CEO of the Thrive Center, a nonprofit innovation center focused on wellness and aging. Sheri previously held positions with AT&T, as Director of Sales & Regulatory. She serves on the Board of New Directions Housing Authority. She was named by Louisville Business First as “Top 20 People to Know in Aging” and was recognized by HealthTech Magazine as one of women to know in health IT. Sheri holds a B.A and M.Ed. in Psychology from the University of Louisville.

Shizu Okusa

Shizu is the Founder & CEO of Apothékary, a plant-based farmacy that offers natural alternatives to drugs and OTC beauty products. Previously, she was the Founder & CEO of JRINK, a cold-pressed juice brand that she exited in 2019 and before that at Goldman Sachs.

Sigalit Kilmovsky

Sigalit is a General Partner at Grove Ventures, an Israeli early-stage VC focused on deep-tech investments. Sigalit has over 20 years of global experience in setting the foundation for start-ups and transforming them to large and successful companies. Experience covers all corporate aspects including operations, customer services, technology infrastructure, business systems, marketing and BD. Sigalit holds a Bachelor of Economics and Management (BSc) from the Technion, Israel Institute of Technology, in Haifa.

Sweta Chakraborty

Behavioral scientist known for communicating clear, credible, and timely science; TV news contributor on global risks ranging from climate change to COVID-19; correspondent for multiple publications; book author

Tim Falls

Entrepreneur and community-builder working for climate justice with a special focus on water conservation and protection.

Troy Vosseller

Troy is the Co-Founder of gener8tor. gener8tor’s turnkey platform for the creative economy connects startup founders, musicians, artists, investors, universities and corporations. The gener8tor platform includes pre-accelerators, accelerators, corporate programming, conferences and fellowships. gener8tor operates more than 40 accelerators annually across North America, working with more than 200 startups per year.

Twaslima Bigirwa

Twasiima is a feminist writer, lawyer and activist working to shift public perception of minoritized people in Uganda. She has an LL.B. from Makerere University and an LL.M. from Georgetown University – Law Center.

Tzipi Avioz

Tzipi Avioz, the EVP of Customer Success at Mirakl, has over 20 years of experience in executing large digital transformation programs and data analytics digital-customer focused in retail and financial services.

Vanessa White

Vanessa is the Director, Renewable and Alternative Energy in the Clean Resources Division at Alberta Innovates; where she builds on her practical energy experience and contributes her positive energy to the innovation ecosystem.

Vivek Soni

Early-stage investor and board member, Vivek Soni manages TiE Boston Angels, an active investment group that invests in emerging technology businesses. He is advisor to numerous startups and is deeply engaged in Boston's entrepreneurial community.

Warmite Muthara

Wamite is a digital transformation consultant, founder & podcast host of Career Safari. She brought together a global community to share career stories, guidance and coaching to multicultural.

Yohana Tesfamariam Tekeste

Yohana Tesfamariam Tekeste is from Eritrea has a Masters in Biotechnology from Columbia University. She is currently working at the International Research Institute for Climate and Society. She is focusing on weather-based index insurance, particularly on tool developments empowering stakeholders and decision-makers with climate information.

Yina Chan

Yina is a Principal at Saltagen Ventures and led early-stage deals internationally (Europe, Australia, North America and Asia). She specialised in cross-border financing structuring and localizing operation in Asia.

Zac Cogley

Zac Cogley is Director of Customer Success at Balto Software, the leader in real-time guidance for contact centers powered by AI.

Zachary David

Data science, algorithmic trading, agent-based modeling