Building the Canadian Dream

Opening Remarks and Keynote

To better understand the power of a clearly defined Canadian Dream, I would like to share research on a related concept called Founder Centrism – which crystalized after spending the day with Warren Buffett, the original founder centric investor. And this journey begins in 2008 at the Ivey Business School.

Founder centrism is an ownership structure in which the founders, many of you, remain in control of the company's vision and operations... long after it reaches unicorn status... goes public, and grows globally.

And it's a simple and useful way of referring to a complex economic discovery... 


Building Canada's Global Brand

Panel #1 Discussion

Amanda Lang Business Journalist – BNN Bloomberg (Moderator)

Nicholas Rémillard President and CEO – International Economic Forum of the Americas
Michelle Holland Toronto City Councillor – Advocate for Innovation Economy
Ben Zifkin Founder and CEO – Hubba
Darin Graham Industry Innovation – Vector Institute


Introductory Remarks on Canada's Brand


Foreign Direct Investment

Role of Government


Questions from the Audience


Building Global Companies in Canada

Introductory Remarks & Advice

panel #2 discussion

Heather Scoffield Ottawa Bureau Chief, The Canadian Press (Moderator)

Stephanie Choo Managing Partner – Portag3
Robert Antoniades General Partner – Information Venture Partners
Alyssa Furtado Co-founder – Ratehub
Peter Misek Partner – BDC IT Venture Fund
Bilal Khan CEO – OneEleven


Do Canadian Companies Sell to Soon?

Accessing Capital & Recruiting Global Talent

How Can We Expand Access to Risk Capital in Canada?

Streamlining Regulation of Financial Technology

Questions from the Audience

Does Canada Have the Talent Pool to Scale Globally?

Training and Hiring Talent

What is the Role of Government in the Ecosystem?

Government Funding for Women-Led Ventures


Building Companies with Global Impact

Introductory Remarks

Panel #3 Discussion

Claudio Rojas Director – Ivey Venture Forum (Moderator)

Bernard Lebelle National Innovation Director - Deloitte Canada
Sarah Ryerson Head of Industry, Financial Services - Google Canada
Heather Payne Founder, HackerYou and Ladies Learning Code
Sunil Sharma Managing Director, Techstars Canada
Matthieu Cardinal Vice President, Finance Montréal 


Culture in Founder-Run Companies

Founders in Global Companies


Founder Institute

Canada's Advantages

Funding Bias Towards Early Commercialization?

Leveraging Bilingualism to Grow Globally


Are Canadian Cities Collaborating?

Innovation in Global Companies


Managing Failure in Large Public Companies

Actionable Steps to Advance Diversity

Defining the Canadian Dream

Canada's FinTech Advantages

Pushing Diversity Further

Audience Question – Building World Class Cities


Audience Question – Valuations too High?

Audience Question – Innovating Canada's School System

Audience Question – Gender Diversity and Risk Training

Closing Remarks

Our mission tonight was to start a conversation that would turn into a movement on defining and building the Canadian Dream. 

By bringing together starts-ups, scale-ups, investors, corporate partners, government officials, and other key stakeholders - we hope that tonight's dialogue has provoked some thought… and we hope you will continue the conversation and turn it into action in the coming days and years.

Special thanks to our sponsors