The Canadian Consulate General’s office will provide a market overview and discuss USMCA from Canada’s perspective. A panel of experts will then present insights and emerging trends specific to Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver. There will also be time for participants to engage and ask questions.
Emily King is the Senior Investor Services Advisor for the US at Invest In Canada, where she works with key investors to expand their businesses across Canada. Previously, Emily spent 18 years at Global Affairs Canada where she filled diplomatic and trade roles in a diverse range of assignments in Saudi Arabia, New York, Syria, and Jordan. Emily also worked in Canada’s delegation to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation organization and helped grow Atlantic Canada’s aerospace and defence sector. She is a mom of three and is both an avid gardener and passionate about tech; she is currently able to enjoy these interests as she works with investors from across the US while teleworking from her home in rural Nova Scotia.
Michael Keoshkerian is a Senior Advisor with Toronto Global, a non-profit investment attraction agency representing the City of Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area. In partnership with the Canadian Trade Commissioner Service, Michael’s mission is to support Utah-based companies exploring expansion to the Toronto region. Prior to Toronto Global, Michael enjoyed a career with Ryerson University supporting research partnerships between industry and academia, as well several years with the Ontario Public Service leading public policy on a range of matters. While living in the urban setting of the largest city in Canada, Michael enjoys being outdoors as much as possible (even during the winter) and wishes Toronto had a landscape as breathtaking as Utah!
Mark Maclean is the Senior Director of Business Development for the Americas, Asia and Entrepreneurship at Montréal International. His role is to promote the Montréal business environment, supporting companies as they launch or expand in Greater Montréal. Since joining Montréal International in 2016, Mark has worked closely on multiple international expansions, including Microsoft, Google, and Facebook AI Research—in addition to supporting startups establish a presence in Montréal. Previously, Mark was a senior manager at EY in the tax incentive group for small to medium companies, with a focus on tech startups. He is a volunteer and mentor at the Foundation Montréal inc. and actively participates in mentoring events at Concordia University. He graduated from the Concordia University with a Bachelor of Science in Biology and holds an MBA from the John Molson School of Business.
Peter Wright is the Business Development Officer for Vancouver. Peter has over a decade of experience in strategy, client relationship management, and economic development, as well as graduate degrees from both SFU and UBC. In his role as Business Development Officer, Peter provides on-going direction, support, intelligence, and analysis for Foreign Direct Investment Leads. Much of his work with the VEC concerns attracting and assisting international companies as they consider the Vancouver market. As such, he has worked extensively with all levels of government and the private sector, often partnering with other Metro Vancouver economic development agencies on joint presentations, value propositions and information sharing. Peter plays a key strategic and collaborative role both internally within the VEC, as well as externally with partners in the public, not-for profit, private, and academic sectors, both nationally and internationally. He has been chiefly responsible for producing many FDI proposals that have led to jobs being created and money being invested in Vancouver, including Fujitsu, Maple Leaf Education, Class Method, CoMedia, F-Com, and Zhiye.
Life Sciences Breakout Session
Liran Belenzon is the CEO of BenchSci, a biomedical artificial intelligence company he co-founded in 2016. BenchSci’s mission is to exponentially increase the speed and quality of life-saving research, by empowering scientists to design more successful experiments. BenchSci has grown to an over 100-person strong organization that has raised more than $59 million from top investors, including Google’s Gradient Ventures and F-Prime, and works with 15 of the world’s top 20 pharma companies, over 4,300 academic institutions, and more than 40,000 scientists. As CEO, Liran strives to inspire people to be the best version of themselves and to make a positive impact on the world. Liran served as an army commander in the Israel Defense Forces for three years, before founding an e-commerce startup that would become the leading B2B marketplace in Israel by 2015. He then emigrated to Toronto, Canada, and completed his MBA at The University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management. While at Rotman, he worked in the Creative Destruction Lab (CDL), where he met BenchSci co-founders Tom Leung, David Chen, and Elvis Wianda. As a passionate entrepreneur, Liran envisions a future where Toronto and Canada are global leaders in entrepreneurship.
Shane Russell is the Director of Health Systems Strategies & Government Affairs in Quebec. Shane Russell is a very passionate and seasoned executive with over 15 years of experience within the healthcare industry. Having joined Medtronic Canada in 2007, Shane establishes and manages key executive relationships with various stakeholders throughout the healthcare industry and government, while also leading the execution of Medtronic’s value-based healthcare strategy by identifying how Medtronic’s entire portfolio of technologies, as well as services and solutions, may be applied to improve patient outcomes, decrease healthcare utilization costs, and increase provider care delivery efficiencies. Shane’s passion centers on not simply bringing technologies (as well as services and solutions) to market, but also ensuring their successful implementation and utilization to the benefit of the entire healthcare system, including patients. Aside from his Medtronic functions, Shane also plays a very active role within MEDEC, the national association representing Canada’s innovative medical technology industry. Shane is currently starting a new mandate as president of MEDEC Quebec’s public affairs committee, while also serving on its executive committee. As part of his dual roles with Medtronic and MEDEC, he regularly interacts with government on policy issues affecting the company and industry. Shane holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration, and has completed targeted executive programs from Harvard Business School and The Wharton
School of Business.
Maryam Sadeghi is the CEO and Co-Founder of MetaOptima. In 2012, she co-founded MetaOptima Technology in Vancouver, Canada, where MoleScope and DermEngine were developed for intelligent skin analytics, imaging, and management. The company was one of ten that were shortlisted for the 2013 BCIC New Ventures Competition, and won a $40,000 Wavefront Wireless prize package. In 2014, Dr. Sadeghi also won the Venture Prize from Coast Capital Savings. From 2013-2015, Dr. Sadeghi was director of the Digital Health Hub (Innovation Boulevard), where she was actively involved in R&D and commercialization activities. She also worked closely with the Gerontology Research Center (GRC) at SFU on innovative health solutions for senior care and independent living. In 2016, Dr. Sadeghi made the Business In Vancouver’s Forty Under 40 Awards List for her innovative work and successful commercialization of DermEngine (an intelligent dermatology platform) and MoleScope (a mobile dermoscope). Recently, Maryam was appointed as a MITACS Research Council member, was credited as one of BC’s most influential women in BC Business Magazine, and her company was listed as a “Ready To Rocket” business in the area of digital health. Since its development, MetaOptima has become one of the fastest growing digital health technology companies in Canada, and continues to strive to empower physicians and patients for better care outcomes.
Advanced Manufacturing Breakout Session
Frantz Saintellemy is the President and Chief Operating Officer for LeddarTech. Engineer, innovator and internationally recognized expert in advanced technologies, Frantz has over 21 years of experience in the electronics and automotive sector, with specialized knowledge in automotive, autonomous driving, AI, IoT and automation applications, in addition to business and product development, applications engineering, global sales and marketing. A dedicated entrepreneur and philanthropist, he is also Co-founder of Groupe 3737, an incubator and innovation center that houses more than 30 companies and start-ups, in addition to offering a framework for ideation to revenue generation. Frantz joined LeddarTech in September 2017, having previously served as VP and General Manager of the Automotive and Industrial Division of Integrated Device Technology (Nasdaq: IDTI), a California-based company specializing in a broad array of complete mixed-signal solutions. Prior to IDT, Frantz was President and Executive VP of Global Sales and Marketing at ZMDI AG, a global supplier of MEMs-based sensor solutions for automotive and industrial applications, which was acquired by IDT in December 2015. Prior to ZMDI, Frantz was CTO and Corporate VP of Technical Marketing and Advanced Engineering Group at Future Electronics, a global distributor of semiconductors and passive, interconnect and electromechanical components. Throughout his career, Frantz has produced numerous patents and technical innovations. He also founded and co-founded many successful start-ups and corporations, the likes of which include SMGT Inc., Q-Links Home Automation, Groupe Reno-Metrix, Capital Plus and OMNI Global, and sits on several boards and advisory committees. Frantz holds degrees in electrical engineering, business and marketing, and is also a graduate of the MIT Sloan Engineering Fellows Program on Innovations and Global Leadership.
Mark Radford is Chief Operating Officer for LMI. As COO, Mr. Radford is responsible for overseeing LMI’s entire supply chain, as well as the Engineering and Quality functions. With LMI since 2006, he has held the roles of R&D Engineer, R&D Manager, Director of Technology, and Director of Operations. He was also part of the development team behind the original Gocator sensor, and has played a central role in defining how LMI’s core technology base is applied to new markets and applications. He is now focused on scaling LMI’s production levels and improving quality across all product lines. Mr. Radford holds a Bachelor of Applied Science in Engineering Physics from the University of British Columbia.
Jordan Robertson is the Vice-President of Business Development at Stackteck. Jordan Robertson is a professional engineer who holds a Bachelor of Engineering & Management, and he also holds an MBA degree specializing in marketing. For both degrees, he studied at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. He has been a member of the Plastics Industry Association’s Rigid Plastic Packaging Group (RPPG) Executive Committee since 2007, and a board member of the In Mold Decorating Association (IMDA) since 2005. Jordan has worked for two industry-leading suppliers of injection molding equipment over the last 28 years, both based in Ontario. He joined StackTeck in 2001, where he now works as Vice-President of Business Development and Marketing. His work has focused primarily on high volume injection molding systems for packaging and medical applications.
Jenny Hui,MBA, is the Global Customer Engagement Solutions Lead at Element AI. Jenny leads Element AI teams in building strategic plans development models to deliver AI and ML products and solutions to growing enterprise markets looking to integrate AI solutions into their supply chain, manufacturing, finance, and retail sectors. Ms. Hui holds an MBA degree from the Ivy Business School at Western University
Anand Medepalli, Ph.D., is the Head of Solutions at Element AI. Anand is responsible for leading industry product development efforts and to deliver AI solutions to the Supply Chain & Financial sectors. Dr. Medepalli holds a Ph.D. in Mathematics from Iowa State University.
Jason Tse is the Executive Director of the Maple Business Council- British Columbia Chapter. In his current role at HQ Vancouver, a public-private partnership, Jason works to promote the growth of head offices in BC. He works with a number of industries across various geographic segments but specializes in Southeast Asia, Europe, Japan, Hong Kong and the Americas. He is on secondment from the Vancouver Airport Authority. While at YVR, he worked in Corporate Finance, Simplified Passenger Travel, and most recently in Air Service Development developing YVR’s route network by attracting new carriers to the airport. Jason holds an MBA, a degree in Economics, the Canadian Investment Manager and the Chartered Financial Analyst designations and has held previous board positions with the Hong Kong Canada Business Association, Tourism Richmond, is presently on the Alumni Advisory Board with UBC. He has been a mentor for both the Faculty of Arts and Sauder School at UBC and coaches both football and baseball in the local community.
Tech and Entrepreneurship Breakout Session
Liette Lamonde is the executive director for technology accelerator Bonjour Startup Montreal. Liette’s first source of inspiration and energy comes from the entrepreneurs she has had the privilege to work with over the course of her career. Looking to make a positive impact, she has been evolving in philanthropy for the past 15 years as Executive Director of Fondation Montréal inc., a non-profit that catalyses the success of young, innovative and ambitious businesses through startup grants and access to a prestigious business network. In 2019, Liette co-founded Bonjour Startup Montréal, an organization whose mission is to help Montreal be the best place on earth to launch and grow a startup and to let the whole world know about it. Liette is a Chartered Professional Accountant who studied law, with a focus on international business. She started her career assisting entrepreneurs in their export ventures within the Government of Canada and later went on to become CEO of World Trade Centre Montreal.
Jason Goldlist is the co-founder of TechTO.org. Jason Goldlist has focused his career on helping companies grow. At Wealthsimple, Jason helped set strategic direction and lead major initiatives across all aspects of the business. He began his involvement with Wealthsimple as an early advisor to CEO and co-founder Mike Katchen prior to joining full-time as employee #10 and the first non-founder member of the leadership team. He has acted as Head of Marketing, launched Wealthsimple’s B2B offerings, and was the CEO of Canadian ShareOwner Investments, a 2015 acquisition, where he led a successful post-merger integration and built a high-performing technology and operations team to support its rapid scaling. Prior to Wealthsimple, Jason spent almost four years at A Place for Mom (APFM), a Warburg Pincus private-equity backed technology portfolio company in Seattle. At APFM, Jason first led sales agent efficiency projects before being promoted to lead strategy, where he was responsible for expanding the business to three new markets (Florida, Oklahoma, and Canada) and leading a complex B2B pricing initiative across thousands of institutions that created immense enterprise value. Jason started his career as a management consultant at McKinsey & Company where he worked on strategy and marketing projects, with a focus on mobile telecommunications in developing markets in sub-saharan Africa (Nigeria, Congo-B, Congo-DRC, Tanzania, and Zambia) working with big data analytics and leading international operations and growth teams. Jason is also a co-founder of TechToronto.org, an organization dedicated to fostering growth and community in the Canadian technology ecosystem. He is an active startup advisor and angel investor, and holds an MBA from INSEAD (France) and an undergraduate degree in philosophy from the Renaissance College at the University of New Brunswick (Fredericton).
Dean G. Prelazzi is the Vice President of AI & Quantum-Inspired Computing, Fujitsu. Dean is a versatile business and technology leader, innovationist, and market development expert who has worked at the leading edge of innovation for two decades in Canada and the U.S. in enterprise sales, marketing, product management, and startup incubation and acceleration. Currently immersed in two of the world’s most profound transformative technologies – artificial intelligence and quantum computing – Dean works with key stakeholders throughout Fujitsu’s global operations to accelerate Fujitsu’s AI and quantum-inspired Digital Annealer lines of business into international markets. In this role, Dean is regularly on the front lines with customers and partners driving digital transformation and technology adoption discussions. Previously, Dean was on the founding team of Canada’s Digital Technology Supercluster and served as an Executive in Residence with Bioenterprise Corporation – a Canadian agri-tech accelerator. Earlier at InnovateBC, he led development and was Managing Director of the BC Acceleration Network and Venture Acceleration Program. A pillar of British Columbia’s and Canada’s innovation ecosystem, it has served over 2000 startups in British Columbia and generated in excess of $150 million in angel and venture capital funding to client companies.