Canada’s global conference on scaleup ecosystems.

February 20-22, 2019

Lazaridis Hall, Waterloo


What is DRIVE?

DRIVE is Canada’s global conference on scaleup ecosystems. In its inaugural year, DRIVE poses the question of how to create domestic value in a global tech economy.

DRIVE will bring together thought leaders from around the globe — policy-makers, researchers, accelerators and successful tech CEOs — to compare best practices and highlight bold ideas.

DRIVE is not just a collection of talking heads: DRIVE is data-driven, providing participants with the evidence they need to make better decisions. DRIVE will make a permanent contribution to the study of scaleup ecosystems by releasing research, data and tools that will live beyond the conference.


A global audience.

Attending and speaking at DRIVE will be individuals who are creating value in their regional tech ecosystems. DRIVE 2019 will host thought-leaders from all around the world, including:

  • Canada

  • United States

  • Norway

  • Sweden

  • Denmark

  • Finland

  • Iceland

  • Nigeria

  • Kenya

  • France

  • Israel

  • Ireland

  • South Korea

  • England

  • Taiwan


Featured 2019 speakers.

DRIVE’s keynote speakers.


Richard Florida

Thought-leader, author and senior editor at The Atlantic


Catherine Mahugu

ICT4D specialist, Forbes & BBC top entrepreneur and founder at CHISWARA & SOKO


Daniel Isenberg

Investor, author and professor at Babson College


Deena Shakir

Advisory board member at TechWadi & partner at GV


Joanna Rees

Managing Partner, West


Spotlight speakers.


Eilif Trondsen, Ph.D.

Digital education and learning economist at Strategic Business Insights and Silicon Vikings


Dickson Nsofor

CEO and founder at Kora - Nigeria


Anna-Maija Sunnanmark

Senior innovation adviser at Nordic Innovation - Norway


Menno Van Dijk

Founder at ScaleupNation - the Netherlands


Jim Valerio

Director, research & BDC policy, small business branch at Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada/ Government of Canada


Irene Graham

CEO of ScaleUp Institute - United Kingdom


Bryan Uyanwune

CIO and co-founder at Kora - Nigeria


Featured 2019 sponsors.


Featured 2019 media partners.

Lazaridis Hall (19).jpg
Waterloo’s reputation as a tech hub continues to expand. DRIVE will enable us to share our ecosystem’s energy and vision with global players — international hubs, founders and policy-makers — and to learn from their diverse perspectives on growth.

Managing Director Lazaridis Institute for the Management of Technology Enterprises
Co-Chair of DRIVE

DRIVE is where data, policy and practice meet in the world of scaleup ecosystems. We’re bringing together leaders from global accelerators, policy-makers, academics, funders and founders to challenge each other and present bold new ideas on building scaleups.

Founder and CEO of Hockeystick
Co-Chair of DRIVE


We can’t wait to see you there.


Interested in becoming a sponsor?