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Wednesday, February 20.


1:00 - 5:00 PM

Waterloo Region Tech & Innovation Ecosystem Tour. Brought to You by Waterloo EDC.

Tour Waterloo Region’s tech and innovation ecosystem with fellow #DRIVE19 attendees. Email to reserve your spot.

Download the full ecosystem tour agenda.


5:30 - 9:00 PM

Early Registration

Lazaridis Hall

Beat the lines and come to the registration booth early. Get all the information you’ll need for the next three days — and snag some #DRIVE19 swag.


6:00 - 9:00 PM

DRIVE IN Welcome Party

Lazaridis Hall

Kick things off with conversation, refreshments and the chance to explore your habitat for the next few days — the award-winning Lazaridis Hall.


6:30 - 7:00 PM

Deena Shakir Keynote

Lazaridis Hall

Deena Shakir is a Partner at Google Ventures; she also serves on the advisory board for TechWadi. With TechWadi, Deena works to build bridges between Silicon Valley and the MENA region. Join us as DRIVE opens with a spotlight on global and local innovation, with entrepreneurs outside Silicon Valley.

Learn more about Deena.

Deena Shakir (Advisory Board Member at TechWadi & Partner at GV - formally known as Google Ventures)
Introduced By:
Michelle Scarborough (Managing Director, Strategic Investments & Women in Tech, BDC Capital)


Thursday, February 21.

Attending the Tactics for Tech Scaling Track? Click here to view its full agenda.


8:00 AM - 5:15 PM

Registration Open

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Didn’t get a chance to register yesterday? Head to our registration booth to get your #DRIVE19 all-access pass and some take-home stuff.


8:00 - 8:45 AM


Lazaridis Hall

The most important meal of the day, especially when you’re going to be busy. And we know you’re going to be busy. Food, coffee, tea and new people to meet. And did we mention coffee?


8:45 - 9:00 AM

Welcome Remarks From DRIVE’s Co-Chairs

Lazaridis Hall

Co-chairs Raymond Luk (Founder and CEO, Hockeystick) and Kim Morouney (Managing Director, Lazaridis Institute) officially welcome you to #DRIVE19 and set the stage for our inaugural conference on scaleup ecosystems.



9:00 - 10:00 AM

Richard Florida Keynote

Lazaridis Hall

Through in-depth analysis, cutting-edge trends and compelling personal stories, renowned urban theorist Richard Florida will lay out his vision for the creative class and how they are helping to revolutionize this new global economy. Florida will share what has changed and what hasn’t since his groundbreaking novel The Rise of the Creative Class was first published 16 years ago.

Learn more about Richard.

Richard Florida (Thought-Leader, Author & Senior Editor at The Atlantic)
Introduced By:
Marnie Walker (Co-Founder, Maple Leaf Angels)



10:00 - 10:45 AM

Clusters and Superclusters: Examples From the Advanced Manufacturing Sector

Lazaridis Hall

The manufacturing sector has undergone an immense transformation. Hear how our speakers are managing the move from traditional modes to advanced manufacturing — and how this transition is revitalizing economies.

Shaun Stewart (CEO, New Lab)
Jayson Myers (CEO, Next Generation Manufacturing Canada)
Irene Sterian (President & CEO, ReMAP)
Moderated By:
Arthur Mesher (Advisor, Office of the CEO, SCALE AI)



10:45 - 11:15 AM

Networking Break

Lazaridis Hall

Take this time to catch up with the people you want to meet, grab a snack and hydrate.  


11:15 AM - 12:00 PM

Fireside Chat: Maria Gotsch and Iain Klugman

Lazaridis Hall

The Partnership for New York City is a nonprofit membership organization with nearly three hundred CEOs (“Partners”) from New York City’s top corporate, investment and entrepreneurial firms. Communitech is a public/private innovation hub that supports a community of more than 1400 companies, from startups and scaleups to global players. Both work closely with government, founders and other ecosystem players to create local value and global impact.  

Maria Gotsch (President & CEO, Partnership Fund for New York City)
Iain Klugman (President & CEO, Communitech)
Moderated By:
Chris Yeh (Partner at Global Scaling Academy & Co-Author, Blitzscaling)


Attending the Tactics for Tech Scaling Track? Click here to view its full agenda.


12:00 - 1:30 PM

Catherine Mahugu Lunch Keynote

Lazaridis Hall

Catherine Mahugu is the founder of Chiswara, an e-commerce platform that provides specialty, premium Kenyan coffee to the international market, and works in favour of rural Kenyan farmers. Catherine will talk about the role she continues to play in revolutionizing how money and goods are exchanged between developing world producers and global consumers.

Learn more about Catherine.

Catherine Mahugu (ICT4D Specialist, Forbes & BBC Top Entrepreneur, Founder at CHISWARA & SOKO)
Introduced By:
Candi Jeronimo (Public Relations Manager, Amazon Web Services)



1:30 - 2:15 PM

Innovators or Cookie Cutters: Do Accelerators Spur or Limit Growth?

Lazaridis Hall

Accelerators are popping up in cities across the globe, but shouldn’t we take some time to ask: What do companies actually get out of their time in an accelerator? Do accelerators play a critical role in the growth of a startup? Or do accelerators in fact curb growth and limit innovation by turning nascent companies into clones? Our panelists will argue opposite sides. Who’s got the data you find most convincing?

Johan Wiklund (Al Berg Chair & Professor, Syracuse University, Lazaridis Visiting Chair)
Menno Van Dijk (Founder & CEO, ScaleUpNation)
Moderated By:
Charles Plant (Senior Fellow, The Impact Centre, University of Toronto)



2:15 - 3:00 PM

Where’s the Boundary? National, Regional, and Municipal Scaleup Ecosystems

Lazaridis Hall

Where does one scaleup ecosystem end and another begin? Can ecosystems at different levels work in tandem to foster innovation while avoiding redundancy? These ecosystem leaders will share perspectives from the Netherlands, the UK and Chile.

Jörgen Sandig (Research Director, ScaleUpNation)
Josh Robson (Head of Public Affairs & External Relations, ScaleUp Institute)
Javier de la Maza Díaz (Seed Capital Executive, Corfo)
Moderated By:
Patrick White (Managing Director, L-Spark)



3:00 - 3:30 PM

Networking Break

Lazaridis Hall

Because nothing says 3:00 PM like coffee and snacks.


3:30 - 4:15 PM

Immigrating Talent: Policy, Process, Support

Lazaridis Hall

The tech economy depends on talent — and the competition for talent is fierce. How do you win the talent war? These speakers have worked on new policies, designed new processes and built new lives with an enlightened approach to immigration.

Ilya Brotzky (Founder & CEO, VanHack)
Andres Ivanov (DevOps Specialist, TextNow)
Moderated By:
Irene Katzela (Chief Architect & Co-Founder, Velocia)



4:15 - 5:00 PM

What’s Next: The Promise of Quantum Computing

Lazaridis Hall

We all know that quantum computing is the next big thing. But what exactly does it mean?  Luckily, Waterloo is home to two world-class organizations working on the answer: the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics, and the Institute for Quantum Computing. This session introduces you to some of the people who are building the future now.

Martin Laforest (Senior Product Manager & Quantum Technology Expert, ISARA Corporation)
John Donohue (Scientific Outreach Manager, Institute for Quantum Computing)
Damian Pope (Senior Manager of Scientific Outreach, Perimeter Institute)
Shohini Ghose (Professor, Physics & Computer Science, Wilfrid Laurier University)



5:00 - 5:45 PM

Public, Private, Profit: Perspectives on Capital

Lazaridis Hall

Take a closer look at the different types of capital in scaleup ecosystems. With the economy expected to slow down in the next few years, get insight on how startups can weather the economic storm and continue to scale.

Darrell Pinto (COO, CVCA)
Natalie Fratto (VP, Early Stage Practice & Canadian Expansion, Silicon Valley Bank)
Jim Valerio (Director, Research & BDC Policy, Small Business Branch, Innovation, Science & Economic Development Canada)
Moderated By:
Claudio Rojas (Managing Director, Hurt Capital)



5:45 - 6:45 PM

Joanna Rees Keynote & Networking Reception. Brought to You by GLOBAL AFFAIRS CANADA

Lazaridis Hall

Endeavor works to catalyze long-term economic growth by selecting, mentoring and accelerating the best high-impact entrepreneurs worldwide. To do this, the organization draws on an unrivaled network of seasoned business leaders. Joanna Rees is one of those business leaders. Managing Partner at West, the San Francisco-based venture studio, Joanna is an investor, entrepreneur, advisor, educator and mentor with deep expertise in defining markets and building powerful brands.

Joanna Rees (Managing Partner, West)
Introduced By:
Andrea Clements (Director, Aerospace, Automotive, Defence & ICT Practices Division, Global Affairs Canada)



7:30 - 10:00 PM

HARD DRIVE Networking Party. Brought to You by SHOPIFY

Shopify, Uptown Waterloo HQ
57 Erb St W, Waterloo, ON N2L 6C2

Continue the day’s conversations with Shopify, the Canadian e-commerce giant, in their stunning, carefully renovated 19th-century distillery space in Uptown Waterloo. Expect food, music and Canadian whiskey.

Friday, February 22.


7:45 - 8:30 AM


Lazaridis Hall

Still the most important meal of the day. But after an evening in a distillery, you may need an extra cup of coffee.


8:30 - 9:30 AM

Let Hackers Build the Ecosystem

Lazaridis Hall

A Taiwanese free software programmer and civic hacker, Audrey Tang was invited to join the Taiwanese government as a minister without portfolio in 2016. Minister Tang will share how she is working to break down barriers between government and business and helping entrepreneurs solve pressing social issues.

Audrey Tang (Digital Minister of Taiwan)
Introduced By:
Catherine Y. M. Hsu (Director General, Taipei Economic and Cultural Office, Toronto)



9:30 - 10:30 AM

Daniel Isenberg Keynote

Lazaridis Hall

Professor Daniel Isenberg is taking a different approach to economic growth, in a way that can truly benefit communities. Isenberg will share how his scaleup programs Scale Up Milwaukee and Manizales-Mas are pioneering an entrepreneurship ecosystem that focuses on scaling businesses with proven business models, no matter the industry.

Learn more about Daniel.

Daniel Isenberg (Investor, Author and Professor at Babson College)
Introduced By:
Raymond Luk (Founder & CEO, Hockeystick)



10:30 - 11:15 AM

Global Reach, Global Impact: Examining Cross-National and International Models

Lazaridis Hall

These ecosystem leaders are working across national boundaries to benefit local economies.  Can we all learn to think bigger?

Anna-Maija Sunnanmark (Senior Innovation Advisor, Nordic Innovation)
Lewis Chen (Managing Director, Taiwan Tech Arena)
Joanna Rees (Managing Partner, West)
Moderated By:
Sinéad Monaghan (Assistant Professor of International Business, Trinity College Dublin)



11:15 - 11:45 AM

Networking Break

Lazaridis Hall

When will we see you again? Take the time to make plans to keep in touch with the valuable connections you’ve made at DRIVE.


11:45 - 12:30 PM

Investing in the Future: The Roles of Universities and Corporates

Lazaridis Hall

Universities are in the business of building the future; corporates are building their future businesses. Should we see these as forces in opposition, or is it better for everyone when they work together?

Valérie Claude-Gaudrillat (Professor, Audencia Business School)
Dave Jaworsky (Mayor, City of Waterloo)
Bob Lemieux (Dean of Science, University of Waterloo)
Brydon Gilliss (Senior Product Director, Highline BETA)
Moderated By:
Robert Crow (Tech Advisor & Community Volunteer, Communitech)



12:30 - 1:15 PM

The Data-Driven Ecosystem

Lazaridis Hall

There’s a saying going around that data is the new oil. Hear how the power of data can increase market transparency and remove the barriers that make it difficult for entrepreneurs to scale their companies.

Raymond Luk (Founder & CEO, Hockeystick)
Erik Stam (Head, Utrecht University School of Economics)
Deanna Horton (Fellow, Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy, University of Toronto)
Moderated By:
Nicole Coviello (Lazaridis Research Professor & Research Director, Lazaridis Institute)



1:15 - 2:30 PM

OVER DRIVE Refreshments & Snacks

Lazaridis Hall

Parting is such sweet sorrow — but we’re going to send you home smiling. Get in your final goodbyes and don’t forget to stay in touch! See you next year at #DRIVE20!