Speakers – iVentures

iVentures 2017

October 26 & 27, 2017 / MaRS Discovery District / Toronto

Register

Speakers

  • // Catherine Winder (Vancouver, CAN) – Keynote Speaker //

    Partner / CEO

    Skybound North

    Catherine Winder is the Partner/CEO of Skybound North, a Canadian based production company established as an extension of Skybound Entertainment. In this role she is building a slate of creator driven IP for television, film, AR, VR, animation and digital content in addition to scaling up the company’s domestic and international operations. Currently, Winder serves as an executive producer on the AMC comic docu-series Heroes and Villains: The History of Comic Books.

    Prior to Skybound, Winder produced the global event highly successful film The Angry Birds Movie, based on the number one app of all time. She was responsible for all aspects of the project including building a studio from the ground-up, identifying the film’s creative team and managing the development, production, marketing and promotions of the property. As the former President/Executive Producer of Rainmaker Entertainment, Winder oversaw all creative and production operations of the studio in addition to producing the animated feature film, Escape from Planet Earth. Prior to this role she was an Executive Producer at LucasFilm Animation, overseeing the setup and management of the division in Marin County and Singapore. As George Lucas’ Producer, she was responsible for taking the “Star Wars” franchise into animation, developing and producing the first animated “Star Wars” movie and highly rated television series Star Wars: The Clone Wars.

    During her tenure at Fox Feature Animation as Senior Vice President, Winder was integrally involved in the transformation of Fox’s Blue Sky Studio from a visual effects and commercial production house into a CG feature film studio. She was also responsible for overseeing the production of the Oscar® nominated film Ice Age as well as completing Titan A.E. and ramping up Robots for production. She is author of the industry handbook Producing Animation published by Focal Press.

    skybound.com

  • Angela Robert (Surrey, CAN)

    CEO

    Conquer Mobile

    Angela has a goal to improve patient outcomes by changing the way clinicians learn. Her vision is to transform medical education using simulation, personalized learning, analytics and gamification techniques.

    Angela established her credentials as a software engineer at Scotiabank, IBM and Electronic Arts (EA). At EA she worked on more than 20 games in five years and as Development Director for Skate™ and Skate 2™. From her time at EA, Angela brings a wealth of techniques for creating realistic learning experiences and motivating people to hone their skills.

    She is an active voice in many trade associations including BCTIA, Acetech, Wavefront, LifeSciencesBC and Surrey’s Innovation Boulevard. Angela graduated from University of Waterloo with a Bachelor of Mathematics in Computer Science.

    periopsim.com

    @angelarobert

  • Avinash Kumar (Delhi, IND)

    Co-founder

    Quicksand

    Avinash Kumar is a design strategist, researcher and artist-performer, and co-founder of three of India’s acclaimed creative practices – Quicksand (an innovation consulting firm) BLOT! (an audiovisual collective) and UnBox Festival (an interdisciplinary arts platform). Avinash has been exploring the arts in India for over 15 years, with his recent and ongoing project – Antariksha Sanchar – set to emerge as a disruptive Indian cultural project on the Indian indie game scene in 2018.

    www.antariksha.in
    www.quicksand.co.in

    @aviblot

  • Bill Weizheng Wang (Beijing, CHN)

    President, Overseas Business

    360 Games

    Bill Weizheng Wang is President, Overseas Business at 360 Games, a subsidiary of 360. 360 is one of the largest internet companies in China with over 400M PC users and 800M mobile users. 360 Games is a leading mobile and PC game publisher. Prior to that, he was Corporate Vice President and Head of Global Investment/Business Development at Perfect World. He helped establish Perfect World’s US operations and was responsible for investments in acclaimed developers including Runic Games and Unknown Worlds. He also pioneered Perfect World’s efforts to develop strategic partnerships with industry giants like Valve.   

    Bill Wang received his MBA degree from Pennsylvania State University in 2001 and received his master’s degree in finance from Boston College in 2004.

    360.cn

  • Bobby Thandi (London, UK)

    VP Digital

    Dubit

    As VP Digital at Dubit Bobby develops strategies and oversees development of digital entertainment apps, VR, and games for kids. Dubit has experience of working with leading children’s entertainment companies as well as innovative start-ups from around the globe. Clients include LEGO, Mattel, PBS KIDS, DreamWorks, Disney, Cartoon Network, and others.

    As CEO at XRGames (a Dubit subsidiary) Bobby has raised a seven-figure investment round to spend directly on developing a suite of mobile VR apps for established IPs. Bobby is also a BAFTA VR Advisory Group member.

    dubitlimited.com

     

    @bobbythandi

  • Charles Lavigne (Vancouver, CAN)

    CEO & Co-Founder

    LlamaZOO Interactive

    Charles is a 12 year veteran of the video game and interactive entertainment industries, where he previously worked for companies such Electronic Arts, Ubisoft Montreal, and Microsoft as a game designer and developer on award winning and multi-million unit selling products.

    As co-founder and CEO of award winning LlamaZOO Interactive, Charles has helped build a leading educational technology company in the VR/AR/MR space with clients including the University of Pennsylvania, University of Saskatchewan, Missouri, Adelaide and several other stealth clients. The company’s product “EasyAnatomy: Virtual Canine Cadaver” is the world’s first virtual simulation of a medically accurate canine dissection, and is used in over 70 universities world-wide. He leads the development team as the product and vision owner, and is responsible for R&D, and business strategy.

    Charles is also board member on the “VRARA Vancouver chapter”, and a founding board member of BCTech’s the CUBE: Spatial Computing BC Association.

    llamazoo.com

    @CharlesLavigne

    @LlamaZOO

  • Christa Dickenson

    President & CEO

    Interactive Ontario

    Christa Dickenson is Executive Director of Interactive Ontario. As a marketing executive, Ms. Dickenson brings to Interactive Ontario close to two decades of experience leveraging partnerships and optimizing sponsorship opportunities. Having had a successful career spanning broadcast television, technology & telecommunications, Ms. Dickenson worked at Rogers, CTV and CPAC prior to joining Interactive Ontario. Ms. Dickenson possesses an unparalleled talent for innovation coupled with a strong business acumen. With her brand advocacy expertise honed over many years, she is a highly effective policy advocate.

    In addition to a professional background spanning both the creative and business sides of the broadcast, technology and telecommunications industries, Ms. Dickenson has volunteered extensively with a variety of local and international non-profit organizations.

  • Claire Faÿ (Mexico)

    Founder

    Editions Animées

    The artist Claire Faÿ created the Cahiers de Gribouillages pour Adultes®. These bestsellers, translated into fifteen languages, were sold over a million copies in France and worldwide.

    Using the playful modes of communication by the image, she is working on innovative concepts for reinventing the book and its forms. With the Cahier de Dessin Animé®, she intends to use digital technologies to enhance the book – and not to replace it.

    www.editions-animees.com

     

  • Courtney Cole (Markham, CAN)

    Founder & CEO

    ForaHealthyMe Inc

    Courtney Cole is the founder & CEO of ForaHealthyMe Inc., which delivers a virtual clinic without walls. ForaHealthyMe Inc. blends clinical protocols for patient pre-habilitation and rehabilitation management with real time analytics, motion tracking, 3D avatars, video & gesture recognition technologies. The applications empower healthcare providers in delivering care to patients coping with physiological & psychological impairments in a place where they prefer – at home.

    Courtney has collaborated with clinicians, academics, health administrators and large technology partners like Microsoft to develop applications built on validated care models.

    The company is a recipient of several health innovation grants from the Governments of Canada and Ontario. ForaHealthyMe Inc. and its partners Spinal Cord Injury Ontario and Toronto Rehab Institute were the recipients of the Ontario Ministry of Health’s Health Technology Fund. The partnership is enabling the development of virtual support applications for patients with spinal cord injury.

    The company, in partnership with York University were among 22 projects funded by the Government of Canada, under the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) e-Health Innovation Partnership Program (eHIPP). The collaborative research is focused on using technology to increase access to support and care for young adults coping with mental health issues, namely stress, anxiety and depression.

    Courtney is the recipient of the 2015 Dan Mothersill BUILD Award from ventureLAB. The award is presented to entrepreneurs based on their accomplishments.

    forahealthyme.com

    @ForaHealthyMe1

  • David Dembroski (Toronto, CAN)

    Partner

    Stohn Hay Cafazzo Dembroski Richmond LLP

    David practises in all areas of entertainment law including music, television, theatre, publishing and interactive media.

    His clients consist of well-known recording artists, record companies, producers of dramatic and reality programs, writers, directors, theatrical producers and music and book publishers.

    He has helped a number of his clients expand into complementary businesses such as celebrity endorsements and merchandising.

    David’s practice also includes sports law where he advises individuals and companies on sports-related matters such as advertising and promotions, merchandising and licensing, broadcast rights, franchise operations, intellectual property, player contracts and ticket matters, among others.

    David was a partner at the law firm of Aird & Berlis LLP, where he practised for nine years.

  • Dr. David Crawford (Toronto, CAN)

    Partner

    Fragomen Worldwide

    David is the Managing Partner of the Fragomen (Canada) Co. office in Toronto. David has extensive experience in providing immigration advice and assistance to businesses from a wide range of industry sectors, including telecommunications and information technology, engineering, banking and financial services. David regularly works with general counsel, human resource professionals and internal mobility teams on policies and procedures related to recruitment and related immigration obligations. He also has experience in helping private clients meet their immigration needs. Prior to David taking on the role of Managing Partner in Canada in August 2012, David was previously a Partner in the London office of Fragomen, where he had responsibility for operations and business development in the EMEA region. He was also a founding Partner of the Fragomen Australia practice.

    ACQ Global Awards named David “Partner Responsible for the Premier Immigration Practice in Canada.” David is admitted in Upper Canada (Ontario) and is a Registered Migration Agent in Australia. David is a graduate of the University of Sydney, earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1982 and Doctor of Philosophy degree in 1987. In addition, he earned a Master of Letters degree from the University of New England (Australia) in 1994.

    fragomen.com

  • Harold Dumur (Montreal, CAN)

    CEO

    OVA

    Mr. Dumur’s received his bachelor’s degree in 2011 in industrial engineering from Laval University, he was awarded the SNC-Lavalin Fellowship for Best Engineering Project.

    He is a member in good standing of the Ordre des Ingenieurs du Quebec and has received his Six Sigma Green Belt certification from McGill University in November 2012.

    In 2014, he founded the company OVA, which produces products and content relating to virtual and augmented reality.

    The following year, OVA was selected by the university and banking accelerator HEC-National Bank.

    Particularly distinguished for his communication skills, he was awarded the best start-up prize at the G20 Young Entrepreneur Summit in Beijing in 2016, against companies from Silicon Valley, Berlin and Harvard to name just a few.

    In 2017, he presented the StellarX platform at the Consumer Electronic show in Las Vegas and at the South by Southwest in Austin, Texas. Also in 2017, OVA was selected among the top 3% virtual reality startups in the world according to HTC-Vive.

    StellarX is a product enabling the (virtual) creation of virtual immersive environments, without the need of extensive programming knowledge.

    Moreover, Quebec City’s municipality made use of OVA’s expertise and the StellarX technology to train police officers, firefighters and paramedics, as part of a technology showcase project. OVA has also invested in a project developed jointly with mental health professionals to help in the treatment of schizophrenia through the use of virtual reality.

    ova.ai

    @ovagc

  • Heather Steele (Toronto, CAN)

    Communications Director

    Ubisoft Toronto

    A strategic communications leader with 20 years’ experience building global brands and growing successful companies, Heather Steele is driven by creativity and the fast pace of innovative industries. In her role as Communications Director at Ubisoft Toronto, Heather helps the game development studio successfully grow the team while maintaining its strong studio culture and commitment to develop the highest quality games. Currently, the studio is on track to grow to 800 talented creators by 2020.

    Heather is passionate about helping to grow the games industry in Ontario and around the world, through her role as a member of the Interactive Ontario Board of Directors, the SXSW Interactive Advisory Committee, and her numerous volunteer efforts to help women and girls in game development and STEM.

    Prior to joining Ubisoft Toronto, Heather was Vice President at High Road Communications, leading business development and communications strategy focused on results-driven marketing communications, media relations, and social media. Her clients included Microsoft Canada, Xbox Canada, Disney Interactive Canada, Ubisoft, Electronic Arts, Facebook and the Entertainment Software Association of Canada (ESAC).

    Heather holds an Honours Bachelor of Arts from the University of Toronto and a Post-Graduate Communications Certificate from Humber College. You can find her on Twitter @hsteele sharing thoughts on the latest video game releases, the hottest new restaurants, or the latest episode of The Walking Dead.

    toronto.ubisoft.com

  • Ian Hamilton (Bristol, UK)

    Usability Specialist

    Independent

    Ian (Hamilton) has a 10 year background in game accessibility, initially across a wide range of products at the BBC, including making games accessible for preschool children with profound motor and cognitive impairment. He now works independently throughout the wider industry, collaborating with developers, publishers, manufacturers, academia and industry bodies. Pursuing avenues to raise the profile and understanding of accessibility across the industry, such as consulting directly on individual games and features, speaking, teaching, training, organising awareness raising events, leading work on internal and industry best practices, and advising on strategy and and government funding processes.

    @ianhamilton_

  • Jason Canam (Toronto, CAN)

    Founder & Director

    Household Games

    Jason Canam is the Founder and Director of Household Games, an independent game development studio in Toronto, Ontario. With over 10 years experience in the industry, Jason has created highly rated and top selling games on consoles, PC and mobile platforms. Drawn to the industry from a love of video games, Jason is an active member of the game development community and spreads the message that anyone can make games and that games should be playable and enjoyed by everyone.

    @jasoncanam

    @HHGamesInc

    http://wayofthepassivefist.com/

  • Jayme Winick (Toronto, CAN)

    Founder & CEO

    Tabcon Games

    Jayme is known for her creative thinking and ability to think outside the box. These skills have allowed her to develop a revolutionary product that is at the cusp of the changing portable gaming industry. As Founder of Tabcon, Jayme is determined to refresh outdated methods and create universal products and her entrepreneurial spirit will bring her visions to life. Jayme’s ideas come from her own personal interests and experiences. She targets markets that she sees gaps in and where she feels a new product will do well. Creativity and competition drive her to always want to be at the top of her field making innovative and unique products that she thinks a high volume of customers will want.

    tabcongames.com

  • Jennifer McIlroy (Toronto, CAN)

    Coordinator

    ACCEL (Centennial College)

    Jennifer McIlroy has over twenty years experience working as a marketing, communications and business professional. ‎She began her career in Ottawa working for the City Hall and behalf of the Ministry of Finance and went on to work for global advertising agencies and private companies in senior leadership roles. 

    As an entrepreneur with her own marketing consortium, she helps clients in the financial and public sector industries optimize marketing teams and create operational relevance for communications departments. Clients include Scotiabank International, CFIB, Stott Pilates, CPAB, FMC LLB, and Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame.  She’s also frequently called upon to help agency teams, executives and entrepreneurs hone their pitch skills in circumstances ranging from landing global accounts to influencing local public policy.

    She currently teaches business, project management, professional writing, entrepreneurship, presentation, and professional practice courses in several post-graduate schools at Centennial College. Since starting a Summer camp in Ottawa for kids, Jennifer has dedicated her volunteer life to empowering youth, most recently as a principle of Volunteers in Motion (VIM), a training program for civic action mobilizers and trailblazers.

    ACCEL website

  • John Gardiner (Toronto, CAN)

    CFO

    Highmark Interactive

    John Gardiner is an experienced gaming executive with a finance and operational background. He spent four years at Big Viking Games, Canada’s largest independent gaming studio where he was Director of Finance and Partnerships. There, John helped complete a $21M+ financing round with Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) and the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC), a first of its kind in Canada. He was also responsible for the first HTML5 IP partnership with Valiant Comics, the third largest comic publisher in the world.

    In early 2017, John joined Highmark Interactive, a company focused on games for good, as their CFO. The company is currently developing games that they hope can be used for concussion and traumatic brain injury diagnosis and treatment. They recently closed a $2M seed financing round and announced that Hayley Wickenheiser and Mark McMorris are professional advisors to the company.

    @HighmarkInt

    www.highmark.tech

  • John Schrag (Toronto, CAN)

    Head of Experience Design, Live Design Group

    Autodesk

    John Schrag has been designing software tools for designers for 30 years, during which he has helped create 3d tools for graphic artists, typographers, industrial designers, automotive stylists, animators, filmmakers, sculptors, game designers, and architects. John has presented at various conferences on the design of interactive 3d UI, user research methodologies, gestural interfaces, and virtual reality. Currently John is working at Autodesk, democratizing VR and AR technologies for architecture, construction, and manufacturing.

    @jvschrag

    autodesk.ca

  • Jonathan Chan (San Francisco, USA)

    COO

    Fig

    Jonathan Chan is the COO and a board member of Fig. Prior to joining Fig, he was Senior Director, Business Development for Electronic Arts for several years, where he led a business development team focused on digital game publishing. Prior to EA, Jonathan worked as an investment banker and corporate attorney for technology companies in Silicon Valley.

    fig.co

    @jonvalchan

  • Karen Thorne-Stone (Toronto, CAN)

    President & CEO

    Ontario Media Development Corporation

    Karen Thorne-Stone has been President and CEO of the Ontario Media Development Corporation (OMDC) since July 2007, overseeing all facets of this vital agency which supports economic development in Ontario’s cultural media industries.  In this capacity, Karen is responsible to promote growth and investment in the province’s entertainment and creative industries including:  film and television, interactive digital media, and music, as well as book magazine publishing.

    Previously Karen was with the city of Toronto for over 18 years, where she served in a variety of roles, including film commissioner and executive director of economic development.  As film commissioner, Thorne-Stone supported successful negotiations for a new state-of-the-art film studio complex on Toronto’s waterfront, developed an innovative economic development strategy for the screen-based sector and worked with the OMDC on the development new brand positioning and marketing to promote film and television production.

    omdc.on.ca

  • Kris Schantz (Toronto, CAN)

    Co-founder

    Happy Worker

    Happy Worker helps publishers and studios turn game characters into beloved toys, collectibles – and happiness. Specializing in collector’s editions, exclusive toys and retail merchandise, Happy Worker has cheerfully collaborated with Activision Blizzard, Sony Playstation, Supercell, ThinkGeek Solutions, and King.

    More about our Co-Founder, Kris Schantz: A lifelong geek and creative entrepreneur, before becoming a toymaker Kris created t-shirts and tossed countless pizzas in the air, lent a hand with chemistry research, designed web sites, and helped launch small parts of the Internet. And as he grew up, he never grew out of his love for toys and games. He helped create Happy Worker’s firstborn toy, the GeekMan Action Figure, in 2004. Kris has shared his passion for toy making on panels at San Diego Comic-Con and New York Comic Con, and enjoys mentoring young creators and entrepreneurs.

    happyworker.com

    @happyworker

     

  • Marcelo Serres (Pasadena, USA)

    Director of Technology and Game Production

    Pebblekick Inc

    Marcelo is the current Director of Technology and Game Production of Pebblekick Inc. A Publisher / Developer based in Pasadena, CA. with offices in Seoul and Santiago.

    Working in Creative Industries for more than a decade in different projects and roles, not only in Latam, also Globally, allows him to have an excellent understanding in how design, tech and business fuse together in order to define and seek flexible business opportunities that could fit each project and its specific features.

    He previously was Chairman of the board for VG Chile (Chilean video game developers association) and head of IGDA chapter in Chile. Worked in +50 Games in his previously Co-founded Video game development studio back in Chile. Along with regularly giving lectures about Game Design, Tech. Development and Production for local Universities, He has been consulting for Autodesk and Unity Training and Certification Programs.

    @zurres

    pebblekickinc.com

  • Marguerite Dibble (Burlington, USA)

    CEO

    GameTheory

    Marguerite Dibble is the CEO of GameTheory, a company that uses game design toolkits and mindsets to tackle challenging real-world problems through app development and strategic consulting. Much of GameTheory’s work centers around designing what is natural and enjoyable for users, seeking to create solutions that are engaging rather than demanding. GameTheory has worked to provide unique game-based solutions across healthcare, energy, and finance, creating products and techniques that exist in the sweet spot between logical and the creative.

    gametheoryco.com

  • Matt Hyde (London, UK)

    Creative Director

    GLITCHERS

    Matt co-founded the London-based games studio ‘GLITCHERS’ in 2013 with the intention of creating products that have real purpose and make some kind of creative or technological leap.

    He utilises game thinking to build games that do good for finance, education and health.

    The studio launched Sea Hero Quest in 2016 with Telekom, it was the first game to enable anyone who played to help with dementia research. With over 3 million downloads to date, Sea Hero Quest has collected over 11,000 years worth of data for scientists working towards a cure for dementia.

    glitchers.com/

    @glitchers   

  • Matt Toner (Vancouver, CAN)

    CEO

    Biba

    Matt Toner is a serial entrepreneur, innovative digital media producer, visiting professor, and politico working hard in Vancouver’s innovation industry.  With stops in New York, Toronto, Vancouver and Silicon Valley, he has launched half a dozen startups, brought three skunkworks to life, spun out two tech companies, driven one corporate acquisition, and, oddly, created a nationally televised animated series.

    With his team at Biba, Matt is now breaking new ground in location-based gaming, using a combination of AR and IoT to add entirely new dimensions to the everyday playground. The Biba system helps manage screen time by turning video gameplay into outdoor adventures where kids are measurably more active, much more often.  With rapid expansion into the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Vietnam, the Philippines and the United Kingdom, a Biba smart playground will be popping up in your neighbourhood sometime soon.  

    facebook.com/playbiba

    @chiefzero

    @playbiba

     

  • Megan Malone (Ottawa, CAN)

    Senior Associate

    Export Development Canada

    As a Senior Associate with Export Development Canada (EDC), Megan Malone helps connect Canadian companies to global opportunities in the ICT sector. With a passion for international business and development, emerging markets, and the ever growing technology sector, her studies include an Undergraduate Degree in African Studies and Political Science from Carleton University and a Graduate Certificate in International Business Management from Algonquin College. She also holds the Certified International Trade Professional (CITP) designation and was recently recognized as one of Carleton University’s Faculty of Public Affairs’ 75 most inspiring Alumni.

    Previous work experiences include Global Affairs Canada, the South African High Commission, and the North South Institute (international development think tank), as well having been a Board Member for the Organization of Women in International Trade (OWIT) Ottawa chapter.

    An avid traveler, Megan has enjoyed several trips to Africa and the Caribbean, backpacked throughout South East Asia and is looking forward to an upcoming trip to Europe!

    www.edc.ca

    @mmaloneCITP

  • Michael Carter (Toronto, CAN)

    Assistant Professor

    School of Creative Industries at Ryerson University

    Michael is a 2015 Team Award Recipient for the President’s Blue and Gold Award of Excellence, in the design, development and implementation of the Master of Digital Media program. He helped in the design and implementation of Ryerson’s experiential, innovative and entrepreneurial Zone Learning eco-system, as well as providing support and mentorship to the students, start-up’s and staff of the award winning DMZ. He has spent his professional career immersed in the creative, technical, and business roles of animation and VFX production, maintaining a successful 22-year career in the film and television business as a producer, executive producer, and executive. Michael has sat on the board of directors of CASO (Computer Animation Studios of Ontario) as Director, Vice President, and President.

    Michael’s research focuses on the use of Virtual Archaeology to better inform archaeological, heritage and community engagement research, knowledge translation, dissemination and mobilization. Recently Michael completed a research project to virtually reconstruct a 16th century Iroquoian Longhouse from the Lawson Site, which is now being deployed as an interactive experience at the Museum of Ontario Archaeology. Further, his research is focusing on the deployment of robots within archaeological sites in Egypt and the VR revisualization of the Temple at el-Hibeh.

  • Pablo Navajas (Cordoba, ARG)

    Systems Engineer, Co-Founder & CTO

    3OGS

    Pablo is an Systems Engineer, Co-Founder & CTO of Cordoba-based games studio “3OGS”, currently focused on create high quality VR experiences for B2B/B2C markets.

    As part of ADVA, he is actively involve in all it’s initiatives helping with EVA Cordoba organization and giving talks and mentoring to other local developers.

    As university professor, he teaches courses in Computer Graphics, Virtual Environments and Mobile Technologies.

    @angelusdarkness

    www.3ogs.com.ar

     

  • Russell Ward (Toronto, CAN)

    President

    Massively

    Russell Ward co-founded and launched Massively.ai, a ground-breaking company at the center of the chatbot evolution. Massively combines optimal conversational design with the smartest Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning technology to create chatbots people actually want to talk to. Since launch, millions of people have exchanged over 1 billion messages with our chatbots on the world’s largest messaging apps representing over 3 billion users including Facebook Messenger, Twitter, Kik, Skype, Viber, Line and others.

    Prior to Massively, Russell was Vice President of Marketing, Interactive and Creative Services with Teletoon Canada and Director of Consumer Marketing for Astral Media where he was a key member of the launch teams for Cartoon Network Canada, Adult Swim Canada, HBO Canada and Playhouse Disney Canada (now Disney Jr.) He is the past founder of The Dress Up Club.

    massively.ai

    @russoldschool

  • Sean Karoonian (Toronto, CAN)

    Senior Marketing Manager, Gaming & eSports

    Cineplex

    Sean Karoonian is an internationally experienced creative marketer that connects audiences with brands through meaningful experiences – gaining recognition at Canada’s Best Managed Companies, PROFIT, and Rebrand 100. He brings a strong understanding of video gaming, brand strategy, content marketing, and global event management from both in-house and agency positions – currently serving as Senior Marketing Manager, Gaming & eSports at Cineplex.

    Sean’s passion and background explore marketing strategies fuelled by data-driven insights and elegant UX design to support scalability and growth – having developed global branding and product marketing campaigns with partners, clients, and employers including: SoftKinetic, Astound, TransGaming, Big Blue Bubble, Konami, Activision, Warner Brothers, Sony, Method, Huge, and Isobar.

    Learnings and focus this year? Efficiency. Sustainability. Influencer & Community Marketing.

  • Tammy Kwan (New York City, USA)

    Co-founder

    Cognitive ToyBox

    Tammy Kwan is the co-founder and CEO of Cognitive ToyBox (CTB). The company develops technology to help all children start kindergarten ready to succeed. For parents, the company offers evidence-based early learning apps that serve as an alternative to the “digital candy” that the average 2-4 year old consumes for 2 hours per day. For educators, the company offers digital assessment games to illuminate student development and better facilitate individually-guided learning. CTB is supported by grants from the National Science Foundation, Robin Hood Foundation, and 4.0 Schools. Tammy earned her MBA from NYU Stern and her Bachelors in Psychology from Stanford University.

    @tammykwan

    cognitivetoybox.com

  • Thais Weiller (Sao Paulo, BRA)

    Game Designer

    JoyMasher

    Thais co-founded JoyMasher along with Danilo Dias, worked on Oniken, Odallus, Finding Monters and Rainy Day and holds an M.Sc. degree on Game Design from Universidade de Sao Paulo. She teaches Game Design on PUCPR and tries to make games that matter.

    @thaisweiller

  • The Honourable Eleanor McMahon

    Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport

    Government of Ontario

    Eleanor McMahon was elected to the Ontario legislature in 2014 as MPP for Burlington. After serving as Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry, she was appointed as the Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport on June 13, 2016.

    Eleanor has worked in senior roles in business, government and the not-for-profit sector and is the founder of the Share the Road Cycling Coalition. She spent the early part of her career on Parliament Hill where she held a number of positions, including Press Secretary to the Right Honourable Jean Chrétien. Her experience also includes time with the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, Petro-Canada, the United Way Ottawa, the Ontario Medical Association, and as a member of the Canadian Advisory Council on the Status of Women.

    The tragic death of Eleanor’s husband, OPP Sergeant Greg Stobbart – killed while cycling by a driver with five convictions for driving under suspension – led her life in an entirely new direction. In response to this unthinkable loss, Eleanor began a campaign to improve road safety in Ontario. In 2008, she launched the Share the Road Cycling Coalition, a provincial cycling policy and advocacy organization that brought together cycling groups from across Ontario to work with municipalities to make their communities more bicycle-friendly.

    Eleanor also lobbied for enhanced penalties for suspended drivers in Ontario. As a result of her advocacy, Greg’s Law was passed on April 22, 2009 and became law in September 2010, making our communities safer by reducing the number of suspended drivers and repeat offenders on Ontario’s roads.

    Through her breadth of private sector and community-based experience, Eleanor understands how to work with the business community to create jobs and grow our economy, and how to create stronger communities by investing in people.

    @EMcMahonBurl

  • The Honourable Reza Moridi

    Minister of Research, Innovation and Science

    Government of Ontario

    Reza Moridi currently serves as Minister of Minister of Research, Innovation and Science. Moridi was first elected to the Ontario legislature in 2007 as MPP for Richmond Hill. He was re-elected in 2011 and 2014. Prior to that, he was Minister of Research and Innovation, as well as Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities. Moridi has served as the Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Energy, the Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities, and the Minister of Research and Innovation.

    Prior to entering into politics, Reza held a 17-year career at the Radiation Safety Institute of Canada where he was the Vice-President and Chief Scientist. He also worked in the electrical industry as an executive and in academia as a professor and administrator.

    For his contributions to the understanding of nuclear materials, radiation and health physics, Moridi has received the Education and Communication Award from the Canadian Nuclear Society and the U.S. Health Physics Society designated him as a Fellow of the Society. He was elected as a Fellow of the UK Institute of Physics and admitted as a Fellow of the UK Institution of Engineering and Technology. For his extensive community and humanitarian work, Moridi has received numerous awards and recognition.

    Educated in Iran and the UK, Moridi obtained a PhD from Brunel University London. He was a Chartered Engineer and Chartered Physicist, and has completed CANDU Reactor, Industrial Management and Reactor Health Physics certificate courses.

    In his current role, Moridi’s extensive political, business, academic and scientific backgrounds provide him with the knowledge and experience required to bridge the research and academic institutions with business and government.

    @rezamoridi

  • Tim Martin (Nashville, USA)

    CEO

    Rustici Software

    Tim is the CEO of Rustici Software, the leading provider of products and services geared toward eLearning conformance and distribution. Hundreds of learning management systems, authoring tools and content libraries are powered by Rustici Software technology. Tim has been helping companies and people understand and implement learning standards for more than 10 years. He defines product direction and manages operations for all branches of the organization. Under Tim’s leadership, Rustici Software has been awarded Silver and Gold Brandon Hall Group Excellence Awards for Best Learning Technology Implementations.

    rusticisoftware.com

  • Victoria Evans (Ottawa, CAN)

    Founder

    Digital Vic

    With over a decade of content experience, Victoria’s career originally stemmed from traditional media to specifically producing interactive digital content. Her award-winning experience with several media agencies lead to Victoria starting her own consultancy, Digital Vic. In addition to her entrepreneurial and leadership qualities, she has educated and mentored media professionals transitioning to the digital realm as former post-grad instructor at Centennial College. Her ability to deliver strategic insights across advanced technologies ensures her clients are one step ahead of the competition.

  • Vikas Gupta (Toronto, ON)

    Board Member

    Interactive Ontario

    Vikas Gupta is a digital media veteran who has spent almost two decades immersed in technology, media, entertainment. Vikas is a charismatic leader who defines himself as a seasoned executive with an entrepreneurial DNA. He has worked with some of the biggest video games brands and IPs in the world, negotiated strategic agreements and partnerships with top global companies, and forged distribution channels for content on a range of devices and platforms worldwide.

    Vikas was formerly the CEO of Big Blue Bubble and established the company as the largest independent mobile games developer in Canada, ranking among the 50 fastest growing technology companies in the nation. Prior to Big Blue Bubble, Vikas was the CEO of TransGaming, a publicly listed multi-national global leader in the cross platform deployment of electronic entertainment and the delivery of video games to Smart TV and OTT devices. The company’s technology unit was acquired by NVIDIA.

    Vikas is an advisor, mentor, investor, board member to many organizations from innovative start-ups to not-for-profit organizations. He is on the Board of Directors of Interactive Ontario, Prince’s Charities Canada Patrons Council, Alumni Council University of Waterloo, Board of Advisors University of Waterloo Stratford Campus, and served as an advisor on the Ontario Premier’s digital media roundtable and was on the digital media advisory board for the Ontario Minister of Culture, Tourism & Sport. Vikas is also a member of the prestigious global network of CEOs, Young President’s Organization (YPO) and is on the YPO Toronto Chapter board.

    Vikas is a proud alumni of the University of Waterloo and was the recipient of the University of Waterloo Distinguished Alumni Award in 2015. He also won the ICCC Entrepreneur of the Year Award and has been recognized in the PROFIT 50, PROFIT 100, TSX 50 and has appeared in a range of print, digital, and television media.

  • Zack Ginies (Toronto, CAN)

    Developer and YouTuber

    TraderZed

    Zack Ginies is a front-end developer, gamer and probably the nicest guy you’ll ever meet. Based out of Toronto, Canada, he spends most of his free time volunteering in the LGBTQ+ community or streaming as TraderZed on YouTube. In addition to this, he’s often found at midnight screenings of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, or belting out Disney hits to a small crowd of people at neighbourhood karaoke bars.

    https://www.youtube.com/traderzed

Many more great speakers to come!