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

  • // Hao Lin (San Francisco, USA) – Keynote speaker //

    Senior Business Development Manager

    Alibaba Cloud

    Hao Lin is a senior business development manager for Alibaba Cloud, where he trailblazes North America to engage with enterprise customers and form strategic partnerships ultimately trying to drive awareness and adoption to the platform that is Alibaba Cloud. Prior to joining Alibaba Cloud, Hao spent 10 years at Oracle in various sales and business development capacities in North America. Before Oracle, Hao worked in a couple start-up companies in the Bay Area and New York. Hao received his Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science from UC Davis.

    In his free time, Hao can be found on the basketball court or with his wife and toddler on weekend trips. Hao also has keen interest in entrepreneurship.

    alibabacloud.com

  • Alex Casassovici (San Francisco, USA)

    General Manager of North America

    Blacknut

    Alex moved to San Francisco, CA from Paris, France. He is passionate about using both his tech and marketing abilities to champion fun and innovative products.

    He was instrumental in the creation of the first connected children’s toy, Spykee, and has over a decade of experience in building interactive mobile services, cloud services, VR devices, and community platforms.

    He is currently helping to spread the magic of video games as General Manager of North America for Blacknut.

    When he’s not working you can find him trail running on Mt. Tamalpais, leading the local elementary school’s engineering club, scuba diving in kelp forests, or completing quests and solving puzzles on the big screen.

    alexksso

     

    blacknut.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

  • Ascension Aton:wa Harjo (Six Nations)

    Hoop Dancer

    Red Sky Performance

    Ascension Aton:wa Harjo is a 16 year old Mohawk, Kickapoo, Seminole from Six Nations, Ontario, and performs regularly for Red Sky Performance. At the age of two-years-old, he started Hoop Dancing like his father before him and has traveled all over the world with his parents performing for many different audiences. He is very involved in learning his Mohawk language as well as learning the traditional social and ceremonial songs. Ascension has danced with some of the best dance troupes across Turtle Island, as well as participating in the closing ceremonies of the 2015 Pan Am Games held in Toronto. Recently, he danced in the Opening Ceremonies for the North American Indigenous Games (NIAG) with Taboo from Black Eyed Peas. He also won 2nd Place at the World Championships of Hoop Dance held at the Heard Museum, Phoenix, Arizona.

    redskyperformance.com

  • 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

  • Benjamin St. Louis (Toronto, CAN)

    Manager, AODA Compliance Policy & Accountability

    Accessibility Directorate of Ontario

    Benjamin St. Louis has worked in the provincial government’s social policy sphere for the last 10 years and is currently appointed as Director under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA). The AODA and its related standards focus on removing accessibility barriers people face in many everyday areas of life including web browsing and the access of electronic information and goods. Benjamin oversees the Compliance Policy Unit at the Accessibility Directorate of Ontario which is responsible for the development of the province’s compliance assurance framework under the AODA, as well as AODA related compliance data analytics.

  • 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

  • Carey Ann Corrigan (Toronto, CAN)

    Twitch Caster-& Co-Founder

    GirlStreamers

    If you are a caster on Twitch, you have more than likely been introduced to groups and communities. GirlStreamers is one of the largest of these communities, today boasting more than 15k+ following across their media. Co-founder and brand manager, Carize, brings a background of marketing and structure to this rapidly expanding group. Our mission is to support, encourage,  and grow as a female community and to address the unique challenges that we face in the gaming and casting arena.

  • Charles Falzon (Toronto, CAN)

    Dean, Faculty of Communication & Design

    Ryerson University

    A leading educator and entrepreneur in the cultural industries, Charles has had a long track record as an strategy leader. Charles is the Dean of the Faculty of Communication and Design (FCAD) at Ryerson University, home to nine of the country’s leading schools in media and creative industries. In this role, he is a central figure in Ryerson’s curricular innovation, entrepreneurship education and city-building mission, with a focus on maximizing the impact of the creative industries as a catalyst for collaboration, innovation and civic engagement.

    Charles’ vision for a stronger cultural sector is informed by 30 years at the helm of public and private companies in media production, media distribution, book publishing, theme parks and live entertainment.

    Charles has presided over international entertainment successes including Thomas the Tank Engine and Guinness World Records. He has published more than 100 children’s books and produced thousands of hours of television and feature films, receiving numerous awards. Charles holds two postgraduate degrees from the University of Toronto in Theology and Spirituality. He is an associate professor and specialises in media management and ethics. He was the founding chair of the Canadian Media Production Association, a governor of the Banff festival, and is a member of the order of Malta.

    ryerson.ca/FCAD

  • 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

  • Chris Cataldi (New York City, USA)

    Co-Founder & COO

    Genvid Technologies

    Chris Cataldi is a founder and COO of Genvid Technologies, a New York based startup focused on building a suite of technologies that enable game makers to create new types of massively social, always-on, highly interactive game experiences. This venture ties together his lifelong interests of gaming interaction, service design, and disruption innovation. Developers using Genvid’s SDK will be able to take full advantage of server-side resources, and drive high levels of engagement to an extended audience, all without without major changes to their development workflow.

    Prior to Genvid, Chris was responsible for business development and strategic planning for Shinra Technologies, which explored the potential for cloud-native gaming content. Chris has more than a decade’s experience working in Asia, and has a high level of Japanese language proficiency. During this time, he worked in management consultancy (strategic due diligence and technology innovation for semiconductor manufacturing, IoT, and wearable computing for Japanese blue chip companies specializing in the B2B sector), and in global human resources and organizational strategy (Mitsubishi Corporation). He is an avid amateur cook, and holds his MBA from Madrid’s IE Business School with a specialization in global management and entrepreneurship.

    genvidtech.com

  • Chris Dunn (Toronto, CAN)

    Program Consultant

    OMDC

    The Ontario Media Development Corporation (OMDC) is the central agency for Ontario’s cultural media cluster. It promotes, enhances and leverages investment, jobs, and original content creation in the province’s book and magazine publishing, film and television, music and interactive digital media industries.

    Chris Dunn is a Program Consultant at OMDC and has over 25 years of experience working in the Film/TV and Music industries. At OMDC he has previously worked as a Business Officer for the Ontario Computer Animation Tax Credit (OCASE) and the Ontario Interactive Digital Media Tax Credit (OIDMTC). Currently, as Program Consultant, he manages a selection of Interactive Digital Media Programs.  Chris holds a Masters Certificate in Project Management from Schulich School of Business and is also a certified Project Management Professional (PMP).

  • Christa Dickenson

    President & CEO

    Interactive Ontario

    Christa Dickenson is President & CEO of Interactive Ontario. As a marketing executive, Ms. Dickenson brings to Interactive Ontario 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.

  • Christian Latour (Hamilton, CAN)

    Product Manager

    SHG Studios

    Christian began working in the video game industry in 2001. He was directly involved in the development, production and launch of five titles over thirteen years as Game Designer at BattleGoat Studios in Hamilton. Christian helped establish feature road-maps and project timelines to meet contractual obligations from publishers as well as fulfill the role of Customer Service Manager, supporting the studio’s community to increase acquisitions and cross marketing between titles.  Joining SHG Studios in 2014 has given Christian the chance to gain experience in the Free2Play market on both mobile and web with the release of two more titles.  His contributions have included marketing, financial reporting, game design, third party relations and customer relations management.

  • 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

  • Evan Jones (Toronto, CAN)

    CEO

    Stitch Media

    Evan Jones is a two-time Emmy Award winner for daring interactive narrative projects that combine television, web/mobile, games and the real world. His work has won ‘Best in Electronic Culture’ from UNESCO and ‘Top 10 New Media Groundbreakers’ for clients like Disney, FOX, Discovery, Microsoft, A&E and the Smithsonian.

    stitch.media

  • Glenn O’Farrell (Toronto, CAN)

    CEO

    Groupe Média TFO

    GLENN O’FARRELL, ICD.D, is a digital-innovation-driving CEO in the Canadian media industry. Glenn doesnt think outside – he thinks without a box. Glenn embraces the power and value of diversity. He uses new technology, creative partnerships and international reach to transform traditional media into relevant, influential, high-traffic global platforms. Glenn consistently challenges the status quo to improve and grow outcomes for stakeholders.

    A native of St-Malachie, Québec, Glenn is a technology enthusiast, runner, amateur singer-songwriter and inveterate fan of the Montréal Canadiens. He studied economics, law, business and corporate governance at St. Francis Xavier University, Université Laval, Johnson School of Management, Cornell University, and at Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto. Glenn is a member of the Québec Bar and Institute of Corporate Directors. He is currently enrolled in a Masters Certificate in Analytics for Leaders at the Schulich School of Business, York University. Glenn is a frequent keynote speaker, panelist and contributing thought leader on digital media in Canada, the U.S., Mexico, Europe, China and Africa.

    Glenn is committed to strengthening the presence and impact of Canadian creative voices through media. He launched and led local and national media businesses in markets across Canada. As a P&L focused executive, he led business development activities across Canada and internationally, negotiated agreements with copyright collectives, major league sports rights owners and labour unions. Glenn served as CEO & chief Canadian broadcast industry spokesperson on behalf of private radio, television and specialty service companies before government and industry in Canada, and the U.S. In a rapidly consolidating media industry, he forged consensus-building solutions and advocated successful industry-wide regulatory strategies.

    Glenn served as Vice-President, Réseau Pathonic TVA, Québec City; General Counsel, Chief Regulatory Officer, Senior Vice-President at CanWest Global, Toronto; President of Global Québec, Montréal, and President & CEO of the Canadian Association of Broadcasters, Ottawa.

    In his current role as CEO of Groupe Média TFO, a public educational media enterprise located in Toronto, Glenn has led TFOs transformation from a declining, small-scale minority-language community broadcaster to become a leading international digital provider of French language educational content – with an aggregate global audience of several hundred million across an array of innovative media platforms. Under his leadership, TFO developed and launched cathartic digital initiatives including, industry-leading, immersive virtual reality production studios to create new digital generations of educational content. In its dynamic new form,TFO has become an international educational content distributor/exporter through multiple new deals with video streaming services, including with PBS across the U.S. Throughout, Glenns overall strategy has focused on constantly breaking new ground in digital learning, in step with evolving media consumption patterns. As well as leading TFO as its CEO, Glenn has also served as Executive Producer of television series and award-winning educational digital content series.

    Glenn has served on numerous company boards of directors as well as not-for-profit corporations including the Planning Board for a French-language University in Ontario, the Vanier Institute of the Family, TV5 Québec-Canada, Canal Savoir, the National Theatre School of Canada and Ashbury Collegethe Canadian Association of Broadcasters, the Fondation du Centre Hospitalier de l’Université Laval (CHUL), the Jeffrey Hale Foundation and the Théâtre du Bois-de-Coulonge,.

    Glenn is married to Teri Kirk. They have two daughters, Devon and Morgan-Alexie.

    tfo.org

  • 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 Anne Ritchie (Toronto, CAN)

    Co-founder

    Repable

    Heather Anne Ritchie is an accomplished entrepreneur, educator, speaker, connector and startup mentor. She’s the co-founder of Repable, a company that specializes in multi-platform social and broadcast measurement. The mission? To bring much-needed data to the e-sports and live game streaming space.

    repable.com

  • 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)

    Accessibility 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_

  • Jairus Khan (Toronto, ON)

    Composer / Sound Designer

    Only Dead Men

    Jairus Khan had his heart broken early by the video game industry, when as a teenager he and his co-developers had a concept picked up by Activision. Only after reading the contract did they realize that the game would only ever be developed if they first made a thousand expansion packs for Big Game Hunter. A glutton for punishment, he was an early competitive Quake and Team Fortress player, and later became a member of the Visioneers, a group handpicked by Activision for their positive influence on the gamer community.

    He spent the better part of the next two decades releasing electronic music and building a career in internet governance, cyber security and digital strategy. After writing his first film score, Jairus reluctantly returned to game development. With the queer arts collective Only Dead Men, he creates music, sounds and immersive environments for VR experiences and more. He also creates nordic LARP games with his co-conspirator Natalie Zina Walschots.

    @JairusKhan

  • Janice Ward (Toronto, CAN)

    VP Marketing and Outreach

    Vubble

    Toronto-based Janice Ward heads up the Marketing Group at Vubble, working to grow Vubble’s awareness and revenue base. She has more than 20 years of experience in the Canadian media industry in marketing related roles including playing a key role in the startup of CBC’s News Channel where she spearheaded the communications and marketing strategy.

    Since joining Vubble a year and a half ago, Janice has been working on customer development, analyzing market trends and identifying opportunities in the marketplace. She develops and oversees the marketing strategy for the launch of all of Vubble’s products including the VubbleBot, VubblePlatform and Vubble Channels. Janice is the key liaison with Vubble’s stakeholders and
    enjoys helping legacy media organizations find new business opportunities in the digital world. At the same time, she enjoys working with emerging content providers to build their markets.

    Prior to joining Vubble, Janice held various leadership roles at the CBC, most recently as Director of Business Development. In that role she created content partnership deals with all major distributors and inked multimillion dollar licensing agreements for the Olympics and the World Cup of Soccer. She was also Director of Affiliate Marketing at CBC, responsible for the BDU Marketing Strategy and the associated multi-million dollar revenue stream.

    vubblepop.com

  • 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

  • Jean Leggett (Barrie, CAN)

    Chief Executive Officer

    One More Story Games

    Jean Leggett is a stand-up comedian who found herself running a video game company. In 2001, she graduated university with a BA in English, tech skills and a wicked sense of humour. Fresh from rejection of a Masters proposal to study the impact of the Internet on traditional publishing, Jean went on to develop websites and databases for non-profit organizations.
    In 2012, while living in Dallas, her husband Blair experienced a near-fatal medical error. They decided to return to his hometown in Barrie, Canada after a 20-year absence and establish One More Story Games, an independent video game studio with a mission to empower diverse storytellers with little to no technical experience to create and publish narrative games with their software StoryStylus. They’ve raised over $500,000 for the studio. Jean occasionally sneaks snark into their games.
    One More Story Games works with writers as young as 10 – teaching them the basics of narrative design and coding and is working on the game adaptation of Shakespeare’s Landlord, one of five novels in #1 NYT best-selling author Charlaine Harris’ Lily Bard series.
    Jean is a keynote speaker and recently gave a TEDx talk: “What 10-Year-Olds Taught Us About Our Tech Startup.”
  • Jeffrey Elliott (Toronto, CAN)

    Chair

    Interactive Ontario

    Jeffrey Elliott is the CEO of TableRock Media and was previously the Founder and CEO of GlassBOX Television. Jeffrey has over twenty-five years of strategic and creative experience in broadcasting, production, and new-media, including the Emmy-winning Bite TV, the world’s first Interactive and multiplatform television channel.

    Throughout his career, Jeffrey has been at the forefront of emerging technologies in broadcasting and new-media. Prior to launching GlassBOX Television, Jeffrey held senior positions with leading Canadian media companies including Senior Vice President Interactive at Alliance Atlantis, where he was charged with creating the broadcaster’s new media strategy. Before that, he was Managing Director at Netstar Communications (then parent company of The Sports Network and Discovery Canada) and Director of Programming at TSN, where he was responsible for the creation of one of the country’s first multiplatform content projects, the highly successful The Legends of Hockey. Jeffrey also led the launch of Discoverychannel.ca and TSN.ca, which revolutionized on-line sports in Canada.

    tablerockmedia.com

  • Jennifer McIlroy (Toronto, CAN)

    Coordinator & Professor

    ACCEL Centre of Entrepreneurship - 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

  • Joanne Loton (Toronto, CAN)

    Executive Producer

    SESQUI

    Joanne balances artistic inquiry in interactive forms with a career as a broadcast documentary producer/director and writer. Among the first to receive an MFA in Documentary Media from Ryerson University, Joanne is interested in challenging the standard of documentary narrative through experimentation with new forms, including mixed media installation.

    Past projects have included large scale installations at Nuit Blanche; documentary films exploring sky jackers, feminist pornographers and punk musicians who are also moms; and extensive broadcast productions airing on Discovery Channel, History Channel, Smithsonian Network and MTV.  Joanne is Co-Founder and Executive Producer of SESQUI, a touring, immersive media experience that reframes how we imagine Canada as a nation. Featuring 360° cinematic, interactive content, live events, online activities and learning programs, SESQUI showcases the best in Canadian arts and innovation. Winner of the Innoversity Pitch Competition 2012 and an official 150th Signature Initiative supported by Heritage Canada and the Province of Ontario, SESQUI is touring across Canada throughout 2017 in all types of dome structures and around the world in virtual reality.

    SESQUI:

    SESQUI is a new and inspiring way to see and understand Canada: an immersive journey into the heart, soul and future of this great country through engaging and interactive 360 degree technology.

    @sesqui2017

  • 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

     

  • Lee Downs (Toronto, CAN)

    Senior ID & Communications Specialist

    Redwood Performance Group

    Lee is a communications and learning professional who can effectively assess, plan, and deliver high-impact communications and learning that sticks. She has worked on many projects including three EnAbling Change initiatives for the Accessibility Directorate. Her favourite project was managing and co-writing HRPA’s The Adventures of Harold Jeepers. This was a series of informative and funny videos meant to educate small and medium sized businesses about their responsibilities around the accessibility standards.

    redwoodperforms.com

  • Lee Vermeulen (Toronto, CAN)

    Co-founder

    Alientrap Games

    Lee Vermeulen is the co-founder of Alientrap Games, which started in 2002 with the development of the freeware game Nexuiz. Since then Lee has been the lead programmer/producer on all Alientrap titles, including Capsized on Steam/XBLA in 2011, Apotheon on PS4/Steam in 2015, Autocraft on Steam/iOS, Cryptark on PS4/Steam, and is now working on the HTC Vive title Modbox.

    alientrap.com

    @alientrap

  • Louis Chen (Beijing, CHN)

    CEO

    Parfait Culture

    In 2005, Parfait Cultural Communication was established and we are committed to professional dubbing, video game translation and music creation. Since PCC’s establishment, the company has collaborated with China Film Group and has since produced dubbed versions of films and video games from many countries, including the American video game Rebel Galaxy, French cartoon Les CRUMPETS, Russian movie Some Like It Cold, Match and British cartoon Cha-Ching.

    The company has been providing multilingual voice services for Beijing Capital International Airport and it also do voice recording for publicity films of all kinds. In recent years, it has made a great show in dubbing online games. So far, we have made dubbed versions of World of Tanks,World of Battleships,both are famous Russian online games, and Guild Wars 2, an American MMOG.

    We have rich experience in subtitle translation and dubbing management. So far, the number of our employees have reached 300, all consisting of voice directors and voice actors, some of whom are of the finest. Their professional performances have guaranteed the high efficiency and quality of our work. The company has set up branches in St. Petersburg, Russia, where we are equipped with a dream team of voice directors, voice actors, translators and illustrators, and in Athens, Greece. Also, we have contracted co-operating studios situated in Bratislava, capital of Slovakia, Toronto, Paris, Melbourne and other cities all over the world. As such, we are able to conduct localized voicing and recording in a fast and accurate way.

    Chairman and general manager of the company – Louis Parfait Chen Senior media professional, used to be the host, planner, director and producer in the Central Television, China Tourism Satellite TV, Beijing TV, the United States 5CTV television and other media, and has engaged in cultural promotion business for many years. In 2005, he founded Beijing Parfait Culture Co., Ltd. for the mission “to promote cultural exchanges between China and foreign countries” and to provide cultural products such as localization services for Chinese and foreign customers.

  • Louis-Etienne Dubois

    Assistant Professor

    Ryerson University - School of Creative Industries

    Louis-Etienne Dubois is Assistant Professor of creative industries management at Ryerson University’s School of Creative Industries as well as Associate researcher at MINES ParisTech’s Centre de Gestion Scientifique. He holds a Ph.D. from HEC Montréal and from MINES ParisTech. Louis-Etienne’s research activities aim at developing a better understanding of collaborative and innovation processes in both traditional and creative organizations. Some of his recent work has been published in the European Management Journal and in the Revue internationale de Gestion.

  • Lucie Lalumière (Toronto, CAN)

    Founder

    Lalumiere Media

    Lucie Lalumière is the founder of Lalumiere Media, a consulting business specializing in interactive digital media (IDM), emerging technologies and immersive experiences (virtual reality, augmented reality). Lucie and her collaborators offer a broad range of services such as advising clients on strategy, financing and business development, as well as production and operations. She is also the Executive Producer of Bvrned, a fictional 360 film, at 360 Story Lab.
    Her passion for emerging technologies started over 20 years ago, when she worked on groundbreaking multimedia projects at Bell. Later on, she led innovative and award-winning teams in various strategic roles. Her executive positions include GM French Market (MediaLinx Sympatico), Executive Director New Media (Radio-Canada), VP & GM Interactive, Television (Corus Entertainment), and COO & GM of supersonic MINDS.

    Lucie is a tireless advocate for the IDM industry. She is the Vice-Chair of Interactive Ontario, serves on the Board of Haltech, has been on the board of the Bell Fund, and regularly contributes to industry-related advisory committees.
    She is the winner of the inaugural WIFT-T Digital Trailblazer Crystal Award (2015), has a B.Sc. in Management Information Systems from Université de Sherbrooke, an MBA from McGill University (completed at NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program), and an Award of Achievement in Digital Analytics from UBC/DAA.

    https://ca.linkedin.com/in/lucielalumiere

    @LucieLalumiere

  • 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

  • Mark Bishop (Toronto, CAN)

    Co-CEO and Executive Producer

    marblemedia

    Mark Bishop, Co-CEO and Partner at marblemedia is an accomplished entrepreneur, brand-builder and trusted media industry advocate, who alongside co-founder Matt Hornburg, has grown marblemedia into one of Canada’s leading independent production, distribution and digital media companies.

    Recognized as an industry leader for breaking new ground in mobile and interactive entertainment, Mark is a forward-thinker and champion of content and technologies that are noisy, unexpected and innovative.

    In addition to serving as executive producer across marblemedia’s successful portfolio of television and interactive digital media properties, day-to-day, Mark also leads the strategic growth and management of all divisional and corporate undertakings including, global distribution and sales (Distribution360), finance, marketing, digital media and new business ventures.

    marblemedia.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.

    Glitchers 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.

  • Nancy Chapelle (Toronto, CAN)

    Executive Director

    Bell Fund

    From producing internationally award winning children’s series to telenovelas in Argentina and overseeing the operations of the largest marine production studio in Malta, Nancy has dedicated her career to building organizational capacity for creativity. Nancy is currently Executive Director of the Bell Fund, a private independent production fund that provides financing to digital and tv companies working in the Canadian media industry. Before that as Managing Director of Content & Programming for TVO, Nancy led the evolution of the public broadcaster’s content strategy from a single broadcast channel to a relevant and agile digital multiplatform educational media organization. In 2011 Nancy was recognized with a WXN Top 100 Most Powerful Woman Award in the Arts and Communications category which recognizes contributions women have made to Canadian thinking and culture through the arts. As a board member of The Peer Project/Youth Assisting Youth and mom to two teenage girls, Nancy believes in the importance of empowering young adults.

    bellfund.ca

  • Noam Roubah (Montreuil, FRA)

    Co-Founder

    Darjeeling

    Noam Roubah is a digital and interactive producer. For ten years he worked on documentaries about music, art and culture as cinematographer and editor collaborating with world known artists such as Peter Lindberg, Larry Clark, Christopher Makos and Jonathan Caouette.

    In 2009 he founded with Marc Lustigman, Darjeeling, a production company specialized in hybrid forms and new media productions. Projects like La Duce Vita, Californium or the Christmas window display of Galeries Lafayette are part of his track record.

    darjeelingprod.com

  • Norma Rossler (Kitchener, ON)

    Owner

    Blot Interactive

    The love of technology and the excitement of innovative ideas drives Norma to give a helping hand to creators not sure where to start, as such feel free to reach-out.  Norma is also the owner of Blot Interactive and co-owner of Red Meat Games, both companies have created a variety of Virtual Reality projects including an open world VR game and a multiplayer VR experience, plus a game using Augmented Reality is in the current production pipeline at Blot. Both companies are interested in the use of VR in the health industry as they have observed many interesting effects.

    The journey into the gaming industry has been an interesting trip. Norma Rossler holds two Bachelor of Science Degrees, Diploma in Health Administration, a Master’s Degree in Business, plus is a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA, CGA). The expedition has been far from routine, but the travel log is full of experience.

    @nd_rossler

    @BlotInteractive

    @RedMeatGames

     

  • 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

     

  • Paulo Andrés Carvajal Beltrán (Medellín, Colombia)

    Founder

    Básica

    Over 28 years, from Colombia to Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, Perú, Ecuador, Costa Rica and México understanding people has been a key factor to develop my companies. I have created more than 18 of them and one thing is crystal clear to me:

    Genuine Interest Is The New Authority.

    It is not what you are going to sell but rather how it will improve the world for local people.

    If you can do that, you have a great business. If you can´t, keep looking inside the people. They always have the answer.

    At my company number 18, BASICA, we have this learning as philosophy and i hope this knowledge will be helpful to your plans of improving the world.

    Abrazo.

    basica.com.co

    @pcarvajal

  • 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.

  • Simon Darveau (Montreal, QC)

    Co-founder & Executive Producer

    Scavengers studio

    “It’s by working with passionate and hard-working people and building on how they think and feel that we can come up with the best ideas.” Simon’s strategic approach to production and innovation has helped him carry out countless creative endeavors—both in the AAA setting (Design Closer and Creative Director, Ubisoft Singapore) and in the independent community (Cofounder and Director, Spearhead Games; Cofounder and Director, La Guilde)—that have won awards nationally (Canadian Video Game Award, 2009). With a master’s degree in industrial engineering, Simon has always been an efficient producer who ultimately aims to improve both game design and interactive media as a whole. His creative theory on Collectively Driven Prototype earned him the position of General Manager at ISART DIGITAL’s school of game design.

    But above all else, his exceptional leadership, ambition for innovation and perseverance are the best production values he brings to this new entity The Darwin Project

    @TheDarvian

    scavengers.ca

  • Steve Saylor (Toronto, CAN)

    YouTuber

    Blind Gamer

    Steve Saylor is a Toronto based podcaster, YouTube Gamer, Graphic Designer, College Professor all while being blind!  His entertaining YouTube series “Blind Gamer” fuses humour with his passion for playing video games while being very bad at it. He’s been described as “The Best Worst Gamer” and “YouTube Greatness, Sight Unseen.” He’s also “Wonderful” as described by Captain Kirk himself, William Shatner!  Steve has been featured on CBC, Accessible Media “AMI-tv” and “Right This Minute TV”. When he is not working on his own Internet projects he works as a Digital Producer for Toronto radio stations boom 97.3 and 93-5 The Move.

    http://youtube.com/snowball

    @stevesaylor

     

  • 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

  • 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

  • Tom Frencel (Toronto, CAN)

    CEO

    Little Guy Games

    Tom is passionate about art, particularly video games and film. He is also passionate about technology, although recognizes the duality that technological progress brings about.

    At Little Guy Games, Tom has been responsible for the company’s strategic focus and creative vision. Currently, he is working on three original IP projects in various stages of development:

    – The Last Sky, which explores some of the big questions around life and death

    – The Awakening, a unique take on an audio game played using a Brain Computer Interface (BCI)

    – Wings of Icaria, a virtual reality flying machine where players will experience the feeling of flight

  • 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!