June 2017

Reality Check: Diagnosing Canada's Innovation Gap

11:30am-1:30pm | InterContinental Hotel - 225 Front Street West, Toronto

How can established industry, startups, academia and government create a collaborative ecosystem where innovation can thrive? What does Canada need to change in order to foster innovation, retain top talent and lead in commercialization and growth? Canada seems to have all the right ingredients to foster innovation and support entrepreneurs but the truth is, we still face many hurdles to overcome. In this Economic Club exclusive, our panel of experts will lay out the problems we face as a country and offer creative insights and solutions to fix them.

- Interested in sponsoring this event? Email lapointe@economicclub.ca for available opportunities -

- Lunch will be served -

Member price:
Individual seat: $89 +HST
Table (seats 10): $800 +HST

Regular price:
Individual seat: $110 +HST
Table (seats 10): $990 +HST

- For information about accessibility, please email lapointe@economicclub.ca
- Dietary restriction notes and meal requests must be submitted to lapointe@economicclub.ca by Monday, June 5, 2017.

Abdullah Snobar

Executive Director
DMZ at Ryerson University

Abdullah Snobar

Abdullah Snobar is the Executive Director of the DMZ at Ryerson University, the top-ranked university-based startup incubator in North America and third in the world by UBI Global.

Abdullah leads a team that is passionate about helping Canadian startups scale to world-class businesses and realize their full potential. In this capacity, he drives the DMZ’s key priorities to provide innovative support for startups, increase business development and market expansion opportunities, and foster stronger local and international community partnerships.

In the seven years since DMZ launched, an impressive 266 startups have incubated. These Canadian startups have raised $213 million in seed funding, resulting in the creation of more than 2,500 jobs and products and solutions that are positively changing lives and businesses in Canada and abroad.

In his previous role as the Director of Community and Business Development, Abdullah spearheaded the creation of an Entrepreneur-in-Residence (EiR) program, set the strategic direction for building industry, government and international partnerships, and established stronger connections with incubators and accelerators.

Motivated by community development and civic engagement, Abdullah founded and leads the Ryerson International Experience Learning Program (RIEL), an initiative that provides students with valuable experiences through cultural integration, local travel and volunteering in developing countries across the globe. His entrepreneurial spirit and advocacy for women and youth is reflected through his involvement in SupaMaasai, a non-profit foundation in Kenya striving to improve the Massai community’s quality of living. Abdullah also serves on the Ontario Trillium Foundation Board, the Arab Community Centre of Toronto (ACCT) Board as President, the Toronto Core Leadership Table and Civic Action’s DiverseCity 2016 Mentors.

Abdullah holds a Bachelor of Commerce from Ryerson University and is also the licensed owner and curator of TEDxRyerson. Abdullah is a regular columnist for Huffington Post Canada, a globally sought-after public speaker and frequent media commentator on technology, start-ups, innovation and entrepreneurship.

David Walmsley

The Globe and Mail

David Walmsley

David Walmsley was appointed the Editor-in-chief of The Globe and Mail in March 2014. His appointment returned him to The Globe and Mail where he previously worked as the Managing Editor and National Editor. Under his editorship, The Globe and Mail has won the Michener Award, national newspaper awards, top honours among an international field at the global Online Journalism Awards and a series of Eppy awards recognizing digital excellence.

In 2015, David moderated the federal leaders’ election debate on the economy in Calgary, Alberta.

David previously held senior positions at the CBC in Toronto and Ottawa, Toronto Star and National Post.

He began his career at The Belfast Telegraph where he was named Northern Ireland Young Journalist of the Year in 1995. He also worked for The Daily Record in Scotland and The Daily Mail and The Daily Telegraph in London.

He spent 17 years investigating the worst helicopter crash in Royal Air Force history, ultimately helping to clear the names of the two dead pilots. He was associate producer of the related Channel 4 documentary The Final Flight of Zulu Delta 576.

David belongs to a range of industry bodies. In addition to being a Board member of the Canadian Journalism Foundation, David also serves as an advisor to the Digital Media Zone at Ryerson University in Toronto.
He is a member of the International Media Council of the World Economic Forum and serves on the executive steering group of the industry’s Trust Project, thetrustproject.org, organized out of Santa Clara University in California.

He is also a judge of the Shorty Awards in New York City recognizing the best in short-form content on social media.

Dino Trevisani

IBM Canada

Dino Trevisani

Dino Trevisani is President, IBM Canada, where he leads a team that is passionate about delivering value to its clients; helping Canadian organizations, both large and small, use innovative technology to transform their businesses and realize their full potential.

Dino is a member of an integral group of global IBM executives who serve on the Chairman's Performance Team and is a member of IBM’s senior leadership Growth and Transformation Team. Prior to his appointment as General Manager in January 2015, Dino served as the Managing Director for Citigroup. In this capacity he led IBM sales and go-to-market execution for all of Citigroup’s global businesses operating in over 160 countries.

Dino has held a variety of roles over the course of his 29 years at IBM, many involving deep expertise in financial services and management, including retail banking, capital markets and insurance. From 2008 to 2009 he served as Vice President, Financial Services for North and South America and prior to that he was responsible for IBM’s Financial Services Sector across multiple regions in both Canada and the United States. During his tenure, he led a team of industry experts dedicated to delivering world-class services and innovative applications to help banks and insurance companies grow and compete on a global scale.

Dino’s IBM career has been characterized by diverse leadership roles including finance, business management, sales, and marketing, coupled with geographic and global executive assignments. He holds an Honours Bachelor of Commerce degree from McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario and a Masters of Business Administration degree from both Queen’s School of Business in Kingston, Ontario, and Cornell’s Johnson School of Management in Ithaca, New York.

Dino serves on the Board of Directors for the Conference Board of Canada, the Advisory Council for Cornell’s Johnson School of Management, the Smith School Advisory Board, and as the Technology Division Chair for the 2016 Toronto and York Region United Way’s Campaign Cabinet. He is a member of the Business Council of Canada and a board member for the Canadian Business/Higher Education Council (BHER). He is also a member of Ryerson University’s DMZ Advisory Council and the IBM internal Universities and Colleges Council. Dino is proud to be named an OUTstanding Leading Ally Executive by the Financial Times.

Nazmin Gupta

Chief Marketing Officer

Nazmin Gupta

Nazmin Gupta is Greystone’s Chief Marketing Officer and is primarily responsible for enhancing the client/consultant journey, building our marketing intelligence, promoting and protecting the Greystone brand and growing key asset classes. She is also responsible for the marketing leadership team. Nazmin joined Greystone in the Toronto office in early 2011. Prior to this, she was the former Senior Vice-President, Real Estate & Mortgages before moving to her current role in 2016. Nazmin has over 15 years of experience in change management, business operations and serving current and potential clients along with their consultant-advisors. Prior to joining Greystone, Nazmin was Director, New Business at Morguard Investments Limited where she focused on aligning business development initiatives with the firm’s strategic goals by targeting new clients, markets, and product offerings, and ensuring continuous engagement with the firms’ existing clients. Her previous postings included Carpedia Group International and PricewaterhouseCoopers in Toronto and Zynik Capital Corporation in Vancouver.

Nazmin is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, holding both a Bachelor of Science in Economics, cum laude, from The Wharton School and a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations, cum laude, from the College of Arts and Sciences.

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