Guest Speakers’ Bios



Saman Ahsan

Executive Director, Girls Action Foundation

Saman Ahsan is the Executive Director of Girls Action Foundation, a national charitable organization that leads and seeds girls’ programs across Canada. We build girls’ and young women’s skills and confidence and inspire action to change the world. Through innovative programs, research, and support to a network of over 300 partnering organizations and projects, Girls Action reaches over 60,000 girls and young women, including those belonging to marginalized, remote, rural and urban communities.

Saman has worked with and on behalf of girls and young women for most of her career. As the National Coordinator of the Girl Child Project at the Family Planning Association of Pakistan, one of the oldest and largest NGOs in the country, Saman was responsible for community mobilization at the grassroots level to empower adolescent girls belonging to marginalized communities. Through her leadership, the Girl Child Project grew exponentially from 130 locations to 730 locations across Pakistan over a five year period.

Saman has also held leadership roles at the World Economic Forum, and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria. As a graduate of the Sauvé Scholars Program in Montréal (2003-2004) and of McGill University’s Anthropology department (1995-1998), she is well acquainted with life in Canada.

The Girls Action Foundation accepted the invitation of the Women’s/Gender Studies program.

Click here for the full calendar of events.

Louis-Félix Binette

Founding Partner F. & co

For 10 years, Louis-Félix Binette held high-level strategic positions in the public sector, notably for a Minister in the Québec government (aboriginal and intergovernmental affairs; democratic reform) and as a diplomat in the Canadian foreign service (postings at the Permanent Mission of Canada to the UN and at the Consulate General of Canada in New York). After studying strategic management at HEC Montréal, where he used LEGO SeriousPlay as an investigative method for his research on strategic processes in complex organizations, he co-founded f. & co to dedicate his energy and creativity to the tranformation of businesses. His objective: leveraging collective intelligence to spur creativity and equip organizations to better face complexity and to capitalize on the knowledge economy. Trained as a translator and lignuist, with a dash of physics and literature, Louis-Félix speaks five languages; he listens to a lot of music, blogs for Génération INC., is a member of the Board of the Institut du Nouveau Monde and Director General of CreativeMornings/Montréal.

Click here for the full calendar of events.

Cara Bridgeman & Christine Marlow

Owners, A Painted Bouquet

Christine Marlow and Cara Bridgeman were both born and brought up in Montreal. With an appreciation of the creative arts and a love for the city they grew up in, they are thrilled to have started a business that marries both these passions.

After many years in the fashion industry, long-time friends Christine and Cara were looking for new challenges, and decided it was time to put their heads together and create their own company. Christine, who paints and teaches in her own studio on the Lachine Canal, had great success selling small format paintings in local art shows. From this, the concept of A Painted Bouquet was born. With much support and encouragement from family and friends, Christine and Cara decided to forge ahead with their small business. The company offers a large assortment of beautiful and everlasting floral arrangements professionally painted on gallery-quality canvasses. With headquarters in Montreal, Quebec, A Painted Bouquet uses only local artists, and provides part-time employment to numerous skilled artisans.

Click here for the full calendar of events.

Jason Della Rocca

Co-Founder / Indie Evangelist, Execution Labs

Jason Della Rocca is the co-founder of Executions Labs, a first-of-its kind, hybrid game incubator and go-to-market accelerator that helps independent game developers produce games and bring them to market. Formerly, Jason was a game industry consultant focused on business and cluster development, working with game studios and organizations all over the world. Prior, he served as the executive director of the International Game Developers Association (IGDA) for nearly nine years, and was honored for his industry building efforts with the inaugural Ambassador Award at the Game Developers Conference. In 2009, Jason was named to Game Developer Magazine’s “Power 50,” a list which profiles 50 of the most important contributors to the state of the game industry.

As a sought after expert on the game industry, Jason has lectured at conferences and universities worldwide. He also serves on various advisory boards and volunteer roles, such as co-chairing IGDA-Montreal, as an advisor to the ICT Practice of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada, and serving on the research management committee of the GRAND Network Center of Excellence.

Click here for the full calendar of events.

Amanda Di Genova

Owner, Elektrek Clothing

Amanda Di Genova is an illustrator, designer, and screen printer. She is an Illustration & Design graduate from Dawson College. Back in 2008, she founded a small t-shirt brand named Elektrek Clothing. In 2009, Elektrek expanded into a print/design studio; Amanda believes this hands-on approach creates a personal experience for her clients and for herself as an artist/entrepreneur. The clothing line is influenced by pop culture, streetwear, Montreal and cultural movements. Amanda (Elektrek) has worked with Sid Lee, Evenko/Osheaga, C2-MTL, (RED), RIDM (Montreal International Documentary Festival), and many other local artists and businesses. The brand has two local shops here in Montreal (more to come in the New Year, including one in the United States). Her current goal is to have Elektrek recognized internationally, not just as a streetwear brand, but a brand from the creative 514 city.

Click here for the full calendar of events.

Patrick Elfassy

Vice-President & Legal Counsel, Mackage

Lawyer by profession, Patrick Elfassy has started his professional career with a large Montreal law firm as a corporate attorney specializing in international law and finance. As such, Patrick participated in several international missions to Africa. Prior to his work in Montreal, Patrick worked for the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland. For the past 8 years, Patrick has been involved in the apparel industry as Vice-President, Legal Counsel and shareholder of Mackage, a family-owned business of which he is one of four brothers.

Mackage is a renowned fashion brand that is distributed in dozens of countries around the world at some of the world’s most prestigious retailers, such as Barney’s, Sak’s 5th Avenue, Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus in the USA, Harvey Nichols in the UK, Galeries Lafayette in France and Holt Renfrew in Canada. Mackage is present at major fashion events in Montreal, Toronto, New York, Paris, Berlin and Tokyo. Mackage, along with its sister brand Soia & Kyo, are part of the APP Group of companies. APP Group, established in 1990, conducts most of its operations from its head office in Montreal with offices and showrooms in Toronto, New York and Miami.

While continuing to develop the wholesale business, Patrick realized early on the potential of E-commerce and the additional success it could bring to the APP Group. Therefore, he decided to stand at the forefront of the company’s E-Commerce vision and strategy since 2006, implementing tools that are at the cutting-edge of technology. Patrick’s passion and desire to innovate has led him to share his knowledge through conferences and interviews.

Click here for the full calendar of events.

Armando Gomez

Senior Director of Advertising, AskMen

Armando Gomez has over 15 years of experience as a media advertising professional. Armando, a Dawson College alumni, graduated with honors from the John Molson School of Business before joining AskMen in January 2000 as part of the original executive team. He has held a variety of management and operational roles, including Editor-in-Chief and Director of Ad Operations. Armando now serves as Senior Director of Advertising.

Armando heads the Brand Fusion team – AskMen’s sales development division. He works closely with the national and global sales force in conceptualizing multi-layered advertising solutions blending editorial, design, data, and strategy. He leads his team of specialists who create all-screens executions integrating branded editorial and video, native advertising, responsive ad design, crossover mobile solutions, and turn-key offline events.

Armando has strategized award-winning campaigns and helped secured key accounts in men’s lifestyle verticals. Our trusted global advertising partners include Unilever, Diageo, Sony Pictures, Porsche, P&G, GM, Ubisoft, Anheuser-Busch InBev, Pepsi, and many more.

Click here for the full calendar of events.

Bruno Goulet

President, Biztree

Bruno Goulet is a serial entrepreneur, internet marketer, growth hacker, systems designer, author and philanthropist aspiring to change the world. He is currently President of Biztree, maker of Business-in-a-Box, the world’s #1 business document templates software. He is also working on a book called Startup Blueprints. He notably owns a collection of 200 domain names including brand names such as,,, and His passion is to create businesses that have the potential to impact the life of millions of people worldwide.

Click here for the full calendar of events.

Louise Guay

Présidente, Living Lab de Montréal

Louise Guay est présidente du Centre de cocréation et d’innovation ouverte Living Lab de Montréal, où elle mène des projets porteurs en transport urbain intelligent, en ludification et économie ouverte qui permettent d’expérimenter de nouvelles approches de consultation publique et de mobilisation des ressources et des idées de toute provenance. Alors que la citoyenneté se mue en une nouvelle civilité de l’innovation sociale Web 2.0 et que la géolocalisation se démocratise, les usagers devenus mobiles interagissent de plus en plus avec de petites et moyennes entreprises qui peuvent dès lors offrir des programmes de fidélisation personnalisés à un plus grand nombre de clients. Utilisant le Living Lab comme plateforme, les citoyens de Montréal vont de nouveau faire entendre leur voix dans les processus d’innovation et participer dans la mouvance et le changement de leur ville.

Visionnaire exécutive dotée d’une expérience internationale, Louise Guay possède une grande maîtrise du positionnement stratégique, de la planification agile et de la création de richesses par la technologie, autant auprès de startups que d’entreprises bien établies. Lorsqu’elle dirigeait Mon Mannequin Virtuel inc., elle a contribué au succès de Lands’ End, Sears, H&M et IBM dans le domaine du commerce électronique social. Ses talents de réseautage lui ont permis de bâtir un solide réseau d’affaires qui inclut des investisseurs de calibre international.

Son parcours professionnel est impressionnant et comporte plusieurs véritables innovations : la première salle d’essayage en ligne avec mannequins 3D configurable, l’identité virtuelle, la personnalisation de l’expérience usager, le shopping social, un pictionnaire de mode et la recherche visuelle de styles. Louise agit aussi comme consultante à propos de l’identité virtuelle et de l’économie des femmes. Plusieurs grands groupes de mode et détaillants européens et américains font appel à son expertise, particulièrement dans les domaines de la consolidation de la chaîne de production de vêtements, du shopping 2.0, de la visualisation des suggestions de taille et de la réalité augmentée.

Visionary executive, leading a company in fashion and technology for many years, My Virtual Model Inc., Louise Guay created the Virtual Identity concept and its inception in the MVM Network which has been deployed on many platforms. She has been a screenplay writer for Radio-Canada, a board member for Bell Funds for TV & web projects, and an expert in retail e-commerce integrating cells, PDAs and stores in multiplatform networks, particularly at Sears with the IBM Websphere Commerce partnership. Thanks to her wide range of experience, Louise provides invaluable expertise anchored in a true understanding and practice of the Female Economy.

Click here for the full calendar of events.

J.M. Henderson

Founder, Secret Agent Research

J. M. Henderson is the founder of her own content marketing and strategy firm, Secret Agent Research, as well as a business journalist for Forbes and an award-winning blogger. Her clients come from fields as diverse as law, government, UX design and emerging tech and her work has appeared in venues including The Atlantic, The Globe and Mail and Salon. J. M. is frequently called upon to provide perspective as a media expert in the areas of youth culture and marketing.

Click here for the full calendar of events.

Mickael Kanfi

Partner and Chief Product Officer, Twist Image

Inspired by a talent for design and technology, Dawson College Alumni Mick Kanfi tapped into his entrepreneurial spirit and founded Twist Image in April 2000. Over the past ten years, he has touched all aspects of the business – from project and operations management to creative and technical direction – helping successfully launch countless marketing initiatives and major websites. Mick is responsible for overseeing the Twist Image product, which is defined as the integration of breakthrough ideas across all departments. Furthermore, Mick is charged with guaranteeing the quality of our work and efficiency of our process and is known for making regular and uninvited appearances at internal meetings and work sessions.

At home, Mick channels his creative juices into his passion for music. Working in his studio, Mick has recently released his debut album, No Coincidence, under the artist name Knafo. Mick’s dream is to one day compose the soundtrack for, and direct his own artistic/musical film.

Click here for the full calendar of events.

Katherine Korakakis

Entrepreneurship Coordinator, ProMontreal Entrepreneurs

Katherine is a Montreal based Entrepreneurship Coordinator whose passion is youth development through entrepreneurship education. For 10 years she was responsible for the development of entrepreneurial initiatives and projects for the Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge, a provincial Youth Secretariat program. She has authored and co-authored guide books on entrepreneurship education. She worked closely and tirelessly with various government bodies to promote entrepreneurship within their respective dossiers. She was instrumental in the development of the first National Entrepreneurship Day, which this year will celebrate its 7th edition. She was also the first national coordinator for Global Entrepreneurship Week Canada and has been involved every year since.

Katherine graduated in 2000 from Concordia University and has two BA’s: one in Political Science, the other in Religion. She also holds a MA Diploma in Community Economic Development. She currently is the Entrepreneurship Coordinator for ProMontreal Entrepreneurs (PME), which is a community initiative created to help young Jewish entrepreneurs build and strengthen their business roots in Montreal.

Click here for the full calendar of events.

Louis-Martin LeBlanc

Founder, Glossbar

Louis-Martin graduated from College de Maisonneuve in 1995 with a Degree in Chemical and Petrochemical process. Over the years, he worked in the petrochemical, pharmaceutical and cosmetics industries, holding positions ranging from batch-maker to quality assurance and scientific affairs. At the same time, he developed a talent for light spinning “Poi” performances and started his activities in the events industry. One passion leading to another, he added photography to his skills, winning contracts for private, nightlife and corporate events. His off-camera flash lighting technique (strobist), normally reserved for fixed installations, sets him apart from the competition.

The Glossbar concept was born from a mix of all these experiences. A wave of color is hitting the province with the new “Design your own lip gloss” concept. Glossbar adds a touch of glamour to any event by having your guests design their own color cosmetic. Each lip gloss is custom-made in 60 seconds and given in hand while still hot.

Glossbar is a colorful idea that livens up any event and adds a highly feminine touch. Men can enjoy the Glossbar as well, as a personalized lip gloss makes a great gift for a friend, lover or family member. This concept has already made its mark in many corporate events, product launches, cocktails, weddings, bachelorette parties, nightclubs and Bar/Bat Mitzvahs in Montréal, Québec, Toronto and Vancouver.

Click here for the full calendar of events.

Jennifer Lonergan

Executive Director, Artistri Sud

After completing a PhD in (women’s) history, Jennifer Lonergan taught at the university, college and high school levels before achieving teacher’s burnout in record time. She subsequently moved back to Canada from Europe, where she’d lived for 11 years, and took up a position at the Canadian Museum of Civilization in our nation’s capital, where she struggled to reorient collecting to include artifacts which would help tell women’s stories in exhibitions. She took a similar approach to her work at National Historic Sites, Parks Canada, before resigning in frustration to develop an idea for promoting cultural heritage in a more hands-on way. After a perspective-changing trip to India, a couple of years of reflection and research, which included volunteering, business courses, and another trip to India, Jennifer opened a shop and co-founded a nonprofit organization, Artistri Sud, dedicated to supporting women craftspeople both here and in the developing world by building their capacity and by promoting and selling their work. The commercial arm, Artistri Atelier Boutique, is now closed; Jennifer is Artistri Sud’s executive director.

Click here for the full calendar of events.

Zach Macklovitch

Owner of Saintwoods / Suwu / Apartment 200

Zach discovered promotions and marketing at a young age working in nearly every major venue in Montreal over the past 8 years. From there he moved his focus to the fashion industry where he created his own menswear line, Myron’s Fine Garments. In 2011 Zach partnered in Montreal based media company Saintwoods and helped to transfer them from a University based company to a reputable international promotion agency throwing upwards of 80 music based events a year. In 2013 Zach opened both a restaurant, Suwu, and a bar, 3643 Saint-Laurent App. 200, that have been hailed as the “facelift St. Laurent was waiting for”.
Click here for the full calendar of events.

Eduardo Mandri

Co-founder & co-CEO,

Eduardo is the co-founder and CEO of, Quebec’s first and largest Group Buying Website and was recently named finalist in the 2013 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award in the category of Emerging Entrepreneur.

Eduardo’s entrepreneurial streak has been evident for a long time. Even as a young boy, he was known for finding ways to buy and sell everything he could get his hands on. Before launching Tuango, Eduardo honed his skills with two small, traditional businesses of his own, as well as with, a trail-blazing book-swapping program he launched that led to significant commercial success. A 5-year stint at corporate giant Air Canada taught him new skills as an e-business manager and online consultant.

In 2004, seeing potential in the online travel marketing space, Eduardo co-founded, a profitable venture that 5 years later became Canada’s largest online travel deals publisher with over 1 million members. was sold to TorStar in 2010, leaving room for Eduardo to launch a new project…which leads us to As co-founder and co-CEO, Eduardo leads a team of dynamic, creative and vibrant staffers who share their singular vision of what a sustainable and cutting-edge business can and should be.

Eduardo is an entrepreneur at heart, and his passion has always been to start and manage new businesses; but he also enjoys spending time with his family, playing pool, skiing and spending time at the beach in Playa del Carmen, Mexico.

Click here for the full calendar of events.

Josh Miller

Partner, Fuller Landau LLP

In 1989, acting on a request by his friend’s father, Josh Miller spent the summer working at Fuller Landau LLP. His summer employment has extended into a career that has seen Josh promoted through the ranks, from summer student and junior to manager, and in 1999, partner. Quite a bit has changed in the business since 1989, but one thing that has not is Josh’s youthful exuberance for the job and building a relationship with clients in which accessibility and transparency are primordial. “Communication is a two-way street, and is essential in any relationship,” remarks Josh. “I’m very direct with people. If it’s on my mind, they’ll know!”

Family dynamics are a big part of Josh’s job. So, too, are solving cash flow problems, management/shareholder negotiations, auditing and consulting for owner-managed businesses in various industries, and dealing with cross-border issues, particularly the impact of Hong Kong and China activities on clients’ businesses. Josh also hosts Fuller Landau’s weekly business oriented radio show on CJAD800, Today’s Entrepreneur. “The show is all about telling inspiring stories from outstanding business people. As a business owner myself, I take great joy in profiling local business leaders who exemplify the entrepreneurial spirit of Quebec’s small and medium business community.”

Click here for the full calendar of events.

Anita Nowak

Integrating Director for the Social Economy Initiative (SEI), McGill University

Anita Nowak, PhD is passionate about doing three things: First, through her teaching, writing and public speaking, she aims to drive social engagement through what she calls “Empathic Action.” Second, in her role at McGill University, she is committed to developing a pipeline of social entrepreneurs and social innovators. Third, as a certified coach with professional fundraising experience, she endeavors to help individuals of means develop their “Lifetime Legacy Plan” and execute on it through impact investing.

In January 2012, Anita assumed the role of founding Integrating Director for the Social Economy Initiative (SEI) at McGill University’s Desautels Faculty of Management ( In this role, she is responsible for integrating social entrepreneurship and social innovation into the Faculty’s teaching, research and outreach. She joined McGill after working for many years in Professional Fundraising, Corporate Communications & Speechwriting, New Business Development, Strategic Marketing and Event Planning.

Anita’s commitment to the social sector runs deep, having served as a volunteer in many capacities. She currently sits on the Board of the Canadian Cancer Society (Quebec chapter) and is on the Learning & Events Committee for WIFI (Women Investing for Impact).

In 2012, Anita was a delegate of the Governor General’s Leadership Conference, received a Quebec Notable Awards for Education and was inducted as an honorary member of The Golden Key International Honour Society. Anita is fanatical about travel, inspirational quotes and TED Talks.

As a Senior Fellow with the Jeanne Sauvé Foundation (, she is currently writing a book with the working title The Power of Empathy.

Click here for the full calendar of events.

Andy Nulman

President, Festivals and Television at Just For Laughs

While young in spirit and snappy in dress, Andy Nulman has been creating and leading major media projects for over three decades.

In July of 2010, Andy took on the position of President, Festivals and Television, of Montreal’s renowned Just for Laughs International Comedy Festival, the world’s first and largest comedy event. This was not Andy’s first go around at JFL. From 1985 until 1999, he literally transformed the event from a two-day show to a month-long cultural happening, attracting over 2 million visitors per year to see talent the likes of Jay Leno, Drew Carey, Jim Carrey, John Cleese, Jerry Seinfeld, Chris Rock, Ray Romano and Adam Sandler, and created/Executive Produced over 150 Festival TV shows, in a variety of languages, all over the world.

During the decade in between Just for Laughs stints, Andy was President and CMO of Airborne Technology Ventures, a company celebrated as a pioneer in the industry of mobile media and marketing. In 1999, Andy co-founded Airborne (then Airborne Entertainment) with Garner Bornstein, and provided the company with the insight and creativity necessary to successfully strengthen brands like FHM, Family Guy and the NFL through the creation of innovative mobile content and applications. Airborne was sold for over 100 million dollars to Cybird of Japan in 2005 and was honoured the following year as North America’s 4th-Fastest Growing Tech Company in Deloitte’s Fast 500 ranking.

An acclaimed, thought-provoking and risk-taking public speaker/showman (who has motivated and entertained Fortune 500 companies the likes of GM, Eveready/Energizer, 3M and Wal-Mart), Andy has also written three books: “How To Do The Impossible,” “I Almost Killed George Burns” and his most recent “Pow! Right between The Eyes! Profiting From The Element of Surprise.” Other accomplishments include being named one of the “Top 40 Under 40” business leaders by the Financial Post in 1997, being voted one of the Top 100 Montrealers of the 20th Century by the Montreal Gazette in 2000, and being honored as a distinguished recipient of the McGill Management Achievement Award in 2004.

In his spare time, Andy is also an inventive stage director, half-decent snowboarder, obsessive gym rat, newbie hockey forward (after 20 years as a goalie), gutsy rock singer and prolific blogger (check him out at Married with two grown children and two rambunctious dogs, his major disappointment is that he has only one life to live…but he’s working on a solution.

Click here for the full calendar of events.

Hayes Nulman

Founder Hayes Nulman Designs

Hayes Nulman discovered his passion for furniture design and fabrication at the early age of 16. Back then, working out of his parents’ garage, he built his first simple pieces using wood, aluminum, concrete, and copper tubing. Designing and building soon became more than a hobby. He took a deeper interest in metal and moved to Idaho to learn more. While there, he took welding courses at North Idaho College, and worked with Iron Mountain Studios.

After his stay in Idaho, Nulman returned to Montreal to pursue furniture design as a career. He honed his woodworking and cement pouring skills at different companies, and tackled the French language while studying at École Nationale du Meuble et de l’Ébénisterie. In the summer of 2012, Nulman worked as a studio assistant for Will Ryman, a conceptual artist, adding fiberglass to his repertoire. That season in New York inspired him; he learned a variety of new skills and discovered an interest in a greater artistic pursuit.

Hayes Nulman is currently in the process of inaugurating Hayes Nulman Design, located in the heart of Westmount. In addition to his own creations he accepts contracts for custom furniture designs.

Click here for the full calendar of events.

Davina Palik & Daniel Kudish

Photographers, Founders of DavinaplusDaniel

Daniel has had a camera in his hands since he was a kid. Accompanied by his father, a well-accomplished amateur photographer, a teenage Daniel was the youngest attendee at workshops in New York City and Boston. He went on to complete a degree in professional photography from Dawson College, where he met his future wife Davina in 2007.

And that is when Davina’s love affair with photography began. She was in her final year of Journalism School, and confused about what she wanted to do with her life. She very much enjoyed the story-telling aspects of journalism, but had yet to find a medium of expression that felt like an extension of her. It wasn’t until a camera was brought to her eye that she finally felt she had found her voice. It didn’t take long for her to commit to this new career – and to the man who helped her discover it! – and she launched herself into both the art and the business of wedding photography.

Today Davina + Daniel ( photograph destination and international weddings exclusively. They have photographed weddings in Japan, Italy, Bhutan, Guatemala, Taipei, Mexico, Monaco, Panama, Costa Rica… as well as several cities in the United States and Canada. They have been published in international publications worldwide, were named one of the top 10 Most Sought-After Photographers of 2012 by Rangefinder magazine, have both individually won ISPWP’s Photographer of the Quarter Award, Daniel was Fearless Photographer’s 2012 Photographer of the Year.

Click here for the full calendar of events.

Luca “Lazylegz” Patuelli

Founder, ILL-Abilities Crew

Luca “Lazylegz” Patuelli was born on July 28, 1984 in Montreal, Quebec with Arthrogryposis, a birth defect affecting the bone structure, joint movement, and muscle growth in his legs. As a result, Luca has been walking with crutches from a very young age. He has been dancing (B-boying) since he was 15-years-old and has made a major impact in the Worldwide Breakdance (B-boy) Community. Luca is the founder and creator of the ILL-Abilities” Crew, the first and only international B-boy crew comprised of the worlds best “ILL-Abled” dancers. The purpose of the ILL-Abilities” Crew is to show the world that if we are creative and adapt ourselves to any situation than anything is possible, with the idea, No Excuses, No Limits!

Luca has competed in some of the world’s biggest events and has been featured on many international media sources, including Americas Got Talent, Much Music, MBC Korea, CBC, TF1, NBC Today Show and much more. Luca also performs around the world as a Motivational Speaker, teaching his audience that life is all about positive attitude. In 2010, Luca was honoured with his biggest career accomplishment, so far, by headlining and co-directing the “One Inspires All” dance segment at the 2010 Vancouver Paralympic Opening Ceremonies. Recently, Luca was featured on hit TV Show “So You Think You Can Dance Canada” where he made it through to the 3rd round of Finals week making history as first dancer with a disability making it that far on national TV. Luca has also had some cameo appearances in some feature films including: “Kickin it Old School” (2007), “Sur Le Rythme” (2011), “Cochon de Gaza” (2011). Luca is also a graduate with a degree in Marketing from the John Molson School of Business at Concordia University in Montreal. Luca has no intentions of slowing down and plans on taking his career to higher levels everyday while proving to the world “It’s about taking the bad and making it good” and “No Excuses, No Limits”.

Click here for the full calendar of events.

Heri Rakotomalala

Partner, SeedingFactory

Heri Rakotomalala is co-founder and partner at SeedingFactory, a company specialized in crowdfunding for tech entrepreneurs, creatives and artists from Montreal. He helped Notman House raised more than $120,000 in November 2012, and has worked on dozens of other campaigns in video game, mobile startup, cinema and design projects. He is also co-organizer of the Montreal NewTech events, a monthly meetup that presents 5 new Montreal startups to a 100+ audience. Heri is the editor of MontrealTechWatch, which covers innovation and new technologies in Montreal. He is also on the board of VentureCapTV. Heri Rakotomala has a MSc degree from the Engineering School Telecom SudParis and a DESS in management from HEC.

Click here for the full calendar of events.

Bruno Rakotozafy

Partner, SeedingFactory

With a double education in Sciences and Business Strategy Bruno is a cross pollinator.
Besides experiences in consulting firms (public funds) and multinational companies (strategic marketing) he’s been involved in the crowdfunding movement since 2010. So far he’s helped to rise more than 100,000$. During his spare time Bruno wrote about emerging markets and practice graphic design. His motto: “Memento Audere Semper (Remember to Always Dare)”.

Click here for the full calendar of events.

Noah Redler

StartUp Canada’s leader for the province of Quebec

Noah Redler is a Montreal based entrepreneur and StartUp Canada’s leader for the province of Quebec. Noah is the co-founder of Publikit a web agency designed for the needs of startups and SME’s and a private project developer consultant specializing in new market expansion, strategic planning and public relations.

Noah is also socially active in his community; sitting on the Board of Directors of Centre NAHA a social reintegration center in Hochelaga-Maisonneuve, he is a member of the Bureau de Direction of the Regroupement des Jeunes Chambres de Commerce du Québec (RJCCQ), and sits on several political advisory committees in the province.

With professional experience as Head of Logistics and Hospitality for the Just For Laughs Festival, the Communications Manager for Canada World Youth, as a Political Attaché for the Borough of Ville-Marie (Montreal), VP Policy and Communications for Communoloft, an independent events organizer and is actively involved in local politics.

Noah uses his experience to continue develop new projects for the future.

Click here for the full calendar of events.

Natalie Rivière

Founder, Virtual Resources

Since 2005 Natalie has helped entrepreneurs and small business structure and spread their positive messages with a wide range of online marketing services and Google Apps for Business. Natalie’s background is deeply rooted in social business. Her life-long participation in a green family company and extensive studies in commerce, including a BCOMM with the John Molson School of Business, nourished her entrepreneurial tendencies. A DEP in Artistic Make Up, Yoga teaching Accreditation, and Certificate in Plant Based Nutrition, transformed her hobbies into jobs and gave her experience working independently.

Natalie realized that her background in business gave her a strong advantage amongst her peers, as there is often little to no entrepreneurship training in most professional educational programs. She then began a mission to empower her community with the tools, education, and support required for them to be their ultimate selves as a career and help create the change they want to see in the world. This led her to establish what is now called Virtual Resources where she helps conscious businesses and entrepreneurs make waves.
Click here for the full calendar of events.

Dr. Shelagh Robinson

Founder, Mirror Read Inc.

Dr Shelagh Robinson is an instructor in Psychology at Dawson College, entrepreneur, and Founder of Mirror Read Inc. – an independent educational digital game and book publishing company based in Montreal.

Mirror Read is the only company in the world producing books and games in reverse. Mirror Read was inspired by her interest in the creativity of Leonardo da Vinci and Lewis Carroll. As a Psychologist, she is interested in how mirror reading changes our brains; imaging technologies show that Mirror Reading excites areas of the cortex not associated with regular reading. Mirror Reading practice in adults leads to grey-matter growth in the regions linked to mental transformation, creativity and problem-solving.
Click here for the full calendar of events.

Robert Soroka

Business Professor

Business professor Robert Soroka is known to be a dynamic, charismatic speaker with significant industry experience and an eye for business ideas. Professor Soroka teaches business and law courses at Concordia University’s John Molson School of Business, Concordia University’s School of Extended Learning, and Dawson College’s Business Administration Department. At Dawson College, he has previously served as both Department Chair and Program Coordinator; he is also the founder of the annual Dawson Case Competition, an event that features 26 college teams hailing from across Quebec.

Professor Soroka has made more than 1,200 national and local television and radio guest appearances, and was the Consumer Cop on Montreal Today (CTV) and the Consumer Correspondent on This Morning Live (Global Television) for 5 years. As a private consultant, Professor Soroka has been called on to offer his marketing and management expertise to large private and public institutions, as well as to entrepreneurial ventures competing in both consumer and business markets.

Click here for the full calendar of events.

Despina Sourias

Entrepreneurship Awareness and Promotion Officer, Table des CJE de l’Île-de-Montréal
Bringing partners together, creating opportunities for individuals to achieve their goals and supporting capacity-building projects are the kind of challenges that drive Despina’s work. She has extensive experience in community development projects locally and internationally, and works in the field of entrepreneurship promotion as a Regional Entrepreneurship Awareness and Promotion Officer for the various Carrefour jeunesse-emploi of Montreal. In this capacity, she has developed educational tools to engage youth in becoming entrepreneurial and has also organized a series of projects and activities for budding entrepreneurs, including the creation of a networking group, EDGE Networking. Despina has a Bachelor’s in international development from McGill University and an international administration diploma from the École nationale de l’administration publique.
Click here for the full calendar of events.

Sam Vermette

CEO, Transit App

Sam Vermette is the CEO & Co-founder of Transit App, a young start-up focused on improving how cities function through better mobility.

Ever obsessed with the interaction between Man and his surroundings, Sam decided to study industrial design at University of Montreal in 2006, helping him fine-tune his approach to design problems and solutions. Halfway through his studies, the iPhone SDK came out and stood out as an exciting opportunity to start building products with the mobile context in mind. He self-learned Objective-C and launched his first app Shows in 2009. After graduating in 2010, he worked as a freelance iOS developer all while continuing to work on personal projects.

Since 2012, Sam has been spending most of his time designing and developing Transit. He’s also known for his open source contributions, which have helped thousands of other fellow developers.

Click here for the full calendar of events.

f & co

f & co is a partnership firm that aims to promote the development of collaborative processes in businesses and public sector organizations.

To do so, it relies on a structure that organizes material, financial and cognitive assets in order to access the latest knowledge in terms of economics trends, social media usage as well as the latest creative techniques, methodologies and tools.

Knowledge lies at the basis of what f. & co aims to transmit, share and put forward with its clients using targeted interventions tailored to the specific needs and problems of each particular context.


Click here for the full calendar of events.

Creative Mornings

CreativeMornings is a free, monthly breakfast lecture series for creative types.

Started in NYC by Tina Roth Eisenberg, founder of swissmiss, CreativeMornings has chapters around the world including New York, Chicago, London, Zurich, LA, San Francisco, Berlin, and Montréal among others.

Each event includes a 20 minute lecture, followed by a 20 minute group discussion. The gathering begins at 8:00am with the topic presentation starting at 8:30am and everyone taking off for work at 10am. CreativeMornings are free of charge!

CreativeMornings is coming to Dawson College in the evening with a slightly different format because they love changing it up once in a while. Watch the calendar on November 19, 2013.

Freelancers meet-up group

It’s hard out there for a freelancer. Whether you’re a writer, designer, crafter, artist or solo entrepreneur, you understand the challenges of bringing in revenue, marketing your wares, collecting what you’re owed, keeping the books and still finding time to have a social life outside of work. It doesn’t matter if you’re a seasoned freelancer or just dipping your toe in the self-employment pool – this group is for you. Meet other like-minded Montrealers to share business development strategies, talk about your newest projects, launch collaborations or just let off steam about the client from hell over a beer. We’ve all been there. The focus is on informal fellowship, not structured networking, so no “working the room” required or encouraged.

Click here for the full calendar of events.

Montreal Girl Geeks

Montreal Girl Geeks is an offshoot of the worldwide Girl Geek Dinners, started by Sarah Blow. Our community makes tech (high and low), skills (soft and hard) and networking (contacts and friends) accessible to women of all age groups and backgrounds. Girl Geeks Mandate is to:

  • Inspire the next generation of girl geeks to get involved in tech.
  • Help women in our community share and develop new skills.
  • Promote the visibility of girl geeks kicking ass out there… in Montreal and beyond!

Girl Geeks provide tools, resources and events in an informal, welcoming environment online and offline. Monthly events are often held in pubs, restos or coworking spaces and there is usually a speaker (or panel) covering a chosen subject for the evening. Check out our event announcements and recaps, and while you’re at it: come to the next one, we’d love to connect with you!.

Click here for the full calendar of events.

Last Modified: June 15, 2015