ResolveTO officially kicks off with the Wednesday night party (Jan 25th) and then rolls into two days of content and networking. Mornings consist of Keynotes, while the afternoons are divided between “The Speed Dating Zone”, powered by Rogers, and content on the “Startup Stage” and the “Corporate Innovation Stage”.

  • 25 Jan
    Day 1
  • 26 Jan
    Day 2
  • 27 JAN
    Day 3
5:00 PM - Registration opens

505 Richmond Street W., Toronto ON    

5:00 PM to 11:00 PM - Opening Kick Off Party

Cocktails and networking break the ice at the Opening Kick Off Party for ResolveTO!

  • Keynote Stage
  • Startup Stage
  • Corporate Innovation Stage
10:00 AM Nina Simosko (NTT Innovation Institute)
The Lessons of Innovation Culture

Innovation. Everyone – startup entrepreneurs and intrepreneurs at global multi-nationals - have their own definition of what it means. Regardless of the multiplicity of definitions people and institutions may hold, there is a universal truth about innovation and that is: Innovation belongs to everyone. Every organization of every size has the potential – and the need - to be innovative. Every organization has unique elements that nurture and others that hinder making this imperative real. And it’s not just about tech skills and agile processes. It takes the creation and nurturing of something uniquely human, the right culture, to create the space in which everyone has a voice and can be a creator. While there is no magic formula for this in either the 2 person startup or the billion dollar corporation with hundreds of thousands of employees, there are some common attributes of places that both spark and fuel innovation. People. Ideas. Attitudes. Connections. Divergence. Convergence. They all play a role. With these in mind, you can decide how to make them relevant and aligned with your own business and resources – and yes – your dreams.

9:00 AM - Doors Open and Breakfast is served, thanks to Shopify

10:20 AM Joseph Jaffee (Evol8tion)
The Startup Imperative: Making the strategic and business case for brand collaboration

Partnering with startups seems to be all the rage right now with brands, but with all the speed dating, bounty or hunting for startups to pitch at shark tank events, are brands missing the point and in doing, just scratching the surface in terms of possibilities and potential? In this keynote, 4-time author and co-founder of Innovation boutique, Evol8tion, will help make the strategic and business case behind the brand-startup ecosystem. With the 1-2-3 punch of efficiency, effectiveness and transformation, Jaffe will outline the value proposition behind brands as investors and inventors - and in doing so, deliver against mission critical KPI’s of growth, differentiation and customer engagement.

10:40 AM Tom Williams (BetterCompany)
The enlightenment of the Social CEO

Just a few years ago, the CEO was accountable only to their board and shareholders. Now, every customer, employee and even candidate experience is amplified by social media, and in 24 hours, create a crisis of epic proportions. How do CEO's and leadership adjust to this new social reality? In this talk, Tom Williams, Founder of BetterCompany, will talk about how today's companies have to evolve to create an "active listening culture" that embraces every point of view across every channel.

11:00 AM Lily Cortese (Johnson & Johnson Innovation Centre)
The Savannah to the Boardroom: Evolution, Organization, and Innovation

The human race is living in the Cambrian Explosion of Innovation. Products, collaborations, and company structures look very different today than they did even fifty short years ago. The digital age has removed barriers to success that once faced start-ups. But forgetting the biological and social characteristics that make our species effective could be detrimental toward realizing company goals. In this time of unprecedented online connections, it is worth remembering that, offline relationships, are where innovation really happens.

11:20 AM Sukhinder Singh Cassidy (Joyus)
Lessons Learned On Building a Strong Board: A CEO's Inside View

Whether you're a first-time or veteran CEO, building and leading your Board of Directors is one of your most critical duties. While a dysfunctional board can create a myriad of issues and challenges that threaten to sink even the most promising of companies, a strong board can elevate a company’s performance. In this session, veteran Silicon Valley CEO Sukhinder Singh Cassidy will share her personal stories and learnings to give you an insider’s view of what it takes to build and maintain strong boards.

11:40 AM Bobi Milosevic (Mercedes-Benz USA), Zelma Cilliers (Mercedes-Benz Canada), Miguel A. Sosa (Mercedes-Benz Mexico), Kristen Carey – Moderator (Mercedes-Benz Canada)
Driving Innovation Through Collaboration

Mercedes-Benz has a history of making history. Since the first car, Mercedes-Benz has set the pace for what all cars might someday become. With an ongoing stream of firsts in safety, performance and driving enjoyment, there's only one reason the world's first automaker remains first in innovation: the love of inventing. And with alternative fuels, car-sharing, and autonomic vehicles, the industry has never been so ripe for change. This unprecedented look at automotive innovation brings three countries together as the CIOs of Mercedes-Benz Canada, Mexico, and the United States take the stage together, offering an inside perspective on how they have turned to startups to help drive innovation within their organizations.


1:15 PM - "Best Pitch" Competition

For afternoon sessions, check out the Startup Stage and the Corporate Innovation Stage, or check out the Speed Dating Zone brought to you by Rogers!

2:00 PM Chris Shipley (FutureWork)
Dancing with Elephants: What I Learned Trying To Navigate Startup-Saving Deals

Every startup dreams of nailing that one great deal that validates (and finances) your nascent business. But be careful what you wish for. Elephants dance to a very different drummer.

2:40 PM Randy Smerik (Osunatech, Inc)
Successful Acquisitions: To Buy … and to be Bought

Randy Smerik, successful serial entrepreneur and active angel investor, gives a practical “how to” talk on how to drive a success acquisition … from both perspectives: the view of the Start-up interested in acquisition and the view of an Enterprise considering an acquisition to advance strategic or tactical goals. Randy highlights in concrete detail 3 critical elements that he has learned firsthand over the last 25 years. Be ready to take notes!

3:20 PM Ted Serbinski (Mobility – Techstars), Greta Cutulenco (Acerta), Ryan Broshar (Techstars Retail), Marty Bauer – Moderator (GAN)
Walking the walk

Regardless of product, market, or history, startups share one defining characteristic: Growth. Startups grow their user base, revenues, staff, and footprint faster than big organizations. There are many ways to grow, from organic approaches like virality and product stickiness to inorganic, venture-fueled customer acquisition. But one of the fastest—and least understood—paths to growth is to work hand in hand with large, incumbent corporations. This panel brings together startups going down this path, along with directors from accelerator powerhouse Techstars, to explain how established companies, emerging technologies, and early-stage innovators can work together and innovate.

4:00 PM Wendy Lea (Cintrifuse)
BigCos' Love Affair with NewCos

BigCos appetite for innovation has never been stronger. In this session, Wendy Lea will share her insights in how NewCos (Startups) can effectively market, sell and scale their capability to the priorities of large global organizations. Learn how to: 1. Research strategic fit 2. Identify internal teams and influencers that are responsible for innovation. 3. Assess current infrastructure alignment 4. Discover and qualify a specific pilot project 5. Find an internal Executive Sponsor for the opportunity.

Check out the Corporate Innovation Stage or the Speed Dating Zone brought to you by Rogers!

2:00 PM Ian Friedman (Goldman Sachs Investment Partners) and Ben Zifkin (Hubba)
Thinking like a VC

Ian Friedman, General Partner at Goldman Sachs Investment Partners, will discuss how he identifies great opportunities and makes decisions on when to invest and when to double-down. Whether you are incubating your own initiatives in-house, whether you are investing in companies or whether you are buying companies, learn how top investors evaluate growth, teams and market opportunities. Interview is moderated by Ben Zifkin, CEO and Founder of Hubba, a Goldman Sachs portfolio company.

2:40 PM Angelique Mohring (GainX Inc.)
Bring a shovel, your innovation strategy, and an open mind …

Nearly every corporation today has a clay layer embedded within their culture. Not purposefully – but it sits hidden in your shadow network and bloats the chasm between innovation strategy and execution. As a result, your most opportune moments repeatedly flatline. Join Angelique in an interactive dialogue to help you to identify your clay layer, accelerate access to ideas, increase the flow of innovation, move away from innovation theatre and vanity metrics, and importantly, mature your existing pockets of innovation into a corporate-wide strategic, core competency for real, competitive market gains.

3:20 PM Greg Dubejsky (MaRS Discovery District)
Turning the Cruise Ship (How to identify & create a case for change in an established organization)

Business model disruption. Corporate Innovation. “Fail fast.” “Iterate.” Have you heard these words enough times yet? They represent critical concepts to actually create and deliver change. However, most of the time we just pay them lip service & skim the surface, while avoiding the gory details and stories that give better insight to what actually goes right and wrong in the pursuit of innovation. In this talk, we will go behind the scenes with a real live case study of innovation strategy, focusing on a pivotal moment for Gillette. Greg will share insights, and his good, bad, and ugly anecdotes on how he approached business model innovation on an $8B established business. Participants will learn about pitching to a multinational CEO, how the tiniest parameter can have dramatic impact on a system, why business models are actually important, and how to innovate even though there are no new ideas.

4:00 PM Dr. Andrew Maxwell (Canadian Innovation Centre)
Improving your innovation quotient

Dr. Maxwell has not met a senior leader in an organization who did not list innovation as a priority. Yet most struggle to increase the level of innovation activity in their organizations. Based on 15 years of research, he has observed that this is often because they focus on innovating, without first understanding and removing the barriers that stifle innovation. During this presentation, Dr. Maxwell will share and show you how to apply his unique Behavioural Trust Framework® (BTF), which you will be free use in your organization after the conference. He has found that leaders who use this framework to diagnose and address innovation barriers are able to rapidly increase innovation activities in their organizations.

Check out the Startup Stage or the Speed Dating Zone brought to you by Rogers!

  • Keynote Stage
  • Startup Stage
  • Corporate Innovation Stage
9:00 AM - Doors Open and Breakfast is served, thanks to Shopify

10:00 AM Daniel Koffler (Rio Tinto)
The Realities of Innovation in Heavy Industry: How mega corps use, acquire, destroy and are destroyed by innovation.

Join Dan as he explores trends in Industry 4.0 such as cyber-physical systems, explains the common mental models most large enterprises use when developing their innovation programs and how they evaluate innovation partners. He will then delve into several real world examples of how the digitization of industrial processes gets messy when the real world gets involved. Despite the challenges posed by typhoons, Ebola, magnetic fields that fry electronics and extending wireless networks kilometers underground, there is immense opportunity for those brave enough to pursue it.

10:20 AM Chocko Valliappa (Vee Technologies) and Sean Stanleigh (The Globe and Mail)
Think small, run big: The new Globalization

Partnering with big incumbents. Launching overseas. Offshore engineering. When you’re an early-stage startup, these sound like serious challenges. But they don’t have to be, as Chocko Valliappa has proven. While common wisdom says to test locally and be close to your target markets, there are other ways to grow. The founder of Vee Technologies has been innovating on a global scale, linking Waterloo and India with projects like Vidhyasmart, Nanolytics, and his work with Sona University & VeeTech. Hear first-hand, in this fireside chat with the Globe and Mail's Sean Stanleigh, how today’s shrinking world means thinking globally from the outset—call it Globalization 2.0—can transform every part of discovering, building, and launching a startup, may be also open a new market!

10:40 AM Lana Novikova (Heartbeat AI Technologies)
The Wizard Behind the Curtain

The dirty secret of a code-driven, algorithm-heavy world is that both consumers and marketers have emotional brains. We make irrational decisions, as chronicled by Jonathan Haidt and Daniel Kahneman. We're full of bias, no matter how hard we try to overcome it. What's really happening ""behind the curtain"" of customers and vendors? Who's the ""wizard""? In this talk, we'll look at the fundamentals of emotional decision-making—borrowing examples from recent elections to underscore the complex emotional relationships that drive choice. Ultimately, rather than rational appeals, key marketing principles that truly influence emotions are the ""yellow brick road” that can lead consumers closer to their true selves.

10:45 AM Andy Nulman (Play the Future)

10:50 AM Iliana Oris Valiente (Rubix by Deloitte)
Blockchain and Beyond: the Bittersweet Side of Technology

With the intersection of blockchain and other exponential technologies, we may not need to make as many of the same types of decisions because programs will do that for us. What happens when “money” has opinions on how it’s used? How will we build and release decentralized technology and manage the resulting output? This session will explore the pros and cons of this kind of future.

11:00 AM Nyla Ahmad (Rogers Communications Inc.)
The 7 Habits of Highly Innovative People

Innovation is the latest business buzzword. What does it take to be an innovator? And what, really, constitutes innovation? Join Nyla as she shares her perspective on innovation and offers insights on how to think and behave like the truly ingenious. Sharing lessons learned from some of the greatest out-of-the-box thinkers – from Ted Rogers to Jane Goodall – Nyla explains why, she believes, turning unique ideas into unique actions is a habit we can all develop.

11:20 AM Mike Lipkin (Environics/Lipkin)
How to pitch your promise like a champion

The biggest challenge facing both an enterprise and startup audience is how to communicate their unique value proposition impactfully. The noise has never been louder and the distractions have never been greater. There are so many priorities competing for our attention that we hardly know what to do and when to do it. We’re magnetized to people who help us make sense of the chaos and guide us on how to achieve winning results. Highly Effective Communication is the secret sauce of today’s Champions. It is the process of sharing information and transferring emotions in such a way that others are motivated to take the desired actions. Champion communicators say the right things and they say them in the right way. They inspire and inform others in equal measure. They understand how to make connections and they walk their own talk. As one of the world’s leading communication coaches, Mike Lipkin will share his core insights on how to persuade the most influential decision makers to literally buy into your vision.

11:40 AM David Chouinard (Facebook Connectivity Lab)
Building world-class R&D teams

We've learned a lot about investing and creating successful startups, but we still hold Bell Labs as the pinnacle of success in R&D. At Facebook, Disney and others, David has worked with some of the top R&D teams around. In this session, he'll look at what it takes to build internal teams with the momentum, urgency and caliber of the world's best startups.


For afternoon sessions, check out the Startup Stage and the Corporate Innovation Stage, or check out the Speed Dating Zone brought to you by Rogers!

2:00 PM Mike Shaver (Real Ventures)
Switching Mobile Horses

In late 2011, Facebook’s mobile apps were built atop code shared with the main website, painfully wedged into the apps’ shells. Limitations in mobile web views and increasing demand for rich, responsive mobile experiences pointed the way towards building fully-native applications. On the other hand, Facebook had the web baked deeply into every aspect of its business: engineering and design skill sets, monetization, product management and release strategies, and even organisational relationships. What to do — and, more importantly, how?

2:40 PM Susan Etlinger (Altimeter, a Prophet Company)
Real Analysts of Silicon Valley (and Beyond)

Relationships with industry analysts can have a big impact on start-ups, but often not in the way you’d expect. Susan Etlinger has been on both sides of the table. Early in her career, she counselled start-ups in PR and analyst relations strategy. Today, she’s an analyst focused on a range of emerging technologies. In this talk, Susan will share her experiences from both camps and help you figure out when and how to work with analysts, how their business models affect yours, when to (and not to) pay them, what makes them tick, and how to get the most from your relationship.

3:20 PM John Philip Green (CareGuide)
Building a startup team at this exact moment in time

CareGuide is an unorthodox startup, made up of a passionate group of 30 employees. The company has had next to zero turn-over and is the #1 highest rated in Canada on Glassdoor. They have employees in every age bracket: teens, 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, and 60s. More than 60% of the team members are women. It also at the top by any measure of financial performance. How is this? John Philip Green, Chief Executive Dad, will share unusual approach to hiring and retention.

4:00 PM Kirk Simpson (Wave) and Peter Misek (BDC IT Venture Fund)
Blinded by TechCrunch

Every startup is crushing it, and everyone's a rockstar. Except almost everyone is faking it. Six years after launch, having raised $63 million in funding and attracted 2.3 million customers, Wave’s Kirk Simpson talks candidly with the BDC’s Peter Misek, about what really happens from idea to success. Get the real scoop on what the road looks like, including the fear, doubt, and real-world celebrations and victories, that never make it to the pages of TechCrunch.

Check out the Corporate Innovation Stage, or check out the Speed Dating Zone brought to you by Rogers!

2:00 PM Andre Boysen (SecureKey)
Everything old is new again: How to think about digital identity

Organizations pay a lot of lip service to better customer service. "Customer-first service," they say. "We are digital by default, and engage customers across all our channels." But is their marketing writing checks their companies can't deliver? Whether you're an early-stage startup or a global company, it's hard to walk the walk. One reason for this is that today's services happen to consumers, rather than for them. Marketers and platforms compete for consumer attention. Online identity is chaos. Customers have to authenticate with myriad different mechanisms, from selfies to passwords to retinal scans to favorite band to scanned government ID—and beyond. In our effort to connect with a customer securely across many channels, we've made chaos the norm, and ruined the customer experience. This means that any attempt to engage a market starts off on a bad footing. There has to be a better way. In this talk, Securekey's André Boysen takes us on a whirlwind journey through the history of payment and identity, and shows us how the path forward needs to change so we can stop annoying the customer and start serving them.

2:40 PM Ben Yoskovitz (Highline BETA), Dave Wattling (TELUS Health), Chris Murumets (LOGiQ3 Group, Cookhouse Lab)
Disrupting Your Own Organization Through Startup Innovation

Large companies have incredible assets locked up within them, including talent, domain expertise, capital and distribution. The challenge is in unlocking those assets in a meaningful way to create new businesses, all while maintaining the core (for now!) Startups have assets too—they move quick, experiment and learn more, and address customers' needs with little baggage. Here’s the reality: startups need what big companies have, and big companies need what startups have. Ben Yoskovitz, along with Dave WattlingChief Corporate Development Officer at TELUS Health and Chris Murumets, CEO at LOGiQ3 Group and Co-Founder at Cookhouse Lab, will talk about how large companies are leveraging startup innovation—without pretending they’re startups—to disrupt themselves and grow, while unlocking and sharing their valuable assets with startups more effectively.

3:20 PM Ted Graham (General Motors)
The Uber of Everything

How are large, established industries being “uberized” and how is competition and partnerships evolving among start-ups and corporates?

4:00 PM Jen Button (UNICEF Canada), Chris Janssen (Textbooks for Change), Colleen Albiston (Humber River Hospital Foundation), Robert Antoniades – Moderator (Information Venture Partners)
The role of social change in business models

Changing the world is good for business. Some companies embrace charity as good corporate citizens, but social action is incidental to their business model; others are pure charities, whose only business model is giving. But social good is a spectrum: Some organisations are intrinsically tied to social causes such as sustainability, and others use social good as a central pillar of their brand. How are organisations using innovation to further both social good, and their businesses? In this chain reaction panel, we compare degrees of social involvement, and the changing role of charity and activism in modern business.

Check out the Startup Stage, or the Speed Dating Zone brought to you by Rogers!