Partner at Real Ventures, Founder of Kijiji.ca
Janet is a Partner at Real Ventures, Canada’s preeminent early-stage venture capital firm. Real funds and supports the development of Canadian entrepreneurs who are building the next generation of globally leading tech companies. Janet has led investments in over a dozen companies and works actively with companies in healthcare, advanced manufacturing, e-commerce, fintech, and AI. As a Partner, Janet also sets the strategy for the firm, leads investor relationships, and oversees all firm operations.
In addition, Janet is very active in the Canadian tech ecosystem; she is the Co-Chair of C100 and on the Boards of Communitech in Waterloo and Vector Institute in Toronto. She is also an active advisor at OneEleven, Creative Destruction Lab, and the Research Board of the University Health Network. Janet has won numerous awards and recognition including Venture Capital Journal’s 2021 “Women of Influence in Private Markets”, Pitchbooks’ 2021 “Female Founders & Investors to Know”, and American Bankers’ 2019 “Most Influential Women in Payments”.
In 2004, Janet launched Kijiji.ca and grew it to become one of the most visited websites in Canada. Subsequently, she led the Kijiji Global business, launching the website in new countries and accelerating growth in North America, Europe, and Asia.
Janet also spent four years at eBay in Silicon Valley where she helped transform eBay from a Collectibles to a mainstream marketplace. She started her career as a Brand Manager at Procter & Gamble and then joined McKinsey & Co. where she was an Engagement Manager. She also founded and built a successful consulting business and was CEO at a venture-backed start-up prior to joining Real Ventures.
Janet was a varsity long-distance runner and competed internationally in triathlons. Today she balances her active lifestyle with being a wife and mother to her 16-year old son.
Chris is an informative, entertaining, and insightful strategic humorist with a serious message: dare to be different and reach highest aspiration or join the burgeoning ranks of the unnoticed.
Chris’ 30 years of award-winning community economic development experience has been dedicated to reconnecting people to the power of community-building. His dry sense of humour and no nonsense, cut-through-clutter style challenges conventions and leaves people with inspiration to “make community-building personal.
Innovation Strategist | Bestselling Author, The Uber of Everything: How the Freed Market Economy is Disrupting and Delighting
Ted Graham is the head of Open Innovation and Venture Principal at General Motors where he helps identify and invest in partnerships that will help build new forms of mobility including autonomous, electric and connected vehicles. He is also the former Innovation leader at PWC and a McKinsey strategy consultant with a focus on understanding and leveraging people networks to influence the spread of ideas.
Ted often speaks to audiences about The 5 things I learned about disruptive innovation as an UberX driver and how to apply some of these lessons across a multitude of industries on the cusp of disruption. His first-hand account was initially released as a TEDx talk and is now part of his book called “The Uber of Everything”.
Greg Hastings, BSME, MDIV
Director RIVR Solutions Ltd.
Greg is a proactive professional with extensive Quality Assurance, Continuous Improvement, Operations and Process Management experience. With 30 years of leadership and manufacturing experience, Greg is a skilled problem solver, communicator, and organizer with a commitment to customer satisfaction.
As a lean practitioner, Greg has held Operations and Quality Assurance positions in the Semiconductor, Factory Automation, Transportation, and most recently Aerospace Industries. With a focus on research and change management through his Masters Degree, Greg has been trained in Lean Manufacturing by the Delphi Institute in Detroit, MI. He has over 70 kaizen events under his belt, ranging from floor layout to tool room cost reduction, to office waste elimination. Greg is a proven leader in Quality assurance implementing and maintaining ISO 9001 and AS 9100 quality systems in six different organizations.
As a leader and participant of a Lean Enterprise Consortium, Greg has been exposed to many different industries; solving problems and reducing waste in those industries. He established visual production planning tools, visual controls, and Kanban systems in order to manage operations on-site on the production floor. As a Project Manager, Greg has managed technical issues, schedules, and customer expectations for projects with companies such as Intel, IBM, KLA-Tencor, Bell Helicopter, SpaceX, and Boeing.
Greg embraces metric driven management, and has a proven track record of leading change to improve cost, quality, and delivery metrics to best-in-class levels.
Future of Work Expert | Author of Leadership, Reinvented
Hamza Khan is a multi-award-winning marketer, bestselling author, and global keynote speaker whose TEDx talk “Stop Managing, Start Leading” has been viewed over two million times. He shares actionable insights on resilience, productivity, and leadership to help people and organizations thrive in the future of work. Through his consulting, writing, teaching, and speaking, Khan empowers people and businesses to transform ideas into action.
From New York to Singapore, from Los Angeles to Sydney, Khan is a global thought leader who has spoken to hundreds of audiences across many industries, in numerous countries. His clients have included some of the world’s most dynamic companies and organizations, including PepsiCo, LinkedIn, Deloitte, PwC, Trivago, and over 100 colleges, and his insights have been featured by notable media outlets such as VICE, Business Insider, and The Globe and Mail. He is also the author of Amazon best seller The Burnout Gamble: Achieve More by Beating Burnout and Building Resilience.
Khan works alongside young people and new talent as Managing Director of Student Life Network, Canada’s largest and most comprehensive education resource platform, which reaches over 2.7 million students. He is also the co-founder of Splash Effect, a boutique marketing & creative agency, as well as SkillsCamp, a soft skills training company. As an educator, he is currently an instructor at Seneca College and Ryerson University, teaching courses on digital marketing and social media.
Allister MacIsaac, MBA
Director RIVR Solutions Ltd.
Allister brings 28 years of professional experience to RIVR Solutions. He has held management and senior leadership positions in operations, general management, business development and sales.
A large proportion of his experience has been in change management, including corporate reorganization resulting from merger and acquisition activity to adaptations of economic change. These changes included the implementation of automation technologies, operational excellence and continuous improvement. Allister has experience in manufacturing, distribution, technology and technology development, oil and gas (conventional and non-conventional), pipeline, industrial and geo-environmental.
Allister has been involved in various projects ranging from ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) transitions, Lean manufacturing, product commercialization, manufacturing scale-up, business planning and advising, enterprise start-up management, technical recruitment and grant advising. His project management experience includes time and motion studies, facility layouts, process improvement initiatives, installation and commissioning of fibre optic surveillance systems for carbon capture storage, conventional and unconventional energy production.
Allister has long-term experience in strategy, coaching, advising, business operations, human resources, sales and marketing in unionized and non-unionized environments. He has also held several positions requiring financial oversight and management of operations for small, medium and large enterprises.