The Future Is In You. Welcome To Venture Weekend

SMART CITIES

The Future Is In You. Welcome To Venture Weekend

SMART CITIES

Venture X Square One · November 16-18, 2018 · Mississauga's Biggest Hackathon

3 Days & 2 Nights · 7 Full Meals · $5,000 In Prizes
Industry Leading Mentorship & Keynotes

Venture X Square One
November 16-18, 2018
Mississauga's Biggest Hackathon
3 Days & 2 Nights
7 Full Meals · $5,000 In Prizes
Industry Leading Mentorship & Keynotes
Connecting new innovators and opportunities

SMART CITIES

Venture Weekend is committed to supporting entrepreneurs at all steps, from providing effective workspaces to offering programs for outstanding entrepreneurs to help them find funding, learn the skills to become market leaders and win. This year, we’ll be focusing on the goal of Smart Cities, a new thought experiment on how we can transform our community, our city into a place that is more inclusive, accessible, open, efficient and innovative through technology.

Discover Your Potential

Find out what you’re truly capable of by pushing yourself to your limits.

Networking

Meet people from your industry and beyond, people who’ll become friends and mentors.

$5,000 In Prizes

The best ideas get recognized with cash prizes and more.

A Fun Weekend

We’ve put together a weekend of activities, ice-breakers, and recreation. This isn’t your average pitch competition.

What else does your ticket include?

  • 7 full (and delicious) meals over the course of the weekend.
  • One-on-one time with amazing mentors.
  • A new network of developers, designers, and entrepreneurs eager, like you, to change the world.
  • All the internet and coffee you can consume.
  • Work hard and play hard.

Schedule

Schedule

3

days of competing & networking

120

participants, mentors & speakers

5,000

dollars in prizes

Sponsors

Without the support of our partners, there is no Venture Weekend.

TITLE SPONSOR

GOLD SPONSOR

SILVER SPONSOR

BRONZE SPONSOR

MEDIA SPONSOR

SUPPORTING SPONSORS

Interested in sponsoring?

Reach us at [email protected] to learn more about our sponsorship opportunities.

Our Speaking Guests

We’ve brought the most influential and successful entrepreneurs from Mississauga to talk about what it’s really like to start your own business, the hardships associated and the opportunities that will present themselves throughout.

Mohamad Fakih

Mohamad Fakih

Founder at Paramount Fine Foods & The Fakih Foundation.

After acquiring the nearly bankrupt Paramount Fine Foods in 2006, Mohamad was committed to bringing his vision of creating the number one Middle Eastern halal restaurant chain in Canada to life. His brand now operates with over 50 Paramount Fine Foods locations around the world with a vertically integrated Paramount Butcher Shop at 7 locations globally, a mobile food truck called Yallaparamount, Fresh East, a new quick-serve concept, and long-term domestic and international expansion plans. Mohamad has successfully implemented his full-fledged strategy for growth while employing over 1,500 individuals.

Mohamad has been recognized for his efforts in supporting employment and economic growth in Ontario. He has been awarded by Toronto Board of trade and Brampton board of trade as Business leader of the year, by Pioneers for Change, named by Toronto life between top 50 most influentials in 2016, 5 times Top Choice award, and acknowledged by Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year for his passion to create social change.

Alexander Michael Gittens

Alexander Michael Gittens

Managing Partner at Rupert Rodney

Alexander Michael Gittens is an acclaimed business strategist who has provided billions of dollars. worth of solutions to over 400 businesses in every corner of the globe. He has held one-on-one conversations with titans of industry, such as billionaire Richard Branson. His clients’ hold advanced degrees from prestigious institutions such as Harvard University and MIT and have been endorsed internationally by both government and private venture capital providers.

No stranger to humbling success or epic failure, Alexander has travelled the world as an award-winning pianist and competed internationally as an amateur baseball player. Mr. Gittens has provided inspirational speeches to thousands in the USA, Canada, Austria, Germany, Slovakia and the Czech Republic. An acclaimed thought-leader, Alexander’s articles have empowered countless leaders worldwide.

Alexander has served as a keynote speaker for Make-A-Wish Foundation, acted as chairman for a major Big Brothers fundraising initiative and has worked with the March of Dimes and many other high-profile altruistic organizations. He received several awards for leadership and dedication to the community, including an exclusive Citizenship Award from the Federal Government of Canada and Leadership Awards from The Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation and Mary Baldwin.

Alexander holds a Bachelor and Masters Degree in Business (Finance) and a postgraduate certificate in Research Methodologies. He is currently completing a Doctorate of Business in Strategy.

Laura Dunkley

Laura Dunkley

Digital Marketing Consultant at The City of Mississauga

Laura Dunkley is a communications specialist with skills and experience in the area of business development, marketing, sales, and public relations. Laura has supported entrepreneurs, service professionals, and organizations of all sizes in the development of their communications strategies.

Dunkley provides strategic planning, management support and training programs to assist business leaders as they integrate digital communication tools, technology, and best practices into their daily operations. She has successfully developed programs and campaigns that resulted in reaching goals such as lead generation, enhancing key stakeholder relationships, and building awareness.

Anas Saltaji

Managing Partner, Canadian Franchising Group

Anas Saltaji is the COO and Managing Partner of the Canadian Franchise Group (CFG), which houses reputable international brands for Canada, like Signarama, and Venture X. As Master franchisee, for these brands, Anas oversees and deploys all of the Canadian operations and market growth for each venture. Having close to a decade of experience in opening and launching large enterprises for multi-million dollar brands and firms, Anas knows what truly drives effective launches, efficient operations, and general store prosperity in the Canadian Marketplace. When it comes to his franchisees’ success, he believes “It’s how well you connect with the heart-beating people you’re trying to help and combining that, with a heightened understanding of the market their entering.”

Outside of business, Anas holds a huge heart for philanthropy, and has supported initiatives and programs for Trillium Hospital, Ecosource, assisted local sports teams & schools, and even personally sponsored less-fortunate families both locally and abroad. In addition to The Taste of the Middle East, Anas also currently sits on the board for Paint The Town Red Canada Day Celebration, in Mississauga. He believes that giving back is an important practice for all.

Anas holds a BA in Business, with a specialization in Finance, from York University. He also holds an MBA with a specialization in Innovative Leadership from the University of Fredericton.

Khaled Imawura

Khaled Iwamura

Founder at Quickbite News

Khaled Iwamura is the founder of QuickBite News, a media company comprised of insauga.com, inbrampton.com, and inhalton.com. He is also a TEDx Speaker, Tokyo Tourism Spokesperson, TV host/producer, MC and part-time pro wrestler. QuickBite News (QBN) network is made up of three breaking news, food, lifestyle, real estate and entertainment websites that have made QBN one of the biggest media companies in the GTA.

Khaled also hosts a self-produced TV show–which airs on Facebook Live–at Celebration Square every Thursday night over the summer. Over the last two seasons, it has garnered 250,000 live views! He also sits on the Board of Directors of The Living Arts Centre, Legends Row, and Japan Festival Canada.

Mohamad Fakih

Mohamad Fakih

Founder at Paramount Fine Foods & The Fakih Foundation.

After acquiring the nearly bankrupt Paramount Fine Foods in 2006, Mohamad was committed to bringing his vision of creating the number one Middle Eastern halal restaurant chain in Canada to life. His brand now operates with over 50 Paramount Fine Foods locations around the world with a vertically integrated Paramount Butcher Shop at 7 locations globally, a mobile food truck called Yallaparamount, Fresh East, a new quick-serve concept, and long-term domestic and international expansion plans. Mohamad has successfully implemented his full-fledged strategy for growth while employing over 1,500 individuals.

Mohamad has been recognized for his efforts in supporting employment and economic growth in Ontario. He has been awarded by Toronto Board of trade and Brampton board of trade as Business leader of the year, by Pioneers for Change, named by Toronto life between top 50 most influentials in 2016, 5 times Top Choice award, and acknowledged by Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year for his passion to create social change.

Alexander Michael Gittens

Alexander Michael Gittens

Managing Partner at Rupert Rodney

Alexander Michael Gittens is an acclaimed business strategist who has provided billions of dollars. worth of solutions to over 400 businesses in every corner of the globe. He has held one-on-one conversations with titans of industry, such as billionaire Richard Branson. His clients’ hold advanced degrees from prestigious institutions such as Harvard University and MIT and have been endorsed internationally by both government and private venture capital providers.

No stranger to humbling success or epic failure, Alexander has travelled the world as an award-winning pianist and competed internationally as an amateur baseball player. Mr. Gittens has provided inspirational speeches to thousands in the USA, Canada, Austria, Germany, Slovakia and the Czech Republic. An acclaimed thought-leader, Alexander’s articles have empowered countless leaders worldwide.

Alexander has served as a keynote speaker for Make-A-Wish Foundation, acted as chairman for a major Big Brothers fundraising initiative and has worked with the March of Dimes and many other high-profile altruistic organizations. He received several awards for leadership and dedication to the community, including an exclusive Citizenship Award from the Federal Government of Canada and Leadership Awards from The Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation and Mary Baldwin.

Alexander holds a Bachelor and Masters Degree in Business (Finance) and a postgraduate certificate in Research Methodologies. He is currently completing a Doctorate of Business in Strategy.

Laura Dunkley

Laura Dunkley

Digital Marketing Consultant at The City of Mississauga

Laura Dunkley is a communications specialist with skills and experience in the area of business development, marketing, sales, and public relations. Laura has supported entrepreneurs, service professionals, and organizations of all sizes in the development of their communications strategies.

Dunkley provides strategic planning, management support and training programs to assist business leaders as they integrate digital communication tools, technology, and best practices into their daily operations. She has successfully developed programs and campaigns that resulted in reaching goals such as lead generation, enhancing key stakeholder relationships, and building awareness.

Anas Saltaji

Managing Partner, Canadian Franchising Group

Anas Saltaji is the COO and Managing Partner of the Canadian Franchise Group (CFG), which houses reputable international brands for Canada, like Signarama, and Venture X. As Master franchisee, for these brands, Anas oversees and deploys all of the Canadian operations and market growth for each venture. Having close to a decade of experience in opening and launching large enterprises for multi-million dollar brands and firms, Anas knows what truly drives effective launches, efficient operations, and general store prosperity in the Canadian Marketplace. When it comes to his franchisees’ success, he believes “It’s how well you connect with the heart-beating people you’re trying to help and combining that, with a heightened understanding of the market their entering.”

Outside of business, Anas holds a huge heart for philanthropy, and has supported initiatives and programs for Trillium Hospital, Ecosource, assisted local sports teams & schools, and even personally sponsored less-fortunate families both locally and abroad. In addition to The Taste of the Middle East, Anas also currently sits on the board for Paint The Town Red Canada Day Celebration, in Mississauga. He believes that giving back is an important practice for all.

Anas holds a BA in Business, with a specialization in Finance, from York University. He also holds an MBA with a specialization in Innovative Leadership from the University of Fredericton.

Khaled Imawura

Khaled Imawura

Founder at Quickbite News

Khaled Iwamura is the founder of QuickBite News, a media company comprised of insauga.com, inbrampton.com, and inhalton.com. He is also a TEDx Speaker, Tokyo Tourism Spokesperson, TV host/producer, MC and part-time pro wrestler. QuickBite News (QBN) network is made up of three breaking news, food, lifestyle, real estate and entertainment websites that have made QBN one of the biggest media companies in the GTA.

Khaled also hosts a self-produced TV show–which airs on Facebook Live–at Celebration Square every Thursday night over the summer. Over the last two seasons, it has garnered 250,000 live views! He also sits on the Board of Directors of The Living Arts Centre, Legends Row, and Japan Festival Canada.

Mohamad Fakih

Mohamad Fakih

Founder at Paramount Fine Foods & The Fakih Foundation.

After acquiring the nearly bankrupt Paramount Fine Foods in 2006, Mohamad was committed to bringing his vision of creating the number one Middle Eastern halal restaurant chain in Canada to life. His brand now operates with over 50 Paramount Fine Foods locations around the world with a vertically integrated Paramount Butcher Shop at 7 locations globally, a mobile food truck called Yallaparamount, Fresh East, a new quick-serve concept, and long-term domestic and international expansion plans. Mohamad has successfully implemented his full-fledged strategy for growth while employing over 1,500 individuals.

Mohamad has been recognized for his efforts in supporting employment and economic growth in Ontario. He has been awarded by Toronto Board of trade and Brampton board of trade as Business leader of the year, by Pioneers for Change, named by Toronto life between top 50 most influentials in 2016, 5 times Top Choice award, and acknowledged by Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year for his passion to create social change.

Alexander Michael Gittens

Alexander Michael Gittens

Managing Partner at Rupert Rodney

Alexander Michael Gittens is an acclaimed business strategist who has provided billions of dollars. worth of solutions to over 400 businesses in every corner of the globe. He has held one-on-one conversations with titans of industry, such as billionaire Richard Branson. His clients’ hold advanced degrees from prestigious institutions such as Harvard University and MIT and have been endorsed internationally by both government and private venture capital providers.

No stranger to humbling success or epic failure, Alexander has travelled the world as an award-winning pianist and competed internationally as an amateur baseball player. Mr. Gittens has provided inspirational speeches to thousands in the USA, Canada, Austria, Germany, Slovakia and the Czech Republic. An acclaimed thought-leader, Alexander’s articles have empowered countless leaders worldwide.

Alexander has served as a keynote speaker for Make-A-Wish Foundation, acted as chairman for a major Big Brothers fundraising initiative and has worked with the March of Dimes and many other high-profile altruistic organizations. He received several awards for leadership and dedication to the community, including an exclusive Citizenship Award from the Federal Government of Canada and Leadership Awards from The Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation and Mary Baldwin.

Alexander holds a Bachelor and Masters Degree in Business (Finance) and a postgraduate certificate in Research Methodologies. He is currently completing a Doctorate of Business in Strategy.

Laura Dunkley

Laura Dunkley

Digital Marketing Consultant at The City of Mississauga

Laura Dunkley is a communications specialist with skills and experience in the area of business development, marketing, sales, and public relations. Laura has supported entrepreneurs, service professionals, and organizations of all sizes in the development of their communications strategies.

Dunkley provides strategic planning, management support and training programs to assist business leaders as they integrate digital communication tools, technology, and best practices into their daily operations. She has successfully developed programs and campaigns that resulted in reaching goals such as lead generation, enhancing key stakeholder relationships, and building awareness.

Anas Saltaji

Managing Partner, Canadian Franchising Group

Anas Saltaji is the COO and Managing Partner of the Canadian Franchise Group (CFG), which houses reputable international brands for Canada, like Signarama, and Venture X. As Master franchisee, for these brands, Anas oversees and deploys all of the Canadian operations and market growth for each venture. Having close to a decade of experience in opening and launching large enterprises for multi-million dollar brands and firms, Anas knows what truly drives effective launches, efficient operations, and general store prosperity in the Canadian Marketplace. When it comes to his franchisees’ success, he believes “It’s how well you connect with the heart-beating people you’re trying to help and combining that, with a heightened understanding of the market their entering.”

Outside of business, Anas holds a huge heart for philanthropy, and has supported initiatives and programs for Trillium Hospital, Ecosource, assisted local sports teams & schools, and even personally sponsored less-fortunate families both locally and abroad. In addition to The Taste of the Middle East, Anas also currently sits on the board for Paint The Town Red Canada Day Celebration, in Mississauga. He believes that giving back is an important practice for all.

Anas holds a BA in Business, with a specialization in Finance, from York University. He also holds an MBA with a specialization in Innovative Leadership from the University of Fredericton.

Khaled Imawura

Khaled Imawura

Founder at Quickbite News

Khaled Iwamura is the founder of QuickBite News, a media company comprised of insauga.com, inbrampton.com, and inhalton.com. He is also a TEDx Speaker, Tokyo Tourism Spokesperson, TV host/producer, MC and part-time pro wrestler. QuickBite News (QBN) network is made up of three breaking news, food, lifestyle, real estate and entertainment websites that have made QBN one of the biggest media companies in the GTA.

Khaled also hosts a self-produced TV show–which airs on Facebook Live–at Celebration Square every Thursday night over the summer. Over the last two seasons, it has garnered 250,000 live views! He also sits on the Board of Directors of The Living Arts Centre, Legends Row, and Japan Festival Canada.

Say Hello To Your Mentors

These experts will be providing their insight and experience to help you achieve the best strategies, innovations, and ideas by the end of the hackathon. Take advantage of them, stand on the shoulders of giants, and win.

Prateek Sanyal

Prateek Sanyal

Data Engineer at SSENSE | Formerly GameLoft

Prateek is a former Mississauga resident, currently living and working in Montréal as a Data Engineer. His area of expertise includes building and architecting full stack software and big data solutions. He has worked with companies of sizes ranging from 6k to 3 employees. He is also an active member of Montréal's tech community, having formerly been a speaker and technical mentor for Lighthouse Labs.

In his free time, Prateek likes to play chess and learn about politics, philosophy and history.

Rafat Abu-Zein

Rafat Abu-Zeineh

Executive Director at Allied CPAs

Rafat Abu-Zeineh is a creative business leader and chartered professional accountant (CPA, CA) with over 25 years of successful experience in different positions and multiple organizations.

Starting his journey with one of the big four auditing firms Ernst & Young (E&Y), he then moved to a group of trading & manufacturing companies; setting up finance function from scratch and receiving great all-around finance and business drills.

Subsequently, he moved to a global FMCG company; Unilever, specializing in management reporting, cost accounting, product pricing and supporting supply chain operations amongst other things. In the last stretch of his journey, Rafat worked with Al Jazeera, a global news TV Media Network, where he was focusing on strategy, brand equity, and growth expansion.

Currently, Rafat is the Executive Director of Allied CPAs; a professional accounting firm offering businesses complete accounting, tax, audit and advisory services. Based in Mississauga, Allied CPAs serves clients across the Greater Toronto Area (GTA).

Julie Tyios

Julie Tyios

Manager of Digital Strategy at Avanade

Julie helps businesses strengthen enhance profitability potential through smart strategies and customer experiences designed to enable desired business outcomes.

She's worked with Fortune 500s, SMBs, government, agencies, and startup companies to drive business results through digital strategy, marketing strategy, content strategy, digital workplace strategy, and data-driven user experience design.

Julie is TEDx speaker and a LUMA-certified Design Thinking Practitioner.

Sam Dumcum

Sam Dumcum

Entrepreneurship Programs & Marketing Lead

A growth-driven mentor, instructor, and consultant to startups, corporations, and students equipping them to engage, manage and achieve their marketing and growth goals through experience-driven coaching and custom programming.

As a Start-Up Coach / Entrepreneurship Program Lead at ICUBE UTM, I have the privilege of working with early and validation stage start-ups. Through a couple of startup successes and false-starts of my own, I've learned some tough lessons and am honoured to be able to champion and assist startups (primarily in tech and life sciences) through their growth and help them navigate the best path possible.

If you have a business idea and need a connection, support, biz dev chat, growth hacking advice, marketing support, UX consult, want to know more about government programs (Ontario), really anything... Let's chat!

Sunandini Verma

Sunandini Verma

Founder & CEO at Amrev Media

Sundandini Verma started her company, Amrev Media, 3 years ago when she took the plunge from corporate to become a startup. They develop high-quality apps, CRMs, and IoT technologies just to name a few. Their expertise in digital marketing and creative approach allow Amrev Media to be one stop shop for all business needs. Verma prides herself in her strong team, work ethic, and out of the box solutions.

Verma has worked with many enterprise companies, on a development and marketing strategy level. She worked in media and television ranging from Toronto to LA. She specializes in creative concepts, solution-driven strategies to increase the presence of a company and its specific products. Verma has worked with many great companies, industries, and teams to drive more external impact for brands while helping build a strong marketing and technological flow in organizations.

In her personal life, Verma is an avid meditator and gym goer. She feels the balance of a strong mind, good self-care and positive interactions allow her to perform with more efficiency, clarity, and focus.

Kalil Magtogo

Kalil Sergio Magtogo

Co-Lead at Starterhacks | Creative Producer

Kalil is an award-winning content creator known for his unfailing enthusiasm and drive.

Kalil is currently juggling being the Co-Lead of StarterHacks and the Host of the weekly show “What’s Up, Waterloo?”.

His notable accomplishments include:
· Successfully managing StarterHacks, a beginner-oriented Hackathon, to over 100,000 individuals in Canada and garnering 10,000 engagements,
· Producing a regular show and vlog that generates 20,000 views, reactions, and engagements weekly,
· Winning numerous awards for his works including: best director and best film for ACOMM Project Motion 2015, video finalist in Talk! Talk! Korea’s international multimedia competition, selected film in Ed Sheeran’s Thinking Out Loud compilation, and University of Waterloo’s Project Showcase top choice award,
· Speaking at the Autodesk ASEAN 2016 conference as the penultimate keynote speaker to over 1000 industry professionals, and
· Designing a renewable light source solution for the Maeramit Luang Hill Tribe village in Chiang Mai, Thailand in collaboration with 2DEVELOP and the Royal Project of Thailand.

Melanie Williamson

Melanie Williamson

Marketing Director at Canadian Franchise Group

Never put limits on your dreams.

This is the mantra of Melanie Williamson, crowned Miss Canada 2013, and most notably recognized as a fashion & beauty expert on The Shopping Channel, or as the award-winning Canadian Singer-Songwriter, Melle Rose. In the world of business, Melanie proudly stands as Marketing Director of the Canadian Franchising Group, housing both brands Signarama Canada and Venture X Canada, which she oversees for marketing and general strategy.

Standing as Marketing Director of two national companies, and having owned her own Marketing agency for a handful of years, lead Melanie to become a primed entrepreneur that understands all facets that go into starting, operating and marketing a business. In all her work, Melanie takes an out-of-the-box approach in making ideas become reality; creativity is a must!

Prateek Sanyal

Prateek Sanyal

Data Engineer at SSENSE | Formerly GameLoft

Prateek is a former Mississauga resident, currently living and working in Montréal as a Data Engineer. His area of expertise includes building and architecting full stack software and big data solutions. He has worked with companies of sizes ranging from 6k to 3 employees. He is also an active member of Montréal's tech community, having formerly been a speaker and technical mentor for Lighthouse Labs.

In his free time, Prateek likes to play chess and learn about politics, philosophy and history.

Rafat Abu-Zein

Rafat Abu-Zeineh

Executive Director at Allied CPAs

Rafat Abu-Zeineh is a creative business leader and chartered professional accountant (CPA, CA) with over 25 years of successful experience in different positions and multiple organizations.

Starting his journey with one of the big four auditing firms Ernst & Young (E&Y), he then moved to a group of trading & manufacturing companies; setting up finance function from scratch and receiving great all-around finance and business drills.

Subsequently, he moved to a global FMCG company; Unilever, specializing in management reporting, cost accounting, product pricing and supporting supply chain operations amongst other things. In the last stretch of his journey, Rafat worked with Al Jazeera, a global news TV Media Network, where he was focusing on strategy, brand equity, and growth expansion.

Currently, Rafat is the Executive Director of Allied CPAs; a professional accounting firm offering businesses complete accounting, tax, audit and advisory services. Based in Mississauga, Allied CPAs serves clients across the Greater Toronto Area (GTA).

Julie Tyios

Julie Tyios

Manager of Digital Strategy at Avanade

Julie helps businesses strengthen enhance profitability potential through smart strategies and customer experiences designed to enable desired business outcomes.

She's worked with Fortune 500s, SMBs, government, agencies, and startup companies to drive business results through digital strategy, marketing strategy, content strategy, digital workplace strategy, and data-driven user experience design.

Julie is TEDx speaker and a LUMA-certified Design Thinking Practitioner.

Sam Dumcum

Sam Dumcum

Entrepreneurship Programs & Marketing Lead

A growth-driven mentor, instructor, and consultant to startups, corporations, and students equipping them to engage, manage and achieve their marketing and growth goals through experience-driven coaching and custom programming.

As a Start-Up Coach / Entrepreneurship Program Lead at ICUBE UTM, I have the privilege of working with early and validation stage start-ups. Through a couple of startup successes and false-starts of my own, I've learned some tough lessons and am honoured to be able to champion and assist startups (primarily in tech and life sciences) through their growth and help them navigate the best path possible.

If you have a business idea and need a connection, support, biz dev chat, growth hacking advice, marketing support, UX consult, want to know more about government programs (Ontario), really anything... Let's chat!

Sunandini Verma

Sunandini Verma

Founder & CEO at Amrev Media

Sundandini Verma started her company, Amrev Media, 3 years ago when she took the plunge from corporate to become a startup. They develop high-quality apps, CRMs, and IoT technologies just to name a few. Their expertise in digital marketing and creative approach allow Amrev Media to be one stop shop for all business needs. Verma prides herself in her strong team, work ethic, and out of the box solutions.

Verma has worked with many enterprise companies, on a development and marketing strategy level. She worked in media and television ranging from Toronto to LA. She specializes in creative concepts, solution-driven strategies to increase the presence of a company and its specific products. Verma has worked with many great companies, industries, and teams to drive more external impact for brands while helping build a strong marketing and technological flow in organizations.

In her personal life, Verma is an avid meditator and gym goer. She feels the balance of a strong mind, good self-care and positive interactions allow her to perform with more efficiency, clarity, and focus.

Kalil Magtogo

Kalil Sergio Magtogo

Co-Lead at Starterhacks | Creative Producer

Kalil is an award-winning content creator known for his unfailing enthusiasm and drive.

Kalil is currently juggling being the Co-Lead of StarterHacks and the Host of the weekly show “What’s Up, Waterloo?”.

His notable accomplishments include:
· Successfully managing StarterHacks, a beginner-oriented Hackathon, to over 100,000 individuals in Canada and garnering 10,000 engagements,
· Producing a regular show and vlog that generates 20,000 views, reactions, and engagements weekly,
· Winning numerous awards for his works including: best director and best film for ACOMM Project Motion 2015, video finalist in Talk! Talk! Korea’s international multimedia competition, selected film in Ed Sheeran’s Thinking Out Loud compilation, and University of Waterloo’s Project Showcase top choice award,
· Speaking at the Autodesk ASEAN 2016 conference as the penultimate keynote speaker to over 1000 industry professionals, and
· Designing a renewable light source solution for the Maeramit Luang Hill Tribe village in Chiang Mai, Thailand in collaboration with 2DEVELOP and the Royal Project of Thailand.

Melanie Williamson

Melanie Williamson

Marketing Director at Canadian Franchise Group

Never put limits on your dreams.

This is the mantra of Melanie Williamson, crowned Miss Canada 2013, and most notably recognized as a fashion & beauty expert on The Shopping Channel, or as the award-winning Canadian Singer-Songwriter, Melle Rose. In the world of business, Melanie proudly stands as Marketing Director of the Canadian Franchising Group, housing both brands Signarama Canada and Venture X Canada, which she oversees for marketing and general strategy.

Standing as Marketing Director of two national companies, and having owned her own Marketing agency for a handful of years, lead Melanie to become a primed entrepreneur that understands all facets that go into starting, operating and marketing a business. In all her work, Melanie takes an out-of-the-box approach in making ideas become reality; creativity is a must!

Prateek Sanyal

Prateek Sanyal

Data Engineer at SSENSE | Formerly GameLoft

Prateek is a former Mississauga resident, currently living and working in Montréal as a Data Engineer. His area of expertise includes building and architecting full stack software and big data solutions. He has worked with companies of sizes ranging from 6k to 3 employees. He is also an active member of Montréal's tech community, having formerly been a speaker and technical mentor for Lighthouse Labs.

In his free time, Prateek likes to play chess and learn about politics, philosophy and history.

Rafat Abu-Zein

Rafat Abu-Zeineh

Executive Director at Allied CPAs

Rafat Abu-Zeineh is a creative business leader and chartered professional accountant (CPA, CA) with over 25 years of successful experience in different positions and multiple organizations.

Starting his journey with one of the big four auditing firms Ernst & Young (E&Y), he then moved to a group of trading & manufacturing companies; setting up finance function from scratch and receiving great all-around finance and business drills.

Subsequently, he moved to a global FMCG company; Unilever, specializing in management reporting, cost accounting, product pricing and supporting supply chain operations amongst other things. In the last stretch of his journey, Rafat worked with Al Jazeera, a global news TV Media Network, where he was focusing on strategy, brand equity, and growth expansion.

Currently, Rafat is the Executive Director of Allied CPAs; a professional accounting firm offering businesses complete accounting, tax, audit and advisory services. Based in Mississauga, Allied CPAs serves clients across the Greater Toronto Area (GTA).

Julie Tyios

Julie Tyios

Manager of Digital Strategy at Avanade

Julie helps businesses strengthen enhance profitability potential through smart strategies and customer experiences designed to enable desired business outcomes.

She's worked with Fortune 500s, SMBs, government, agencies, and startup companies to drive business results through digital strategy, marketing strategy, content strategy, digital workplace strategy, and data-driven user experience design.

Julie is TEDx speaker and a LUMA-certified Design Thinking Practitioner.

Sam Dumcum

Sam Dumcum

Entrepreneurship Programs & Marketing Lead

A growth-driven mentor, instructor, and consultant to startups, corporations, and students equipping them to engage, manage and achieve their marketing and growth goals through experience-driven coaching and custom programming.

As a Start-Up Coach / Entrepreneurship Program Lead at ICUBE UTM, I have the privilege of working with early and validation stage start-ups. Through a couple of startup successes and false-starts of my own, I've learned some tough lessons and am honoured to be able to champion and assist startups (primarily in tech and life sciences) through their growth and help them navigate the best path possible.

If you have a business idea and need a connection, support, biz dev chat, growth hacking advice, marketing support, UX consult, want to know more about government programs (Ontario), really anything... Let's chat!

Sunandini Verma

Sunandini Verma

Founder & CEO at Amrev Media

Sundandini Verma started her company, Amrev Media, 3 years ago when she took the plunge from corporate to become a startup. They develop high-quality apps, CRMs, and IoT technologies just to name a few. Their expertise in digital marketing and creative approach allow Amrev Media to be one stop shop for all business needs. Verma prides herself in her strong team, work ethic, and out of the box solutions.

Verma has worked with many enterprise companies, on a development and marketing strategy level. She worked in media and television ranging from Toronto to LA. She specializes in creative concepts, solution-driven strategies to increase the presence of a company and its specific products. Verma has worked with many great companies, industries, and teams to drive more external impact for brands while helping build a strong marketing and technological flow in organizations.

In her personal life, Verma is an avid meditator and gym goer. She feels the balance of a strong mind, good self-care and positive interactions allow her to perform with more efficiency, clarity, and focus.

Kalil Magtogo

Kalil Sergio Magtogo

Co-Lead at Starterhacks | Creative Producer

Kalil is an award-winning content creator known for his unfailing enthusiasm and drive.

Kalil is currently juggling being the Co-Lead of StarterHacks and the Host of the weekly show “What’s Up, Waterloo?”.

His notable accomplishments include:
· Successfully managing StarterHacks, a beginner-oriented Hackathon, to over 100,000 individuals in Canada and garnering 10,000 engagements,
· Producing a regular show and vlog that generates 20,000 views, reactions, and engagements weekly,
· Winning numerous awards for his works including: best director and best film for ACOMM Project Motion 2015, video finalist in Talk! Talk! Korea’s international multimedia competition, selected film in Ed Sheeran’s Thinking Out Loud compilation, and University of Waterloo’s Project Showcase top choice award,
· Speaking at the Autodesk ASEAN 2016 conference as the penultimate keynote speaker to over 1000 industry professionals, and
· Designing a renewable light source solution for the Maeramit Luang Hill Tribe village in Chiang Mai, Thailand in collaboration with 2DEVELOP and the Royal Project of Thailand.

Melanie Williamson

Melanie Williamson

Marketing Director at Canadian Franchise Group

Never put limits on your dreams.

This is the mantra of Melanie Williamson, crowned Miss Canada 2013, and most notably recognized as a fashion & beauty expert on The Shopping Channel, or as the award-winning Canadian Singer-Songwriter, Melle Rose. In the world of business, Melanie proudly stands as Marketing Director of the Canadian Franchising Group, housing both brands Signarama Canada and Venture X Canada, which she oversees for marketing and general strategy.

Standing as Marketing Director of two national companies, and having owned her own Marketing agency for a handful of years, lead Melanie to become a primed entrepreneur that understands all facets that go into starting, operating and marketing a business. In all her work, Melanie takes an out-of-the-box approach in making ideas become reality; creativity is a must!

The Judges

Our judges will poke holes in your ideas but also validate them for the open market!

Sophia Begidzhanova

Sophia Begidzhanova

Vice President of IT & Communications at the Canada-Poland Chamber of Commerce

With over 10 years of experience in the private, public and non-profit sectors, Sophia has been a champion for the initiatives she’s lead providing positive influence and change for Canadians today.

Currently acting as the Vice-President of IT & Communications, Sophia manages the brand identity for the Chamber as well as the official documentation that members and partnering organizations take advantage of.

She also has been a big proponent for drawing attention to the transportation industry bringing forward proposals and innovative strategies for new standards and methodologies.

Stephania Stefanakou

Stephania Stefanakou

CEO at House of Anesi Inc.

Stephania is a well-seasoned entrepreneur operating out of the award-winning, world-class Digital Media Zone, paving the way for innovative technology to have a valuable role in the clothing industry.

Her company, House of Anesi, a lingerie provider that adjusts to women’s changing body, just recently completed their Kickstarter successfully and will be shipping their first order early next year.
Having gained such acclaimed success, Stephania has also become an authority on crowdfunding in Toronto having already helped several other businesses succeed with their campaigns.

Alfred Apps

Alfred Apps

Partner at Miller Thompson

Alfred Apps is a senior partner with a corporate law practice. He is co-head of the firm’s structured finance and securitization practice.

Alfred is recognized as a leading counsel in restructuring, M&A, private equity fund formation and investment, structured finance, and infrastructure finance. In addition to Lexpert, he has been ranked by UK-based PLC as one of Canada's leading lawyers in many of these fields. He served as debtor counsel in the $32 billion restructuring of the Canadian asset-backed commercial paper market, the largest debt restructuring in Canadian history. He has also served as counsel in relation to a number of rated and unrated bond financings.

Sophia Begidzhanova

Sophia Begidzhanova

Vice President of IT & Communications at the Canada-Poland Chamber of Commerce

With over 10 years of experience in the private, public and non-profit sectors, Sophia has been a champion for the initiatives she’s lead providing positive influence and change for Canadians today.

Currently acting as the Vice-President of IT & Communications, Sophia manages the brand identity for the Chamber as well as the official documentation that members and partnering organizations take advantage of.

She also has been a big proponent for drawing attention to the transportation industry bringing forward proposals and innovative strategies for new standards and methodologies.

Stephania Stefanakou

Stephania Stefanakou

CEO at House of Anesi Inc.

Stephania is a well-seasoned entrepreneur operating out of the award-winning, world-class Digital Media Zone, paving the way for innovative technology to have a valuable role in the clothing industry.

Her company, House of Anesi, a lingerie provider that adjusts to women’s changing body, just recently completed their Kickstarter successfully and will be shipping their first order early next year.
Having gained such acclaimed success, Stephania has also become an authority on crowdfunding in Toronto having already helped several other businesses succeed with their campaigns.

Alfred Apps

Alfred Apps

Partner at Miller Thompson

Alfred Apps is a senior partner with a corporate law practice. He is co-head of the firm’s structured finance and securitization practice.

Alfred is recognized as a leading counsel in restructuring, M&A, private equity fund formation and investment, structured finance, and infrastructure finance. In addition to Lexpert, he has been ranked by UK-based PLC as one of Canada's leading lawyers in many of these fields. He served as debtor counsel in the $32 billion restructuring of the Canadian asset-backed commercial paper market, the largest debt restructuring in Canadian history. He has also served as counsel in relation to a number of rated and unrated bond financings.

Sophia Begidzhanova

Sophia Begidzhanova

Vice President of IT & Communications at the Canada-Poland Chamber of Commerce

With over 10 years of experience in the private, public and non-profit sectors, Sophia has been a champion for the initiatives she’s lead providing positive influence and change for Canadians today.

Currently acting as the Vice-President of IT & Communications, Sophia manages the brand identity for the Chamber as well as the official documentation that members and partnering organizations take advantage of.

She also has been a big proponent for drawing attention to the transportation industry bringing forward proposals and innovative strategies for new standards and methodologies.

Stephania Stefanakou

Stephania Stefanakou

CEO at House of Anesi Inc.

Stephania is a well-seasoned entrepreneur operating out of the award-winning, world-class Digital Media Zone, paving the way for innovative technology to have a valuable role in the clothing industry.

Her company, House of Anesi, a lingerie provider that adjusts to women’s changing body, just recently completed their Kickstarter successfully and will be shipping their first order early next year.
Having gained such acclaimed success, Stephania has also become an authority on crowdfunding in Toronto having already helped several other businesses succeed with their campaigns.

Alfred Apps

Alfred Apps

Partner at Miller Thompson

Alfred Apps is a senior partner with a corporate law practice. He is co-head of the firm’s structured finance and securitization practice.

Alfred is recognized as a leading counsel in restructuring, M&A, private equity fund formation and investment, structured finance, and infrastructure finance. In addition to Lexpert, he has been ranked by UK-based PLC as one of Canada's leading lawyers in many of these fields. He served as debtor counsel in the $32 billion restructuring of the Canadian asset-backed commercial paper market, the largest debt restructuring in Canadian history. He has also served as counsel in relation to a number of rated and unrated bond financings.

About Venture Weekend

Is this a hackathon?

Venture Weekend is all about bringing creating the best ideas. That being said, it’s a little bit hackathon, a little bit pitch competition. This year, Venture Weekend will be focusing on the goal of Smart Cities, a new thought experiment on how we can transform our community, our city into a place that is more inclusive, accessible, open, efficient and innovative through technology.

Is it really free to participate?

Venture Weekend is FREE to attend! We have limited spots available so please fill out the application at the following link to register: https://ventureweekend.typeform.com/to/fpz9Kx

We have our generous sponsors to thank for making this event a free-of-admission experience for you!

Who can participate?

We’re opening our doors to everyone!

Can we stay overnight?

Of course! Participants are encouraged to put in as much time as they can to perfect and refine their ideas, and that means hackathon slumber sessions. We’ll be doing our best to accommodate these periods as well (snacks, water, etc).

Do I need to bring anything?

We’ll be providing your meals, WiFi, and the working space you’ll need. If you have a laptop, that would be good to bring along for sure. If you plan on staying overnight, a sleeping bag might be handy.

What are the prizes?

The prizes are as follows:

  • 1st Place, $3,000
  • 2nd Place, $1,500
  • 3rd Place, $500

How do I get there?

The competition will take place at VentureX Mississauga. It’s a 15 minute walk from the Square One Bus Terminal which is accessible by MiWay, Züm, and GO transit buses.

Where will the competition take place?

It will take place at Venture X Mississauga. The address is as follows:

4308 Village Centre Court
Mississauga, ON L4Z 1S2

What if I've never done a competition like this before?

We look forward to having participants join us from all skill levels. We will have talks and mentorship sessions to help guide you throughout the entire competition. Great ideas can come from anywhere, as long as you’re eager to learn and try your best!

How many people can be on a team?

You can form teams of up to 4 people each. There aren’t any restrictions so feel free to partner up with people from other schools backgrounds, or experience level. Teams can be formed before or during the event.

What kind of workshops, activities, and talks will there be?

We’ll be having a few workshops that will train you on the art of the pitch, developing strategies, and effective business models. In terms of keynotes, we’ll be bringing in speakers from prominent organizations to discuss the way their organizations have impacted the world and what kinds of trends you should be watching for and following in.

In addition to the standard competition events, we will also be encouraging lots of fun and connecting through activities! We’ll be providing lots of food, games, mini-competitions, a little karaoke, and more throughout the weekend. Look forward to it.

Can I start working on my idea before the event?

In order to keep things as fair as possible, we are asking everyone to keep the spirit of the hackathon intact by not working on any ideas ahead of time. You’ll be put into teams by the organizers so it’s best if you come up with something together!

Is there parking available?

There will be free parking available in a private section in the parking lot. We will provide more details and direction closer to the event directly in your email.

I have other questions!

And we’re happy to answer them! Reach out to us at [email protected] or at the form below with any questions you may have and we’ll clear things up for you as best we can.

Want to volunteer? Got a question?

Reach out to us!