Andre De Grasse, Michele Romanow, George Sully added as Elevate Festival speakers

Michelle Romanow, Andre De Grasse, George Sully
BetaKit will once again program Elevate’s AI and Money stages.

Elevate has announced a set of new additions to the speaker lineup for their in-person return of its festival this year in Toronto.

Joining the festival’s previously announced speakers are ten-time Olympic and world championship sprint medalist Andre De Grasse, Clearco co-founder and CEO Michele Romanow, and founder of Black Designers of Canada George Sully.

“This month has marked a clear return of in-person events for Toronto, and the city is more alive than ever without any signs of slowing down.”
– Lisa Zarzeczny, Elevate CEO
 
 
 
 

Expecting over 35,000 attendees and more than 350 speakers, Elevate’s headliners include tennis champion and entrepreneur Venus Williams; Mars House creator and Techism Movement founder Krista Kim; Waabi founder and CEO Raquel Urtasun; astronaut and Elevate co-chair Chris Hadfield; Toronto Mayor John Tory, as well as Douglas Soltys, editor-in-chief of BetaKit.As an Elevate media partner, BetaKit will once again program the festival’s AI and Money stages.

After cancelling its 2020 edition and hosting an online event in 2021, Elevate’s in-person festival return this year will include three stages located in Toronto’s downtown core with discussion topics such as sustainability, the future of work, the metaverse, artificial intelligence (AI), retail, fintech, women in tech, and others.

Taking place from September 20 to 22, this year’s festival will span from the Design Exchange (DX) to Meridian Hall and over to St. Lawrence Centre for Arts. Throughout the three-day event, attendees will have the opportunity to move through panels, fireside chats, pitch competitions, and an NFT Art Gallery.


Interested in attending Elevate Festival? For a 20 percent discount code for all ticket types, use ‘ELEVATEFESTBK’ here.


In partnership with TD, Elevate recently launched an NFT Residency Program last week. The program is designed to support underrepresented creators in funding, minting, and showcasing NFT art projects.

According to Elevate, the program will invest in eight artists by providing access to mentorship, capital, and community. The inaugural cohort of the NFT Residency Program will get the opportunity to display their work at the NFT Art Gallery.

Founded in 2017, Elevate is a not-for-profit organization and a Toronto-based tech hub that hosts an annual tech and innovation festival. For its last in-person edition in 2019, Elevate claims to have had over 30,000 guests, 350 speakers, and 150 partners. Past speakers include the likes of former first lady Michelle Obama, businesswoman Martha Stewart, former United States vice president Al Gore, and former Google CEO Eric Schmidt.

When it cancelled the fourth edition of its tech festival in 2020, Elevate also secured $5 million from the City of Toronto and other corporate partners to create a new innovation hub. In partnership with DX, Elevate also launched the Elevate Social Innovation Exchange (Elevate SIX).

Earlier this year, Elevate promoted its co-founder and general manager Lisa Zarzeczny to CEO, with her first order of business being to bring the tech festival back in-person.

“This month has marked a clear return of in-person events for Toronto, and the city is more alive than ever without any signs of slowing down,” Zarzeczny said. “As people from around the world and across industries reunite, Elevate Festival will bring a surge of electricity to the heart of Toronto.”

Featured image from Elevate.

Charlize Alcaraz

Charlize Alcaraz

Charlize Alcaraz is a journalism student at Ryerson University and a staff writer for BetaKit. Follow her on Twitter @charlizealcaraz

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