Canadian tech leaders headline speaker lineup for inaugural INNOVATEwest

InnovateWEST Speakers
Execs from Koho, Ada, Wealthsimple, Clio comprise speaker roster for 2024 conference.

On April 16 and 17 at the Vancouver Convention Centre, INNOVATEwest will bring together tech, enterprise, and corporate stakeholders, to showcase industry leaders and established and emerging tech firms.

Hosted by Cube Business Media, the Vancouver conference and tradeshow company behind Canadian tech events like SAAS NORTH,, and Tech Talent North, INNOVATEwest is expected to draw between 3,000 and 5,000 attendees this year.

“We can’t wait to welcome on stage some of Canada’s most notable tech darlings at the forefront of technology and innovation.”

Like with SAAS NORTH, BetaKit is an INNOVATEwest media partner. And just like SAAS NORTH, INNOVATEwest’s inaugural BetaKit Keynote Stage will be the place to see and hear from Canada’s movers and shakers. 

For example, BetaKit editor-in-chief Douglas Soltys will moderate a panel discussion on FinTech disruption featuring Koho founder and CEO Daniel Eberhard and Wealthsimple co-founder and CEO Michael Katchen.

Attendees will be treated to insights from a lineup of Canadian tech founders. Among them are Jack Newton of Vancouver-based Clio, and Sean O’Connor, the fresh face at the helm of 4AG Robotics, which also closed its Series A funding in the fall. The roster continues with Derrick Emsley, who co-founded Tentree as well as its B2B arm, Vertiree, and David Hariri, the co-founder and chief architect of Ada.

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INNOVATEwest will also feature an assembly of venture capital investors from across Canada, including Danielle Graham, the co-founder of The Firehood; Sid Paquette, who leads RBCx; Boris Wertz of Version One Ventures; and Althea Wishloff, a general partner at Raven Capital.

Adding to the lineup are influential figures in the tech sector, such as Jill Earthy, the CEO of InBC; Guy Kawasaki, chief evangelist at Canva; and Lisa Lambert, the recently appointed CEO of Quantum Industry Canada.

In addition to panels and key networking opportunities, INNOVATEwest is set to host an array of competitions and interactive sessions. Among them is the Grizzly Pursuit, a live pitch session where entrepreneurs will present to a panel of 11 venture firms from Canada and the US.

The program also includes The Firehood Angel Camp, most recently seen at the 2023 SAAS North conference. This segment offers early-stage, women-led tech startups a chance to win $100,000 in capital and mentorship.

INNOVATEwest will also host a generative AI hackathon for student teams from post-secondary institutions, alongside live demos on the expo floor.

“We can’t wait to welcome on stage some of Canada’s most notable tech darlings at the forefront of technology and innovation, alongside those who are investing in and fueling the growth of technologies that will change the world as we know it,” David Tyldesley, co-founder of INNOVATEwest and Cube Business Media, said in recent statement.

Early bird tickets are available for INNOVATEwest until March 14. Use the promo code BetaKit20 to share a 20 percent discount with your network.

Isabelle Kirkwood

Isabelle Kirkwood

Isabelle is a Vancouver-based writer with 5+ years of experience in communications and journalism and a lifelong passion for telling stories. For over two years, she has reported on all sides of the Canadian startup ecosystem, from landmark venture deals to public policy, telling the stories of the founders putting Canadian tech on the map.

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