Startupfest announces first round of speakers for 2020 tech event


Startupfest is announcing the first round of speakers for the tenth year of its festival, set to take place in Montreal between July 15 and 17.

This year, the festival is inviting founders, pioneers, new faces, and industry legends across multiple stages for three days of pitching, hacking, learning, and networking. The festival said those attending this year’s event should expect content focused on “how to”, “what works”, “what to avoid,” and “this is what we’re headed for.”

Canscan Technologies and SparkCharge won last year’s pitch competition at Startupfest.

“This network of ambassadors who speak about the event in ecosystems around the world has allowed us to move, over the past ten years, from an informal gathering of 100 people to one of the best startup events in the world, welcoming more than 6,000 participants in Montreal,” Startupfest wrote in an announcement.

Among the list of 21 speakers is Catherine Stewart, the chief business officer at Automattic, the company behind WordPress. At Automattic, Stewart manages mergers and acquisitions, business development, business operations, and strategic projects to grow the company’s revenue.

David Siegel, the CEO of Meetup, will also speak at the festival. Siegel has over 20 years of experience as a technology and digital media executive leading organizations through product development, revenue growth, and traffic acceleration.

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Stephanie Lampkin, another Startupfest 2020 speaker and former downhill ski racer, is the founder and CEO of Blendoor, an enterprise software startup that mitigates unconscious bias in hiring. Mike McDerment, co-founder and CEO of FreshBooks, will also speak at the event.

Other speakers announced this week include Darrell Etherington, senior writer at TechCrunch, Margaret Dawson vice president of portfolio product marketing at Red Hat, and Laura Lenz, who was named partner at OMERS Ventures in November.

Startupfest is an annual event that features a series of events, panels, workshops, and pitch competitions. At last year’s Startupfest, Canscan Technologies and SparkCharge were crowned winners of the pitch competition, taking home $100,000. Last year’s event also featured the Women in Tech Boot Camp, run by BDC’s Women in Technology Fund, which connected women founders and leaders with resources to grow their business.

Image source Startupfest

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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