FEBRUARY 8 & 9, 2017 | FAIRMONT PACIFIC RIM | VANCOUVER, BC                                                                               Twitter Square Button   Linkedin Square Button   Newsletter Button 


2017 Keynote Speakers


Wednesday, February 8



Barry Yates 

“Four Exits and a Funeral:

How to Sell a SaaS Company for 20x Revenue Without Even Trying!”

Past CEO at Monexus ( Netsuite), Past COO at Blast Radius (acq. by WPP)

Scaling up companies is something that Barry is passionate about, not to mention extremely successful at! With over 25 years of entrepreneurial experience, he has been through the acquisition process multiple times, as President & CEO at Monexa which was sold to NetSuite in 2015, and as COO at Blast Radius, which was acquired by WPP. Passionate about building organizations and commercializing technology, now as newly appointed Managing Director of entrepreneurship@UBC, Barry is keen to help prepare the next generation of young entrepreneurs build and expand BC’s burgeoning innovation ecosystem.

Barry comes from more than 25 years of entrepreneurial experience spanning multiple sectors, including forestry, transportation, telecom, retail, software and industrial products. He has served in executive management positions for leading technology firms for the past 15 years, most recently as President & CEO of Monexa, which was acquired by NetSuite in 2015. Following the exit, he served as General Manager at NetSuite. Before Monexa, Barry was the Chief Operating Officer of Blast Radius, where he led the company’s global expansion to become one of the top digital marketing agencies with offices in Canada, the US and Europe.  Blast Radius was acquired by WPP, one of the world’s largest marketing services network.  Prior to Blast Radius, Barry was the President & CEO of Antarctica Systems and the Senior Vice-President of Worldwide Sales and Marketing for Delano Technology Corporation. Barry also brings a strong background in management consulting, having spent several years at some of Toronto’s top firms, including Bain & Company, BearingPoint (formerly KPMG Consulting) and Accenture


Thursday, February 9


Michael Tamblyn 

“The Finish Line is Just the Beginning: 

Finding Success After Founders, After Exit, After Acquisition”

CEO, Rakuten Kobo

Michael Tamblyn is the President and Chief Executive Officer at Rakuten Kobo. Driving growth, profitability and international expansion in a fiercely competitive market, he combines a passion for reading with a deep focus on the hardware and software experiences that can make a customer’s reading life better.

A passionate and engaging presenter and commentator, Michael speaks internationally on digital media, publishing and mobile technology and has been featured in The New Yorker, Wired, Canadian Business, National Post, Globe and Mail and The New York Times. Additionally, he oversees Rakuten's other eReading businesses including OverDrive, the world leader in ebook services for libraries, and Aquafadas, a world leader in interactive publishing. Michael has been a part of Rakuten Kobo’s executive team since its inception in 2009, and previously held the role of Chief Content Officer.

Prior to joining Kobo, Michael was the founding CEO of the supply chain agency, BookNet Canada and co-founded Canada’s first online bookstore,, purchased by Indigo Books & Music in 1998 to create, where he served as VP of Online Operations. Michael holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Western Ontario. A longtime musician, he holds a degree in classical composition from Wilfred Laurier University.

Alumni Speakers


Paul Singh

"The intersection of tech companies, venture capital and the future of cities."

Paul is an entrepreneur, speaker and investor. Previously, Paul was a Managing Director at 1776 and a General Partner in 1776’s Seed Fund. Prior to 1776, Paul was the founder of Disruption Corporation (acquired by 1776) and general partner of Disruption's post-seed venture capital arm, Crystal Tech Fund. Before that, Paul was a Partner at 500 Startups, an accelerator and venture firm headquartered in Silicon Valley that has invested in over 1,000 companies across 50+ countries. Paul has founded a few of his own startups (two successful exits and a number of failures in between) and spent some time at AOL, Carmax, PBworks and Symantec. Paul can be reached at


Sheeraz Haji
Cleantech Group LLC.

Mike Kwatinetz
General Partner
Azure Capital

James Maiocco
Director of Microsoft Startups
Microsoft Ventures


Steve Munford

Yona Shtern
Beyond the Rack

Chaotic Moon Studios


Ben Yoskovitz
Author of Lean Analytics: Use Data to Build a Better Startup Faster
CEO - Standout Jobs & Founding Partner at Year One Labs
VP Product - GoInstant (Acquired by, 2012)

Jason Cohenour
Sierra Wireless Inc.


Mike Allman
Accomplished CEO and Board Member in the Energy Industry
Advisory Board Member, Bit Stew Systems and Stem, Inc.
Board Member, Endurance Wind Power Inc
Chairman of the Board of Directors, OneRoof Energy, Inc. 
Board Member, Chair of the Audit Committee, Blue Earth, Inc.

“Four Exits and a Funeral:

How to Sell a SaaS Company for 20x Revenue Without Even Trying!”