Behaviour Change Platform for D&I

HR Conference Guide - SAAS NORTH 2018


We are very excited about the upcoming conference and put together an easy-to-follow guide to highlight the most significant events and speakers for HR professionals.

We hope that this guide will serve as a tool to help you navigate SAAS NORTH and leave you with more time to enjoy the Conference! It is also mobile-friendly so you can follow along with our Guide during Conference days.

Table of Contents:

November 28th

November 29th



November 28th

8:45am-9:00am – Welcoming Remarks will be delivered by:

  • Leo Lax (Executive Managing Director of L–SPARK)

9:00am-9:30am – Opening Keynote – Journey to a Billion Dollar Company with:

  • David Ossip (Chairman and CEO of Ceridian)

Ossip will elaborate key points which led to the massive success of this SaaS company.

9:30am-10:00am–Keynote–If AI is the New Software Battleground, What is the Exponential Impact on The Growth of Your Company? presented by:

  • Jeana Jorgensen (General Manager, CE Partner and Startup Experience at Microsoft)

Jorgensen will explore the AI market. This discussion can assist in understanding how to remain current without losing sight of company goals, scaling, and growth.

11:20am-12:00pm –Panel Discussion –How Diversity and Inclusivity are Paramount in Scaling Your Product Team, with:

  • Satish Kanwar (VP & GM of Channels at Shopify)

  • Jeremy Bailey (Creative Director at Freshbooks)

  • Andrea Corey (VP Product Development at Nudge.AI)

  • Lianne Vineberg (Technical Talent Lead at Wealthsimple)

Listen in on these industry leaders as they discuss how product design and diversity and inclusion go hand-in-hand, and how the latter is necessary to establishing work environments where team potential can be realized.

1:30pm-3:30pm – AMA Corner – Mentor hours with Stefan Kollenberg, Co–founder & CMO of Crescendo –Building Diverse & Inclusive Workplaces

2:00pm-4:00pm – AMA Corner – Mentor hours with Mark Halpren,Principal of FirstCFO Inc. –Operations and Finance Support

2:30pm-4:00pm – AMA Corner – Mentor hours with Annika Reinhardt, Co–founder of Talent Collective – Talent Development

2:35pm-3:15pm – Panel Discussion – Going Global: Key Considerations and how to Prepare for International Growth, with:

  • Jack Newton (CEO of Clio)

  • Jamie Neuwirth, (Head of Growth, Sales at Stripe)

  • Marie Chevrier (CEO & Founder of Sampler)

  • Alex Thuema (CEO & Founder of SaaStock).

Listen in as this dynamic group discusses strategies for international growth including how to prepare, what to consider, and how to assess whether you are suited to broader markets.

4:20pm-4:50pm – Fireside Chat– From Zero to Hypergrowth, Building a High-Performing, Human-Centric Team, presented by:

  • Michael Litt (Founder & CEO of Vidyard)

  • Michelle Scarborough (Managing Director, Strategic Investments and Women in Tech at BDC Capital)

They will discuss their approaches, tips, and important considerations for putting together a strong team and how this translates into better performance.

4:55pm-6:00pm – F*ck Up Night and Happy Hour – Sponsored by Lazaridis Institute

Attend the event series that centres on stories often avoided professional failures and the reasons behind them.

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November 29th

8:05am-8:50am Breakfast Roundtables (RSVP Required) – Partake in one of the six breakfast roundtables for valuable lively conversations with leading SaaS experts,  including:

  • Diversity Drives Innovation with Jill Earthy, Head of Growth of Female Funders

Jill will explore cutting-edge models of financing while emphasizing the need for greater diversity for funders and founders alike in order to push for progress.

  • Community Management with Erin Blaskie, Director of Marketing at L-SPARK, Canada’s chief SaaS accelerator

Erin will discuss the role community management plays in company marketing, branding, and digital media efforts. She will draw on her experience in brand building, community engagement, among other topics, and will provide workable strategies and tips that companies can utilize.

9:15am-9:45am – Fireside Chat – Your Innovation Continuum: Survive or Thrive,with:

  • Dax Dasilva (CEO & Founder of Lightspeed POS)

  • Jessica Galang (Editor at Betakit)

Join Dasilva and Galang as they discuss the need for collaboration, both from within the company and in its outside interactions, and how promoting this is imperative to adaptability, growth, and success.

10:45am-11:25am – Panel Discussion – SaaS Fundamentals: Building successful SaaS operations for growing companies, with:

  • Annika Reinhardt (Compensation Professional of Talent Collective)

  • Larissa Holmes (VP of Talent at Borrowell)

  • Aydin Mirzaee (CEO at Fellow)

  • Pablo Srugo (Associate at Mistral Ventures)

This session focuses on which financial models are suitable when in the process of growth and which compensation structures will bring and retain the most suitable talent. It additionally explores how to increase staffing at the right pace, among other topics.

11:30am-1:00pm – AMA Corner Mentor hours with Stefan Kollenberg, Co-founder & CMO of Crescendo – Building Diverse & Inclusive Workplaces

12:30-2:00pm – AMA Corner – Mentor hours with Annika Reinhardt, Co-founder of Talent Collective – Talent Development

1:30pm-3:00pm – AMA Corner – Mentor hours Mark Halpren,Principal of FirstCFO Inc. – Operations and Finance Support

1:10pm-1:40pm – Keynote – The Path to Success Isn’t One–Dimensional: Life Lessons from a Tech Entrepreneur, presented by:

  • Carol Leaman (Axonify’s Founder & CEO)

Leaman will open up about her experience in leaving her stable position in order to become an entrepreneur and eventually leading a $200 Million company. She shares what she learned on the path to success, including the positive and negative experiences which are relevant to SaaS founders scaling their companies.

2:45pm-3:25 pm – Panel Discussion – Outsourcing vs. Hiring: Building diverse teams at scale, with:

  • ZJ Hadley (Employee Success Business Partner at Tulip Retail)

  • Susan Richards (Co-founder of Numbercrunch)

  • Shavonne Hasfal–Mcintosh (Head of Inclusion & Belonging of Shopify)

  • Liam Martin (Co-Founder of Time Doctor)

  • Stefan Kollenberg (Co–Founder and CMO of Crescendo)

It is sure to be a valuable discussion with this group which is comprised of members from some of Canada’s most rapidly expanding start–ups. They will explore how to scale organizations, while balancing priority hires with outsourcing.

3:35pm-4:15pm – Panel Discussion – Leading With Impact, with:

  • Joanne Fedeyko (CEO of Connection Silicon Valley)

  • Jill Earthy (Head of Growth at Female Funders)

  • Matt Roberts (Partner at ScaleUP Ventures)

  • Ben Morris (Vice President of Corporate Development and Technology Strategies at Wesley Clover)

They will talk about why investment in companies headed by diverse and inclusive founders is not only important, but key to success. The group will discuss how diversity and inclusion are necessary to respond to the needs of growth. This panel will also touch upon how a diversity and inclusion mandate will translate into the benefits sought by companies and investors alike.

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We looked through all the exhibitors and picked out the schools with hiring opportunities, HR tech companies worth checking out, and talent sourcing companies.


Talent Sourcing

  • Sales Talent Agency - Helping great salespeople meet their next employer

  • VanHack - Community of over 180,000 Software Developers, Designers and Digital Marketers who are ready to relocate.

HR & Operations

  • Ceridian - Human capital management in the cloud to engage employees, reduce complexity and work smarter.

  • Fellow - An app for managers and their teams to power 1-on-1s, group conversations, feedback, and priorities.

  • Desk Nibbles - Easy office snack service.

  • Nua Office - Office furniture customized for your business.

  • reDock - Surfaces answers from your existing documents. No need to read hundreds of pages or be an expert on the topic.

  • Time Doctor - Time tracking tool to make sure your remote team is actually getting work done.

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Community Leaders

Speak with community leaders who draw on their experience to discuss how they have built communities, and how this is linked to building a healthy, open culture in your own workplace.

Danielle Smith, Director of Partnership and Community at TWG

Jesse Cressman-Dickinson, Community Development Manager at Shopify

Jeanette Stock, Director (Platform) at Highline Beta, Co-founder of Venture Out

Pat White, Managing Director of L–SPARK

Aaron Zifkin, Managing Director at Lyft

Ria Lupton, Director of Growthgenius, Community and Marketing Manager of RIGHTSLEEVE, Founder of Canadian Community Builders and the Director for SheWorx

Stefan Kollenberg, Co-Founder and CMO of Crescendo & Organizer at Bridge Builders

Nicole Kelly,Community Director of Omers Ventures

HR Leaders

Take the opportunity to hear from peers in the industry and their own approaches to HR and efforts towards Diversity and Inclusion.

Annika Reinhardt, Co-Founder, Negotiation and Compensation Professional of Talent Collective

Larissa Holmes, VP of Talent at Borrowell

Lianne Vineberg, Technical Talent Lead at Wealthsimple

Shavonne Hasfal-Mcintosh, Inclusion and Employee Experience Lead of Shopify

ZJ Hadley, Human Resource Business Partner at Tulip

Investment Leaders

Hear from industry experts on the future direction of tech and find out which new opportunities you can seize upon in this ever-changing market for the success of your company.

Jennifer Couldrey, Executive Director of The Upside Foundation

Jill Earthy, Head of Growth at Female Funders & Founders powered by Highline Beta

Michelle Scarborough, Managing Director, Strategic Investments and Women in Tech, BDC

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Cover Photo by Hannah Olinger on Unsplash