July 10, 2019

In collaboration with
Knowledge-transfer, networking and best practices

Knowledge-transfer, networking and best practices.

Co-Chaired by HarborVest’s Senia Rapisarda and Real Ventures’ Sylvain Carle, VentureFest brings together investors, fund managers and VC operations teams from across Canada and abroad. Covering the full cycle of investment, VentureFest creates a platform for VCs to share hard lessons learned, from finding the best startups, to investing, to working with portfolio companies as they get started, grow and scale.

Space is limited to qualified applicants.


VentureFest is for:

  • Investors / LPs
  • Fund managers / GPs
  • VC operations teams

Some past attendees:


Through their investment in high-growth, cutting-edge technology companies, VCs — from micro VCs to growth funds — are helping to shape the world.

VentureFest Agenda

Wednesday July 10th

8:00 AM – 9:00 AMBreakfast
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Food you eat in the morning. The tastiest meeting of the day.
9:00 AM – 9:10 AMOpening remarksSenia Rapisarda, Sylvain
9:10 AM – 9:45 AMHave we learned anything? Is the past a predictor of the future?
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Venture funding is a long-game, with cycles of investment that outlast the lifespan of many of the startups invested in. So what have institutional investors learned through the peaks and valleys of the past decades? How are investors considering venture over different cycle from a portfolio construction point of view? In this panel, seasoned veterans will discuss their takeaways, the importance of keeping a long view and vision for the future of investment.
Jacques Bernier (Teralys),
Senia Rapisarda, John Stokes (Real Ventures)
9:45 AM – 10:20 AM Why Canada – Why now? How has the relationship with the US changed in the last 5 years?
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In the past 5 years, the relationships between funders and founders in Canada and the US has radically changed. With Canada’s growing AI and deep-tech research advantages and expanding tech ecosystems, US investors have never been more interested in what’s happening in “Silicon Valley North.” So what exactly is in Canada’s secret sauce that’s had US VC’s hopping on flights to Toronto and Montreal from San Francisco and New York? And how can Canadian and US funds work together to continue raising up the best and brightest startups coming out of Canada’s tech communities?
Anne-Marie Bourgeois (EnerTech), Laura
Buhler (C100),
Magaly Charbonneau (iNovia Capital), Matt Roberts (ScaleUP Ventures)
10:20 AM – 10:55 AMDeep Tech – The business side of science
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AI might have captured the world’s imagination but what are the other technologies that are emerging from the crucible of research and how will these impact venture funding? In this panel we’ll discuss the impact of AI and quantum computing on the industry.
Margaret Wu (Georgian), Joe Regan (BDC), Sylvain
Émilie Boutros (TandemLaunch), Stéphane Létourneau (Vice President, Partnership and Corporate Affairs, Mila)
10:55 AM – 11:25 AMThe next generation of investors: Who are they, how are they doing it and what can we learn from them?
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Who are the newest technology investors and what can we learn from them? How do we encourage the brightest minds to take the plunge into entrepreneurship or VC straight out of college rather than stepping onto the conveyor belt of consulting and corporate finance? In this panel, you’ll hear from the youngest VCs in the industry about their vision for the future, what they see coming out of the top computer science classrooms and business schools, and how they’re working to change the industry.
Raphaël Christian-Roy, Maggie Sprenger, Danielle Graham, Nayla Chebli
11:25 AM – 11:55 AMCreating an investment thesis that incorporates founder well-being
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The best venture capitalists don’t just invest in companies — they invest in people. But strangely, this human-focus is missing from most firms’ investment theses. While many firms offer value-add services in the form of expert networks or operational support, very few support the mental, emotional, and physical health of their founders. The entrepreneurial ecosystem is facing an epidemic of mental health issues, burnout, and stress-related illness, and venture capitalists are in a position to alleviate or exacerbate these issues. By incorporating founder mental health and well-being into your investment thesis, your firm can not only differentiate its value proposition to attract the top entrepreneurs, but also protect the financial and human capital behind its investments.
In this session, you’ll learn: Why entrepreneurs are more susceptible mental health issues, burnout, and stress-related illness How to spot the red flags of a struggling founder and know when/how to intervene What your firm can do to align its beliefs, actions, and processes with the well-being of its founders
Jessica Carson
11:55 AM – 12:10 PMClosing remarksSenia Rapisarda, Sylvain
12:10 PM – 1:30 PMLunch
2:20 PM – 5:00 PMVentureFest pitch series
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You’re looking for the next great startup idea, and we want to help you find it! Join participants of our Funding workshop as they take the stage to pitch their companies. Interested in participating? Let us know!

2019 Speakers

Emilie Boutros

Partner and CFO | TandemLaunch

Sylvain Carle

Partner | Real Ventures

Margaret Wu

Vice President | Georgian Partners

Raphael Christian-Roy

Raphaël Christian-Roy

Managing Director | Front Row Ventures @ Real Ventures

Maggie Sprenger

Maggie Sprenger

Managing Director | Green Cow Venture Capital

Jacques Bernier

Jacques Bernier

Co-founder & Managing Partner | Teralys Capital

Jessica Carson

Jessica Carson

Innovation @ American Psychological Association | Founder @ Wired This Way

Senia Rapisarda

Senia Rapisarda

Managing Director | HarbourVest Canada

Anne-Marie Bourgeois

Vice President Investments | EnerTech Capital

Laura Buhler

Executive Director | C100

Joseph Regan

Managing Partner, Industrial Innovation Fund | BDC

Danielle Graham

Principal | Dream Maker Ventures

Matt Roberts

Matt Roberts

Partner | ScaleUP Ventures

Magaly Charbonneau

Magaly Charbonneau

Principal | iNovia Capital

John Stokes

Founding Partner | Real Ventures

Nayla Chebli

Investment Director, | Venture Capital

Stéphane Létourneau

Vice President, Partnership and Corporate Affairs | Mila

Edward Powers

Managing Director, Boston | HarbourVest